I’m referring to a new documentary on Fox Nation, which is Fox News Channel’s new subscription-based, on-demand streaming service.
Some of you might be asking, “Who the heck is Dan Rather?” Well, in case you’re not familiar with him, Dan Rather began his career in Texas and was on the scene of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas in 1963. His reporting elevated his position in CBS News, where he was The White House correspondent beginning in 1964. He served as foreign correspondent in London and Vietnam over the next two years before returning to The White House correspondent position, covering the Nixon presidency, including the trip to China, Watergate scandal and his ultimate resignation.
When Walter Cronkite (“America’s newsman”) retired in 1981, Rather was promoted to news anchor for the CBS Evening News, a role he then occupied for 24 years. Rather was one of the “Big Three” nightly news anchors in the U.S. from the 1980s through the early 2000s.
Okay, so now let’s get back to the story.
According to Art Moore of WND.com (World Net Daily), “Long before ‘fake news’ became an issue on Capitol Hill, a news story that threatened to derail George W. Bush’s re-election was debunked by bloggers, launching a new era of citizen journalism challenging the establishment-media gatekeepers.”
The report from September of 2004 that led to Dan Rather’s resignation as the anchor of CBS News is the focus of a new documentary, “Black Eye: Dan Rather and the Birth of Fake News.”
In the case being highlighted here, Mr. Rather and his team presented memos, supposedly from 1973, indicating George W. Bush had received special treatment during his time in the Texas Air National Guard that prevented him from be deployed in Vietnam.
“But bloggers who examined the documents posted on the CBS News website found they had been produced by a Microsoft Word processor that didn’t exist in 1973,” added Art Moore of WND.com.
CBS initially defended the documents, but after two weeks of further scrutiny concluded their authenticity could not be proved and called its reporting a “mistake.”
The network fired producer Mary Mapes, and a little more than two months later Dan Rather resigned.
The good guys 1, fake news 0.
CBS later commissioned an “independent panel” that found “serious defects in the reporting and production” of the Sept. 8, 2004, segment on “60 Minutes Wednesday.”
Let’s get a few things clear here:
One, there was no real “independent panel.”
And two, there were no “serious defects in the reporting and production.” The story that was produced and reported on was done so intentionally to discredit George W. Bush.
Just like the hundreds and hundreds of “fake news” stories that have been manufactured and passed on to us as “news” since then all the way up till now.
In a 2006 radio interview, however, Mr. Rather defended his reporting and rejected the CBS panel’s findings.
The network stood by the “panel’s findings.”
No one man is bigger than “the swamp” itself.
The following year, Rather filed a lawsuit against CBS and its former corporate parent, Viacom, claiming he had been made a “scapegoat.” The suit was dismissed in 2009 by the New York State Appeals Court.
Dan Rather, who is now 86, has not commented on the new the documentary…, yet.
He did recently Tweet, however, “It‘s like we’re living through a bad parody of reality television,” he wrote. “But at least when that kind of stuff is on TV you know it isn’t really real and you can chose not to watch.”
Thanks for your input Dan. We can totally relate. It’s just like you were a “bad parody” of an unbiased news anchor.
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Thank you, MrEricksonRules.