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Dan Rather: Ashcroft is Out to Get Me
Newsmax.com ^ | May 24, 2002 | Carl Limbacher

Posted on 05/24/2002 8:03:09 AM PDT by Paul Atreides

Dan Rather: Ashcroft is Out to Get Me

"CBS Evening News" anchorman Dan Rather accused Attorney General John Ashcroft Friday morning of personally ordering Justice Department aides to "sully up my reputation," a charge he leveled while trying to clarify his allegation two days ago that Ashcroft flew private jets last summer because of terrorist threats that he failed to warn the public about.

"Maybe it would be better for (Ashcroft) to spend a little less time trying to sully up my reputation in some way - cover his own backside - and a little more time and let's get this thing straight," the testy CBS anchorman complained during a follow-up interview on the "Imus in the Morning" show, prompted by the controversy over his earlier remarks on the same show.

A few minutes later, Rather elaborated:

"The attorney general's people have been, you know, he's had some of his publicity agents call around newspapers and try to plant some negative stories. And, you know, that goes with the territory, I guess. But I'd had thought he was bigger than that."

Rather quickly clarified the new accusation, suggesting instead that Ashcroft's subordinates, and not the AG himself, were behind the attacks. "And I continue to think (Ashcroft) is bigger than that," he told Imus. "And I think he may have a word with somebody about it."

But in the next breath, the anchorman once again put the onus on Ashcroft personally, complaining that the attorney general shouldn't be spending his time "trying to touch up some reporter he thinks has said the wrong thing - in this case, me."

Imus cited a report by NBC' Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, who explained after Rather's Wednesday appearance that the CBS newsman had gotten the story wrong; that, in fact, Ashcroft's decision to fly private aircraft was prompted by personal death threats and not a general terrorist threat assessment.

The CBS newsman responded icily, "I don't think that's where they've done most of their attacking, but let's take that point."

Then Rather suggested that Miklaszewski was merely trying to make him look bad, telling Imus, "First of all about Jim. You say he's an NBC guy, he's a good guy. I note with some interest, you know, he called you very quickly. He didn't call me to say, 'You know, Dan, I think you may be off on this a little bit.'"

The CBS anchor then implied that the NBC newsman was acting out of ulterior motives. "He's got to get along with Russert and Brokaw and those guys - and I understand that," he told Imus.

Rather even quibbled over whether he had asked Imus for more airtime on Friday, or if an Imus producer had invited him back.

IMUS: Well, what happened that prompted your people to request your appearing on the program this morning? I'm unclear.

RATHER: Uh, you or somebody with the program called and said, "Listen, if Dan wants to come on the program we'd be glad to have him." That's what prompted it.

IMUS: Oh, Okay.

RATHER: Also, you know, it's fair to say.....

IMUS: According to Bernard (McGuirk), that's not the case. Somebody called us from you office.

RATHER: Well, then I'll accept that. Then that's the reason we did it. (End of Excerpt)

The Rather-Ashcroft donnybrook was prompted by NewsMax.com's coverage Wednesday of the CBS newsman's comments, which got wide exposure on the Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bob Grant radio programs, in addition to Imus' own broadcast. (See: Dan Rather: Bush Issued Bogus Terror Alerts to Cover-up 9-11 Bungle)

On Thursday Imus read from the NewsMax report and said that CBS News had requested a transcript to double check Rather's remarks. Generally, neither Imus nor MSNBC, which carries him on TV, transcribes the show.

Friday morning Imus re-read the NewsMax quotes directly to the CBS anchor, which prompted him to launch into a lengthy defense.

Struggling to explain what he meant during the earlier broadcast, Rather said that Ashcroft's statements last July about the nature of the threats against him were confusing, then added, "I don't think reporters can be blamed for what's happened since for asking" if his decision not to fly commercial was tied to more general terrorist threat assessments.

Despite his accusation that Ashcroft was trying to sully his reputation, Rather insisted that the dispute wasn't personal.

"This is not about the attorney general or me. What it's about is how best to defend and protect our country. What it's about is we had 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11."

Then Rather complained:

"On your program, despite what some people have tried to convince folks that I said, I never said that the attorney general was warned specifically about 9-11 threats and therefore covered his own security."

"I did point out the following: That in the summer before Sept. 11, the attorney general, for whatever reason, and I assume rightfully, decided that it wasn't safe for him to ride the airlines. And therefore he laid on - an unprecedented thing to do but let's assume it was necessary - private aircraft to fly him around wherever he went, at, I think, $1,600 an hour."

The CBS newsman continued:

"Now, in other words, when the attorney general heard a threat, it was decided that immediately and expensively, he would be taken care of on the security front - and I'm okay with that.

"What some people are asking - and this is what I reported on your program - and some of the people include the relatives of victims of Sept. 11 - what they're asking is: 'Okay, then when there came threats about the American flying public, there were threats bubbling up all over the place, the public was not told about that and therefore could not make their own decisions about their own security.'"

Rather continued to explain to Imus:

"And on your program I raised what I thought and believe now to be a legitimate question about looking ahead. If the threats in the air are serious enough for the attorney general to say, 'Look, I don't think I better fly airlines,' isn't it reasonable to say, you know, in future, looking ahead, maybe when we have threats against the flying public - that they should be told. Or at the very least the airlines should be told and the pilots should be told."


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: danrather
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Mind you, this is coming from the man who thinks Bill Clinton is honest, who wouldn't report on Condit's involvement with Chandra Levy, and who thinks that rape is a private matter.

All I have to say, Dan, is......COURAGE.

1 posted on 05/24/2002 8:03:10 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Paul Atreides
No thanks Dan...I'd "Rather" have the truth.
2 posted on 05/24/2002 8:04:24 AM PDT by joesnuffy
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To: Paul Atreides
LOL. What a whiner. Sounds a lot like Dasshole. Ashcroft needs this article mailed to him...
3 posted on 05/24/2002 8:05:12 AM PDT by eureka!
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To: Paul Atreides
Ashcroft doesn't need aides to sully Dan's reputation. Dan's doing just fine.
4 posted on 05/24/2002 8:06:10 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: eureka!
I look forward to the day when Dan just completely loses it on live television and they have to haul him off in a straightjacket.
5 posted on 05/24/2002 8:06:40 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Paul Atreides
David?, David Brock? Hi, I'm Dan Rather, your new bunkmate.
6 posted on 05/24/2002 8:06:47 AM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Why they would keep such a nutcase on at CBS I can't figure out.

If this was a conservative-leaning anchor making the same remarks about the Clintons, he would be fired before he could finish the tirade.

7 posted on 05/24/2002 8:07:55 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Paul Atreides
Well, ol' Dan has now completely gone over the edge, what is CBS going to do? Are they going to keep an obviously unstable individual as their primetime anchorman?

We've gone from "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" to storming off the set, to his emotional breakdown on the Letterman show, to this totally goofy attack on the Attorney General.

8 posted on 05/24/2002 8:08:17 AM PDT by Inspectorette
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To: Paul Atreides
Out to get you, Dan? C'mon, Dan-O! Bill O'Reilly was audited three strait years in a row by the Klinton administration and you are complaining?
9 posted on 05/24/2002 8:08:42 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: Semper Paratus
David?, David Brock? Hi, I'm Dan Rather, your new bunkmate.

David to Dan: You mean you're my new b*tch.

10 posted on 05/24/2002 8:08:52 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Paul Atreides
What an arrogant piece of Hillory.

He actually thinks the AG should be calling him to verify the veracity of the stories he reads on the air.

Who is Dan Rather anyway?

11 posted on 05/24/2002 8:09:35 AM PDT by eFudd
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To: Paul Atreides
I look forward to the day when Dan just completely loses it on live television and they have to haul him off in a straightjacket.

There is a good chance that will actually happen, but til then, watching him wrestle with his sanity is pretty darn good.
12 posted on 05/24/2002 8:09:53 AM PDT by wheezer
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To: Paul Atreides
Oh, Dan!
No, you're not paranoid.
He IS out to get you.
And we hope he succeeds!!!
13 posted on 05/24/2002 8:10:47 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Paul Atreides
-paranoia paranoia
everybody's coming to get me
just say you never met me
i'm going underground with the moles
hear the voices in my head
i swear to god it sounds like they're snoring
but if you're bored then you're boring
the agony and the irony, they're killing me

-Harvey Danger

14 posted on 05/24/2002 8:11:43 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult
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To: Paul Atreides
If the threats in the air are serious enough for the attorney general to say, 'Look, I don't think I better fly airlines,' isn't it reasonable to say, you know, in future, looking ahead, maybe when we have threats against the flying public - that they should be told.

I don't think that when left wing lunatics threaten the Attorney General's life, the general public necessarily is put at any greater risk...you see, Dan, it wasn't Al Queda that was the threat to the AG at the time it was environmentalists and their ilk riled up by the lies told by the likes of you!
15 posted on 05/24/2002 8:11:54 AM PDT by marktuoni
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To: wheezer
What do you say that tonight we sneak up to Dan's yard and leave a statue of a naked woman with a cloth draped over it and a note saying "guess who?".
16 posted on 05/24/2002 8:12:35 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Paul Atreides
David to Dan: Your name isn't Dan its Kenneth and where is your ******* radio?
17 posted on 05/24/2002 8:12:35 AM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: Paul Atreides
If the threats in the air are serious enough for the attorney general to say, 'Look, I don't think I better fly airlines,' isn't it reasonable to say, you know, in future, looking ahead, maybe when we have threats against the flying public - that they should be told.

I can't stand Dan Blather, but I agree with him on this. Ashcroft should fly commercial and see the BS that the rest of us saps have put up with in airports; especially us smokers.

18 posted on 05/24/2002 8:13:15 AM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: Semper Paratus
David to Dan: Remember Dan, you said it's not rape....it's a private matter.
19 posted on 05/24/2002 8:13:50 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Paul Atreides
Rather has always been a wingnut, but now he's starting to spin completely out of control.
20 posted on 05/24/2002 8:14:54 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Paul Atreides
I heard the interview. Rather sounded nuts.
21 posted on 05/24/2002 8:15:39 AM PDT by truthkeeper
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To: marktuoni
"I did point out the following: That in the summer before Sept. 11, the attorney general, for whatever reason, and I assume rightfully, decided that it wasn't safe for him to ride the airlines. And therefore he laid on - an unprecedented thing to do but let's assume it was necessary - private aircraft to fly him around wherever he went, at, I think, $1,600 an hour."

Funny, Hillary ran up a huge taxpayer-paid tab campaigning. I don't remember Danny Boy whining about that.

22 posted on 05/24/2002 8:15:41 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: wheezer
There is a good chance that will actually happen, but til then, watching him wrestle with his sanity is pretty darn good.

Please let me know when it happens. I will not watch that clown for any reason.

23 posted on 05/24/2002 8:15:49 AM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: Paul Atreides
Has Rathernot ever considered that if they're out to get Ashcroft, we're ALL SAFER if he doesn't fly on a commercial flight?
24 posted on 05/24/2002 8:16:57 AM PDT by kitkat
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To: Fred Mertz
Ashcroft was flying commercial until he received death threats.

I suppose, by the media's thinking, that if there is a rapist in the neighborhood, women should sleep out on the porch.

25 posted on 05/24/2002 8:17:13 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: kitkat
What do you expect from the leader of the Vast Kneepad Conspiracy?
26 posted on 05/24/2002 8:18:09 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Paul Atreides
"I look forward to the day when Dan just completely loses it on live television and they have to haul him off in a straightjacket."

LOL. I think that is possible under this administration. W is driving him crazy and the polls are compounding his madness. Dan the Man cannot contain his contempt and will continue to lie, and get caught. Oh, I loathe him and his dishonest ilk....

27 posted on 05/24/2002 8:18:27 AM PDT by eureka!
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To: Fred Mertz
I would agree with you on that, except for one thing: it's not why Ashcroft flies on military planes. There were personal threats made against him PRIOR to 9-11.
28 posted on 05/24/2002 8:19:32 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: Paul Atreides
Rather whacko, if you ask me.
29 posted on 05/24/2002 8:19:59 AM PDT by Spiff
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To: eureka!
Why do liberals always think it's about them?
30 posted on 05/24/2002 8:20:02 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: Howlin
Why do liberals always think it's about them?

Name one liberal who has ever done an unselfish act for someone else. That's why.

31 posted on 05/24/2002 8:22:17 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Paul Atreides
Dan Blather sullied his own reputation.
32 posted on 05/24/2002 8:24:08 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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To: Paul Atreides
The attorney general's people have been, you know, he's had some of his publicity agents call around newspapers and try to plant some negative stories.

What's the frequency, Kenneth? Dan Rather may hire publicity agents, but the Attorney General does not! Telling that he uses such a phrase: I guess to him the world consists of Democrat politicians and high-profile journalists, and...other people.

33 posted on 05/24/2002 8:24:28 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves
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To: Paul Atreides
Warning! Warning! IMPLOSION imminent!
34 posted on 05/24/2002 8:24:29 AM PDT by A Navy Vet
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To: Paul Atreides
This is known as a reversal of fortune, Dan. YOU get to sully reputations on air every day of the week, but no one can fight back. Is that it?
35 posted on 05/24/2002 8:25:43 AM PDT by PoisedWoman
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To: Paul Atreides
I think DAN needed to get his tin foil hat out
36 posted on 05/24/2002 8:26:42 AM PDT by tophat9000
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To: Paul Atreides
Dan Rather needs to rethink his place in the food chain! He is sufferig from Dementia if he thinks he is important enough for a person like Ashcroft to bother to stoop to a liberal level.

Ashcroft is more concerned with the protection of the American people than the ranting of a demented ,liberal, socialist idiot that has a warped sense of his own importance! I know this as fact, I have known Ashcroft for years, he has stood in the line of fire many times for his believes and he is not about to change his standing position now, to one of sling crap!

37 posted on 05/24/2002 8:29:21 AM PDT by D. Miles
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To: Paul Atreides
Dan Rather needs to rethink his place in the food chain! He is sufferig from Dementia if he thinks he is important enough for a person like Ashcroft to bother to stoop to a liberal level.

Ashcroft is more concerned with the protection of the American people than the ranting of a demented ,liberal, socialist idiot that has a warped sense of his own importance! I know this as fact, I have known Ashcroft for years, he has stood in the line of fire many times for his believes and he is not about to change his standing position now, to one of sling crap!

38 posted on 05/24/2002 8:29:36 AM PDT by D. Miles
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To: Paul Atreides
Dan is nuts.
39 posted on 05/24/2002 8:30:09 AM PDT by aculeus
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To: Semper Paratus
"David?, David Brock? Hi, I'm Dan Rather, your new bunkmate."

And I beleive I've got your frequency."

40 posted on 05/24/2002 8:31:11 AM PDT by bribriagain
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To: Paul Atreides
WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY KENNETH!!!!!
41 posted on 05/24/2002 8:31:29 AM PDT by remaininlight
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: Howlin
I would agree with you on that, except for one thing: it's not why Ashcroft flies on military planes. There were personal threats made against him PRIOR to 9-11.

And it's probably Dan Blather and the rest of Big Media that is bringing the nuts out from under the rocks to make such threats, with their constant harping about him being a "fundamentalist Christian".

43 posted on 05/24/2002 8:32:22 AM PDT by jackbill
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To: Lazarus Long
Dan Rather: "Ashcroft is Out to Get Me"

That's him. "Captain Dan, the Newsman", as Brit Hume calls him.

44 posted on 05/24/2002 8:34:11 AM PDT by ladtx
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To: Paul Atreides
NO ONE needs to be out to get the bugger.

His lack of reasonably tolerable "reality testing" would be sufficient.

His poor taste in values would be plenty sufficient as well.

Then there's his treason.

And his idiocy.

If Ashcroft is out to get him, more power to Ashcroft. A national stage free of Dan Rather would have to be an improvement.

45 posted on 05/24/2002 8:36:12 AM PDT by Quix
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To: Paul Atreides
Sounds to me like DAN HAS LOST HIS MIND. Sheesh, he better take his paranoid medication. Any network that allow him to represent them as an anchor must want to lose the ratings war.
46 posted on 05/24/2002 8:38:01 AM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: Fred Mertz
Ashcroft and all pols should fly commercial coach, then we would have real security.


47 posted on 05/24/2002 8:38:25 AM PDT by razorback-bert
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To: Paul Atreides
I look forward to the day when Dan just completely loses it on live television and they have to haul him off in a straightjacket.

I'm surprised it hasn't happened already, sheesh, the guy is certifiably nuts.

48 posted on 05/24/2002 8:38:55 AM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: Paul Atreides
But I'd had thought he was bigger than that."

Who is crying now, Dan?

49 posted on 05/24/2002 8:40:08 AM PDT by philosofy123
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To: Paul Atreides
Dan Rather...a legend in his own mind.

Dear Dan, you aren't as important as you think you are, and no one in their right mind takes you seriously anyhow.

50 posted on 05/24/2002 8:40:50 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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