Rather A Laughingstock

Dan Rather’s lawsuit has certainly brought about a change in his fortunes. He has managed to get his colleagues in the news media to shift their opinion about him almost overnight. Once regarded as a respected journalist who just got one story wrong and refused to admit it, the lawsuit has generated an outright antagonism among journalists that never existed before. Charles Lane of the Washington Post’s editorial page staff writes a hilarious and pointed attack on Rather’s vanished credibility by declaring the lawsuit a “fake”:

I have obtained new documentary evidence regarding Dan Rather’s relationship with his former bosses at CBS News.
Obviously, I cannot identify my source. But he told me during a collect call from Sofia, Bulgaria, that he has access to Rather’s “personal files” and that his typewriter was built after 1966. To authenticate the document, I showed it to some of my kids’ friends, and they said it was awesome. …
Yes, there is another document making the rounds that suggests that Dan Rather is actually bitter at his former employers. I am referring to the 32-page “lawsuit” in which Rather purportedly accuses various chieftains at CBS of “coercing” him into a false apology for the National Guard broadcast and then muzzling him and starving him of airtime to please the White House.
Clearly, this “lawsuit” is a forgery — and a pretty crude one at that.
No man in Rather’s position would admit that he could be made to apologize for a story he believed was true. A straight-shooting newsman like Dan Rather would have resigned rather than obey an order to lie to the public. …
Finally, no one in his right mind would keep insisting that those phony documents are real and that the Bush National Guard story is true.

Lane not only mocks Rather’s lawsuit, but in this case Rather himself and his mannered use of folksyisms. Lane, who Power Line reminds us had to clean up after the Stephen Glass fiasco at The New Republic, clearly has no use for a newsman of Rather’s former stature attempting to perpetuate journalistic frauds. He uses the ersatz internal Rather memo to remind readers of the occasions where CBS stood by its controversial anchor, including when he raised funds for the Democratic Party, walked off the set and left CBS with several minutes of dead air, and how they paid Rather’s $6 million annual salary for almost two years after the Memogate fiasco, even after they replaced him as anchor.
Howard Kurtz can’t find a single media commentator to say anything positive about Rather’s attempt to speak Conspiracy to Power, except for Mary Mapes, who understandably has a horse in this race. However, Mapes has to be dismayed that the three years since the debacle has not won her or Rather any friends. Indeed, Mapes might qualify as collateral damage to the fallout over Rather’s lawsuit. She has been spared the hostility Rather has received for his lawsuit, but clearly the only two people who believe the CBS story and the memos are Rather and Mapes, and now they’re not even getting the benefit of the “fake but accurate” doubt they received from previously sympathetic media colleagues in the weeks after the story aired.
Both Mapes and Rather have become laughingstocks, and even worse for them, cautionary tales.

30 thoughts on “Rather A Laughingstock”

  1. At least Dan was consistent. Consistently a Democrat shill. They have to give him that much.

    July 18, 2001 — Wednesday night the weekday version of the CBS Evening News finally discovered the Chandra Levy/Gary Condit story. But instead of filling in their ill-informed viewers about Condit’s obfuscation regarding his relationship with Levy, CBS emphasized how “law enforcement sources” believe “that local police have put an ‘inappropriate emphasis’ on the role of Congressman Gary Condit,” whom CBS did not identify as a Democrat.

    (from: https://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20010718_extra.asp )

  2. The memo was ersatz???? Oh my, I believed it…. The hook was the phrase “as the finest journalist any network ever had” — which was a Ratherism of the highest level.

  3. You mean to say that not even Kos and the demented, paranoid, uninformed loony left are standing up for Rather and Mapes? Wow, that is *REALLY* bad.

  4. Danny boy saw the settlement Imus wrung out of Les Moonves, and was as happy as a hound dog hunching the hostess’ leg.
    The difference being, naturally, that Imus’ contract was violated, so he deserved a pay-off. Rather wasn’t fired – he was allowed to retire with dignity (such as remained for him).
    Can’t blame Rather for trying, though . . . as spineless as Moonves is, you never know when he might cough up a few million rather than grow a set.

  5. Oddly enough I see plenty of “fake but accurate” supporters and even the occasional complete defender of Rather’s fakes poking around various sites, political or otherwise.
    I do really hope this gets hashed out some more, because with the slap on the wrist Rather got it will encourage others to do the same – and next time they will probably do it more accurately. As someone else pointed out, if Burkett had bothered to get a typewriter from the 60s, Kerry would be President right now.

  6. Rather is just like that idiot judge who sued over the pants… what a joke. Sad that probably this will be his lasting legacy – fodder for the late night shows. Just another greedy little pig who cannot own up to his actions.

  7. Dan Rather is not a laughingstock. He is a truely evil man who hates this country and has nothing but contempt for the ordinary citizens thereof. He has spent more than fourty years undermining this country.
    Rather is a liar and a traitor. His rotting body should be hanging from a tree, being devoured by vultures and buzzards.

  8. Interesting idea Norseman. I rather doubt that self respecting buzzards and vultures would be interested in his corpse.

  9. Rather got the karma coming to him.
    He got national notice lying about a school in Dallas whose kids supposedly cheered the news of JFK’s assassination.
    And he went out with another fraud.
    How about how many other frauds are stacked between the bookends?

  10. I thought CBS might pay Rather off, just to make him go away.
    On further reflection, they cannot. Either CBS let a trusted anchor go too far with a story, or CBS News willingly misleading the public.
    I think we know what the answer has to be.

  11. Dan Rather is Texan only if you believe Austin, TX is truly representative of Texas!

  12. Consider that Comrade Dan has been a respected leader in the MSM for decades. Consider his breathtaking arrogance (or, perhaps, insanity) in trying to perpetrate this fraud on the American people. Consider the interference other MSM outlets have run for him in the past. Consider the other (ahem) mistakes that the MSM has been caught making in the past few years.
    This is about more than a deranged former anchor.
    “You’ve lied to me about this. You’ve lied to me about that. What else have you lied to me about?”

  13. Richard, you’re right. There is a lot of fraud under that car’s hood. Those weren’t the only 2…
    Everyone involved should have been fired the day the fraud was discovered. Rather should walk away counting himself fortunate he got a paycheck for several years after he finally was pushed out… to just stay off TV. Take his “reputation” such as it was, and walk off with what dignity he had left (which wasn’t much…).
    That he’s finally hit the wall where almost nobody will be caught on the record trying to support him, was a point he was bound to reach. If you insist on fastening yourself to the mast of a sinking ship, you’re eventually going to drown.
    In other news though…
    Am I the only one that has begun to hear Benny Hill music in the background every time you hear Rather speak?

  14. Sort’a like a dead pool. Ya can gamble whether or not Gunga Dan retrieves any money from the pants pocket he left over at Black Rock.
    Whatever C-BS does, however; where they can decide they liked the “Thornburgh “white-wash” approach … Plus, the MILLIONS given to Thornburgh’s law firm …
    I’d be willing to bet that any money that changes hands HAS TO BE DONE IN SECRET.
    That way? People will only see the “case closed.”
    What are the odds for that?
    Where’s Viking01 … when he’s needed! I miss him, so. Our “insider” with a producer’s knowledge of this media; where have you gone?
    Please come back.

  15. I would suggest that Dan advertise Timex watches (like John Cameron Swaze.) He just keeps ticking.

  16. Harry,
    Oh Harry, where are you? You infested this blog last week with your moronic posts in defence of Rather’s story. Surely you aren’t going to let the Captain’s post and these comments stand. Surely you have more “facts” you can share with us.

  17. Rickard Aubrey, ref your question “How about how many other frauds are stacked between the bookends?” (and Norseman, I agree with you.)
    Here’s two of Rather’s other frauds. One is from the late 60’s in the Vietnam War and the other was in the 80’s during the Soviet-Afghan War.
    You can Google these incidents if you’re interested. These were very public when they happened, but which the lefty MSM and lefty CBS and certainly Rather himself would rather people not remember today, as it shows both Rather and CBS is a very bad light:
    1. You might want to look up Rather’s late 60’s Vietnam escapade in which he submitted a story purporting to show evil US troops burning down a Vietnamese village for no reason. That’s the way it was presented on CBS Evening News, by Cronkite.
    Turned out it actually was a mockup village on a US military base in Vietnam that the Marines were using for training purposes, WHICH RATHER KNEW ALL ALONG. But Comrade Dan would rather have US troops look like SS stormtroopers. This shows his backstabbing the US military goes back a long time.
    2. During the Soviet-Afghan war in the 80’s, Rather did a long news story in which he lied and represented as being made inside Afghanistan, with the rebels. Around the campfire with the Afghan guerillas and so forth – all very dramatically photogenic. The recorded story was flown back to the US and shown on CBS Evening News as “Dan Rather from inside Afghanistan”.
    The only problem was that it came out definitely PROVEN that Dan Rather taped that news story INSIDE PAKISTAN and literally never got within 50 miles of the Paki-Afghan border.
    The sleazeball somehow got away with both of those. (Were there others that other folks here with long memories could tell us about? Good question. )No doubt, Danny Boy assumed he could sleaze his way out of Memogate as well. But it looks like his karma finally caught up with him. What went around finally came around.

  18. Okay, I finally managed to jump the fence at the institute then realized that keeping arms raised and elbows apart deters even the best butterfly nets…
    (Out of town, on travel etc.)
    While I appreciate the kind words the best insight into the dangerous ego and pulpit of Gunga Dan Rather is probably by Bernard Goldberg. His books “Bias” and “Arrogance” and perhaps others written since describe how Dan Rather operates. When Dan had influence at See-BS he would hold and keep grudges against any who questioned him, his delivery or his motives. That role has reversed.
    The internet has changed all that. With the help of Matt Drudge’s Report and Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center (such as RBMN has already cited) completely changed the Old Media’s Cosa Nostra in ways which might have scuttled Walter Cronkite’s now seedy reputation long ago had Drudge been born a couple decades earlier.
    The internet caught Rather Red-handed (pun optional) at his game and he still has yet to realize it. Drudge is already onto the GQ scuttling of a story critical of the Clintoons because angry Hillary would refuse future access to Slick for future articles. Typical Old Media behavior shown to be overtly activist again.
    The most I can say for Dan otherwise is he’s become like the toddler who has soiled his diapers , dislikes the sensation, faults his See-BS management parents for making him wear them and for their sending Dan to the diaper pail along with his garments. Now he seeks to blame a new media Huggies / Pampers sanitary-industrial complex, perhaps the Pentagon too, for confining the nether regions of himself and other smelly media infants in different media which have absorbed, neutralized and disinfected his typically aromatic / scatological commentaries against any of the DNC’s political opponents that Mr. Rather dislikes.

  19. I think Dan should move to Nevada and run for Senator. He would be perfect competition for Harry Reid!!!

  20. This sounds like the way so many of Imus’ buddies turned against him once he got hung out to dry over the Rutgers women’s basketball thing.
    I don’t give these guys that many kudos for dumping on Dan. It’s easy to do now that he’s made himself a pariah.
    Maybe what they don’t like is that his resurrection of memogate has the potential to turn the spotlight on a lot of their own work. And maybe a lot of that work doesn’t hold up to extra scrutiny either.

  21. Vikingo1, you have arrived!
    Did ya bring back a tee-shirt for us kids?
    Since I see Dan Blather as farce; and C-BS as more than welcome to having to decide, by calling in more suits, what to do “next” …
    I can imagine it’s a lot of money down the sink hole.
    Wonder if Thornburgh charges his usual hourly fees?
    And, what happens, when group think sets in?
    Seems, like Stinky Dan would not be in the mood to “take money” … if it includes a “silencing” clause? So, that’s the “pickle juice” for the suits.
    Anyhoo. From here it looks like Dan Rather’s been punished to sharing Nixon’s travails,after his fall from grace. Dan, the Hurricane Man, never even saw it coming!
    While nothing that happens at Black Rock comes cheap.
    And, of all the ironies, this won’t boost Katie Couric’s ratings, one bit, either.
    When they pulled the plug on IMUS, it COST THEM MONEY! Because they lost the advertisers. When Dan finally exited, thoughm See-BS was in such lousy shape; it hasn’t regained either stature, or sales revenues. Just like vaudeville. Dead. The audience just stopped coming.
    The Internet, however, SCORES AGAIN! Around the world. Keeping us all free as birds.

  22. I too, immediately thought of the crazy like a fox persistant pants (law)suiter with his use of the legal system to harass and punish the Chinese dry cleaners and the sad thing is that the dry cleaners had to close their business because of a loss of customers and owed legal fees. Rather,too, is crazy like a fox and there is something he hopes to get out of this and we don’t have it figured out yet (at least I don’t)

  23. godsaves said:
    “I think Dan should move to Nevada and run for Senator. He would be perfect competition for Harry Reid!!!”
    No Thanks!!!!
    We already have a dog catcher that’s well qualified to take over for Harry.

  24. “Howard Kurtz can’t find a single media commentator to say anything positive about Rather’s attempt to speak Conspiracy to Power…”
    Apparently Howard hadn’t yet heard from that fellow with the hair like a Yeti, former host of a show called Nightlies, or something like that.

  25. The San Francisco Examiner said

    Rather also grew emotional when he revealed that many of his family members and “people who love me very dearly” had urged him not to file the lawsuit.

    Dan Rather has apparently joined Cindy Sheehan on the family estrangement front. It probably won’t get as bad as a divorce, but it’s the same road Cindy took, with the same potential pain, because the windmills are dead.
    Rather needs to consider alternative means of rehabilitating his reputation. As a simple example, he can get a puff piece published in either Readers’ Digest or Parade Magazine. All manner of misbehaving Hollywood stars have taken that route to put their better side before the American people and thus to gain forgiveness for their transgressions.

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