Skip to comments.Emotional Rather blasts 'new journalism order'
Posted on 09/19/2005 8:36:17 PM PDT by aculeus
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Monday that there is a climate of fear running through newsrooms stronger than he has ever seen in his more than four-decade career.
Rather famously tangled with President Nixon and his aides during the Watergate years while Rather was a hard-charging White House correspondent.
Addressing the Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan, occasionally forcing back tears, he said that in the intervening years, politicians "of every persuasion" had gotten better at applying pressure on the conglomerates that own the broadcast networks. He called it a "new journalism order."
He said this pressure -- along with the "dumbed-down, tarted-up" coverage, the advent of 24-hour cable competition and the chase for ratings and demographics -- has taken its toll on the news business. "All of this creates a bigger atmosphere of fear in newsrooms," Rather said.
Rather was accompanied by HBO Documentary and Family president Sheila Nevins, both of whom were due to receive lifetime achievement awards at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards on Monday evening.
Nevins said that even in the documentary world, there's a certain kind of intimidation brought to bear these days, particularly from the religious right.
"If you made a movie about (evolutionary biologist Charles) Darwin now, it would be revolutionary," Nevins said. "If we did a documentary on Darwin, I'd get a thousand hate e-mails."
Nevin asked Rather if he felt the same type of repressive forces in the Nixon administration as in the current Bush administration.
"No, I do not," Rather said. That's not to say there weren't forces trying to remove him from the White House beat while reporting on Watergate; but Rather said he felt supported by everyone above him, from Washington bureau chief Bill Small to then-news president Dick Salant and CBS chief William S. Paley.
"There was a connection between the leadership and the led . . . a sense of, 'we're in this together,"' Rather said. It's not that the then-leadership of CBS wasn't interested in shareholder value and profits, Rather said, but they also saw news as a public service. Rather said he knew very little of the intense pressure to remove him in the early 1970s because of his bosses' support.
Nevins took up the cause for Rather, who was emotional several times during the event.
"When a man is close to tears discussing his work and his lip quivers, he deserves bosses who punch back. I feel I would punch back for Dan," Nevins said.
Rather praised the coverage of Hurricane Katrina by the new generation of TV journalists and acknowledged that he would have liked to have reported from the Gulf Coast. "Covering hurricanes is something I know something about," he said.
"It's been one of television news' finest moments," Rather said of the Katrina coverage. He likened it to the coverage of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963.
"They were willing to speak truth to power," Rather said of the coverage.
Rather sidestepped the question of what should happen to the evening news in the expected makeover. "Not my call," he said. And he said he hadn't been asked, either.
"I gave it everything I had, I didn't hold anything back. I did the best newscast we were capable of doing," Rather said.
Nevins, who almost single-handedly has kept the art of the independent documentary on television, said the HBO documentaries show real life and do it with as little damage to the subjects as possible. She said the producers and directors "respect mostly the people on the other side of the camera."
Nevins said she didn't shy away from such R-rated topics as "G-String Divas" and "Taxicab Confessions" but noted that sex and passion have been topics of literature since Chaucer's day. "The most R-rated is a body bag, not a naked body," Nevins said.
But that's not saying much, Danny boy!
WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY, KENNETH?
Sorry but that's obsolete. It's now.............
WHAT'S THE FONT KENNETH?
Nah, nah. He thought he had adequate substantiation. But in the real world it's rarely possible to satisfy everyone, to provide the proverbial "smoking gun". And the pressures of meeting deadlines and outdoing the competition often cause reporters to cut corners.
I don't deny that he wanted to "get Bush" and this played a big part in his "throwing caution to the winds". What I do deny is that his assertions were proved to be false...
You are making way, way too many excuses for sloppy , biased reporting . Even after the FRAUD was discovered he still stalled and floundered. "even if the documents are fake , what they say is real " Are you kidding me bro ? Rather is garbage and has been for years . My high school newspaper would have fired him . He's been falsly reporting the news for years according to his political leanings.
"dumbed-down, tarted-up" coverage
"It's been one of television news' finest moments," Rather said of the Katrina coverage. He likened it to the coverage of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963. "They were willing to speak truth to power," Rather said of the coverage.
Dan Rather has to choke back tears when he reads the freaking phone book. Anyone who's familiar with the guy knows he's emotionally unstable.
All anyone has to do is produce a 1970-era typewriter that can produce identical documents.
Maybe so. I'm no expert on reporting.
Even after the FRAUD was discovered he still stalled and floundered.
True, I think. Although I don't recollect anyone actually confessing to fraud. I think what happened is that everyone agreed that Rather didn't have the goods and he refused to admit it for far too long.
"even if the documents are fake , what they say is real "...
...or most likely is real. The evidence for this is strong.
Rather's...been...reporting the news for years according to his political leanings.
Everyone does this to one degree or another. To expect anything else is naive and utopian.
Hey, Dan --
Exit stage left.
I looked at the evidence as best I could at the time and remained unconvinced that anything had been proven one way or the other. You, obviously, came to a different conclusion.
That often happens...which is why we have majority rule rather than unanimous consent, why there are hung juries, appeals courts, scientific examinations of old evidence, etc.
He sounds like a whiney old queen who has been banned from the gay pride party for peeing in the punch bowl.
And there goes breakfast ... =)
Rather got an award at the Emmys
Rush said that that is where a guy who makes up the news should get an award.
I'm posting this on any thread I can find that vaguely applies. Speaking of journalism and lies, read this:
Get this, if you haven't already heard. Buchanan was just on Imus in the Morning. However, that's not what I want to talk about. Also on Imus this a.m., they just said that bloggers have busted that guy who appeared on Tim Russert's Sunday show last weekend, Alan Broussard (I think it's Alan, the Broussard is right), who did the whole rap about the dead grandma at the nursing home who was never rescued and that it was all Bush & FEMA's fault, the "someone's coming for you Monday, Tuesday, Wed, Thurs, and then she allegedly died on Friday, it is all a lie. Grandma died on that first Monday before the levees broke, Grandma wasn't even at the nursing home Broussard named, and everything Broussard said was all lies. Hahahahahaha. Wait till this gets out. Wait till Rush gets hold of this, or Hannity, or Brit Hume. This is going to be a delight. And Tim Russert was totally snookered, as was all the MSM who hung on this jerk's every word as he wove his sad tale, his lying sad tale. Oh, this is going to be good.
Here's a man who has sacrificed his principles for a cause he knew was wrong, and is on the threshhold of realizing that his entire life was an utter waste.
That's why he's crying.
LOL! ...Priceless! :D
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