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FLASHBACK: 30 Years Ago Tonight, Dan Ratherís Failed, Fake News Ambush of Bush
Newsbusters ^ | 1/25/18 | Scott Whitlock

Posted on 01/25/2018 5:14:06 AM PST by markomalley

On Monday, January 25, 1988, 30 years ago tonight, Americans across the country saw with their own eyes an early example of the ugly liberal media attack machine. Dan Rather, the anchor of the CBS Evening News at the time, laid a trap and attempted to ambush then-Vice President George H.W. Bush on live TV. Of course, Rather’s goal was to embarrass the leading Republican contender for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. 

The segment was supposed to be a “candidate’s profile.” Instead, Rather screamed at the Vice President over the Iran-Contra scandal, making it the sole topic discussed. Visibly angry, he berated the Vice President: “You’ve made us hypocrites in the face of the world!”

But Bush didn’t just sit back and take the bias. He zinged the journalist by mentioning a truly embarrassing moment for Rather. In 2008, Rich Noyes quoted from The Quest for the Presidency, recounting: 

...a notorious incident several months earlier when Rather, on location in Miami, had got sore at having his newscast held up by a tennis match and had walked off his set to call New York to bitch about it.

The tennis match had ended in his absence, and CBS, with nothing else to put on the air, had gone to black — an empty screen — for six minutes. It was the ultimate embarrassment for a network... 

So when an unhinged Rather yelled and berated Bush, the Republican retorted: “It’s not fair to judge my whole career by a rehash on Iran. How would you like it if I judged your whole career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York?” Bush lowered the boom: “I have respect for you, but I don’t have respect for what you’re doing tonight!” 

How badly did Rather’s botched effort to destroy Bush fail? Even his colleagues in the press were appalled. According to the February 1988 issue of the Media Research Center's MediaWatch, 60 Minutes co-host Mike Wallace chided, “The style was wrong. Dan lost his cool.” ABC's Sam Donaldson derided, “Rather went too far.... I don’t think we can get to a situation where we make — on our own authority— accusations.” 

The cover of the February 8, 1988 issue of Time labeled it “the ambush that failed.” Then-Time associate editor Richard Stengel (and future Obama official) criticized the CBS anchor, describing the scene as “a powerful TV journalist hectoring the Vice President, who had been lured into the interview expecting that it would focus on his presidential campaign.” 

Time’s journalists even conducted a poll to see who won the battle. The results weren’t good for Rather. By a resounding margin, 42 percent to 27 percent, Bush “came out ahead in the exchange.” Was Rather rude? Fifty one percent said yes. Only 38 percent said no. 

The February 8, 1988 Newsweek critiqued: “Last week’s drama in the control room underscored the network’s uneasiness about its evening-news star. Intense and driven, Rather has a reputation for volatility that at times approaches instability.” 

Rather’s obsession with derailing Bush presidential campaigns didn’t end in 1988. In 2004, he famously used phony documents in an effort to undermine George W. Bush’s reelection bid. Ultimately, it led to his ouster as anchor of the CBS Evening News. (Rather has been reduced to appearing on an online show on The Young Turks channel.

Three decades later, journalists are still doing their best to undermine conservatives and Republicans. 


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1988; bush41; danratherbiased; drivebymedia; irancontra; rathergate
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1 posted on 01/25/2018 5:14:06 AM PST by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Lib journalists and reporters always deny political bias yet they don’t question the many flaws in Obama that the press failed to look into. They even had a president that used the Oval Office as a sex room. Press could give a hoot.


2 posted on 01/25/2018 5:18:21 AM PST by New Jersey Realist ( (Be Nice To Your Kids. They Will Pick Out Your Nursing Home))
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To: markomalley

Damned it!

Has it been that long?

I’m getting OLD!


3 posted on 01/25/2018 5:23:03 AM PST by mabarker1 (Progress- the opposite of congressl)
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To: markomalley

Legend in his own mind...


4 posted on 01/25/2018 5:23:06 AM PST by Doogle (( USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand....never store a threat you should have eliminated)))
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To: markomalley
ABC's Sam Donaldson derided, “Rather went too far.... I don’t think we can get to a situation where we make — on our own authority— accusations.”

How wrong Mr. Donaldson was. Today, 30 years later, most "journalists" do nothing but make accusations on their own "authority".

5 posted on 01/25/2018 5:23:32 AM PST by WayneS (An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. - Winston Churchill)
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To: markomalley

Great example of how NOT to be a “journalist”.


6 posted on 01/25/2018 5:24:05 AM PST by simpson96
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To: New Jersey Realist

Press COULDN’T give a hoot.


7 posted on 01/25/2018 5:24:27 AM PST by KingLudd
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To: markomalley; All

While it’s always nice to re-live a beat-down of a Socialist, I sure wish more Conservatives had been tuned into what the Bush Cabal and their Globalist Pals had had in mind for America.

Oh, to have a Time Machine at my disposal! ;)


8 posted on 01/25/2018 5:25:03 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set.)
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To: WayneS

I guess the Bush family got the last laugh on Dan with the fake Natl Guard memos which destroyed his career.


9 posted on 01/25/2018 5:26:08 AM PST by Col Frank Slade
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To: markomalley

as much as I loathe frequency kenneth, both booches probably damaged our country more.


10 posted on 01/25/2018 5:27:21 AM PST by 867V309 (Lock Her Up)
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To: markomalley
I saw it live. Seems just like yesterday. I am in disbelief it has been 30 years.

That was back when I watched the MSM news every night. I stopped watching their daily propaganda production in Nov 1992 and haven't missed it a bit since then.
11 posted on 01/25/2018 5:32:33 AM PST by Dan in Wichita
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To: markomalley

The holy grail for these people is to destroy a Republican.


12 posted on 01/25/2018 5:35:54 AM PST by I want the USA back (Doing more of what fails is the definition of liberalism and insanity.)
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To: markomalley

I’m old enough to remember Rather during a press conference with Richard Nixon. When Dan got his question, some of his colleagues applauded. Nixon asked him, “Are you running for something?” Rather snarked, “No sir - are you??”


13 posted on 01/25/2018 5:37:07 AM PST by Inspectorette
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To: markomalley

“Intense and driven, Rather has a reputation for volatility that at times approaches instability.”

Trademark of a liberal activist.


14 posted on 01/25/2018 5:39:36 AM PST by dubyagee ("I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.")
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To: markomalley
On Monday, January 25, 1988, 30 years ago tonight, Americans across the country saw with their own eyes an early example of the ugly liberal media attack machine.

30 years ago? Hell, you can go back 50 years ago to the Kennedy assassination when the press early on jumped on the "right wing" being responsible for causing the assassination. This didn't hold water very well once it was known Oswald was literally a card-carrying Communist.

15 posted on 01/25/2018 5:42:15 AM PST by Flick Lives
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To: Flick Lives

Remember the Dem Convention in 68 Dan got beat up on the convention floor on live TV.

What a tool ..


16 posted on 01/25/2018 5:47:04 AM PST by Col Frank Slade
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To: markomalley
Woohoo luciferian cia daddy smacks down propagandist.
17 posted on 01/25/2018 5:48:13 AM PST by rawcatslyentist ("All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing")
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To: markomalley

Whatever happened to Buckhead?


18 posted on 01/25/2018 5:48:36 AM PST by robroys woman (So you're not confused, I'm male.)
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To: New Jersey Realist
When people in the media started to become celebrities, journalism became progressively worse. It now selects for people driven by ego who want to ‘change the world’, not report accurately on it. From those I've spoken to in the media, coming up the ranks is very cut-throat - particularly in televised media. It's a reasonable assumption that a lot of those who get to major markets and national media jobs are among the most cut-throat and egotistical. I'm sure they aren't all that way, and I don't like painting with a broad brush, but time and again we see this kind of egotism in the media.
19 posted on 01/25/2018 5:58:07 AM PST by neverevergiveup
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To: robroys woman

Buckhead’s post is on display at the First Amendment museum in Washington D.C. The display identifies it exactly for what it is; the power of a free and open internet as a check on institutional media.

I spotted it from far enough away that I could not read the text but I could tell it was a page from FR and I knew immediately what it was.


20 posted on 01/25/2018 5:58:40 AM PST by henkster (YA - russkiy bot)
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