News & Politics

Dan Rather: Tanned, Rested, and Ready to Report Stuff That May or May Not Be True

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Daniel Irvin Rather, Jr. is 86 years young. That’s an age when most Americans, if they’re still kicking, start contemplating what’s next. They’ve had a good run, and it’s time to start planning a dignified exit. Time to start thinking about what sort of legacy they’re leaving for future generations. Time to go out with a little grace.

Not Dan Rather, though!

Oliver Darcy, CNN:

Former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather wasn’t too familiar with The Young Turks Network when he took a meeting with the online progressive news network’s founder and chief executive officer, Cenk Uygur …

On Monday, Rather will premiere “The News With Dan Rather,” a 30-minute show that The Young Turks Network is billing as an “untraditional evening newscast,” made available weekly at 5:30 p.m. ET. The program will focus on original reporting, stories that Rather believes are not receiving the amount of attention they deserve, and analysis of the hot topics of the day.

Well, it’s either that or shuffleboard.

Dan used to be the anchor of the CBS Evening News. Darcy’s story mentions that, but doesn’t explain why Rather left the network. Let me Google that … Oh yeah, now I remember!

Back in 2004, Dan Rather anchored a 60 Minutes II report on George W. Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard in the early ’70s. The report included several memos that were supposedly written at the time, critical of Bush’s military service. The problem was, as former Earthling Charles Johnson soon discovered, the exact same documents could be created in Microsoft Word 30 years later. Here’s one example, courtesy of Johnson:

The memos were amateurish forgeries, typed up in Word and then photocopied over and over until they looked “old.” Rather got snookered. He wanted to alter the course of history, so he believed what he needed to believe.

He was booted from CBS a few months later, but to this day he insists the memos were real. A few years ago, somebody even made a pro-Rather movie about the whole debacle, hilariously titled Truth. Unfortunately for ol’ Dan, nobody saw it.

Dan Rather tried to end GWB’s career, but ended his own instead. Over the past decade he’s knocked around a few places, HDNet and the like. CNN and MSNBC have him on as a guest from time to time, because they’ve given up attracting viewers who don’t already hate Republicans. He’s treated as an elder statesman by lefties, but to the rest of us he’s just a sad joke.

Now he’s fallen about as far as a professional journalist can fall: accepting a paycheck from Cenk Uygur.

It might seem mean to kick an old man when he’s down, because it definitely is. But that fiasco in ’04 helped bring us to where we are today. Our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the media propped up the Democrat and did everything possible to bring down the Republican, and people noticed. I know I did. That was the moment when my attitude toward the Dems and their media enablers went from “skeptical” to “I want revenge.” It was so blatant, and the charlatans responsible were so unapologetic, that they made me their enemy.

The media’s behavior was even worse in 2008, and by 2012 they just didn’t give a damn anymore. They wanted their team in power, and they didn’t care if we liked it or not.

That’s one reason Trump won. He declared war on the media, and they were more than happy to return fire. Any remaining pretense that they were unbiased observers was shattered. So if you were sick of how McCain and Palin and Romney and all the other Republicans were treated over the years, you could register your disapproval at the ballot box. Sure, you were just trading one liar for another, but at least it would be the liar your enemies hated. If you couldn’t have justice, at least you could have schadenfreude.

This is the world Dan Rather helped make. With this new show, he has an opportunity to admit he lied and get himself right with God. I hope he does the honorable thing, but it seems unlikely. That dog is far too old to learn any new tricks.