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At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: RgrF
Date: September 21, 2022 01:15AM
Posted to the wrong side - admins may want to bury it over there.

Why Am I Speaking Out?
The truth is what it is
Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner
Sep 21, 2022

Of all the messages I have shared over my career, as a field reporter, from the anchor chair, and most recently through my platforms on social media and this Steady newsletter, this is among the most important. At least to me personally.

I hope those of you who have followed and supported me help me share it widely. I hope those who have been my critics read it with an open mind.

For what I wish to share is an answer to a question that has animated my life now for many years.

It is a question that I ask myself daily in an effort to keep myself honest.

It is a question that my longtime collaborator on these recent efforts — Elliot Kirschner — and I have discussed over hours of conversation and long text message chains.

The question has a lot of complexity around it, but it can be boiled down to one word: Why?

Why have I taken such a strong position in opposition to Donald Trump, the public officials and others who have supported him, and what they represent?

Why do I spend so much time talking about and analyzing the political environment of the United States?

Why am I so consistently focused on this story?

I am not blind to the fact that there are people out there who, though they don’t know me personally, have made judgements about my political beliefs and the fairness with which I have done my job.

I often say, because I believe it, that I am not left wing, right wing, or chicken wing. I’m just another American who loves this country and is trying as best I can to do my job. I acknowledge I am flawed, as all humans are. And I have made my mistakes.

But I can honestly say I have tried to follow a journalist credo I learned as a cub reporter more than 70 years ago — pull no punches, play no favorites, ask questions of those who need to be held accountable.

Another part of this credo was that our job is to report and not to advocate. Our role in American democracy is to be a check on power, regardless of which political party is in power. Whatever beliefs we have on a particular policy position or candidate should have no bearing on how we report the facts. It is up to others to decide what to do with the news we share.

I have always liked the quote from a character in an Oscar Wilde play who said, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” It’s a reminder that life is full of context and complexity. It’s an important caution for journalists against painting the world with a brush of simplicity.

We should hold ourselves as arbiters of truth, while recognizing we can only aspire to get as close to the truth as is humanly possible. And truths for one era can prove to be a distorted lens for viewing another.

Take a long-held truth in newsrooms that journalists should cover political stories from a position of equivalence between the two major parties. But what if the truth of our current time strikes at the very bedrock notion of apolitical fairness?

With the rise of Donald Trump, I came to the conclusion early that this man could pose a danger to the fundamental nature of the United States as a constitutional republic based on the principles of democracy. I desperately hoped that I was wrong, but I saw a man who stoked division, scapegoated, lied with reckless impunity, and had no regard for the norms by which our nation has functioned.

Over the course of his run for the presidency, his time in office, and the wake of his defeat in the 2020 election, everything we have learned and witnessed further and more completely confirms his unfitness for office. It has only escalated the danger he poses to the safety and security of the nation.

We have also seen that the pestilence he embodies is not limited to him. It has spread throughout the Republican Party, as evidenced by the number of people in office and running for office who have embraced his bile, his lies, and his authoritarian instincts.

This isn’t a matter of conjecture. These are the stated, public positions of the former president, his enablers, and those who pay fealty to him — which at this point represents the majority of Republican officeholders.

This is the truth.

The truth is that to elect Donald Trump in 2024 would be to create the very real possibility of ending democracy as we know it.

The truth is that electing governors and secretaries of state who wish to undermine free and fair elections could very well end democracy as we know it.

The truth is that a federal judiciary stocked with Trump judges eager to do his bidding could very well end democracy as we know it.

I don’t think it is controversial to say any of this. Or it shouldn’t be. There are many rank and file Republicans who see this truth and haven’t been afraid to say it. This isn’t about politics per se, as in a competition for votes and ideas around specific policies. And this isn’t to suggest that Democrats are right on any particular issue, be it taxes, education, immigration, you name it. I continue to believe that people of good faith can disagree about remedies and causes for action. That is what a healthy democracy is all about.

But there should be areas where there is no disagreement, regardless of political party.

You can’t disagree about whether a loser of a fair election has lost, or should summon up a violent mob to hold on to office.

You can’t disagree about whether a former president should be above the law.

You can’t disagree about whether corruption should go unpunished.

You can’t disagree about whether it’s okay to lie.

It gives me no joy to be in this position, to see the country and people I love in a place of danger. I have spent my life in journalism, and I see so many stories around the world worthy of our attention. But I don’t think there is a bigger story than the current threat to American democracy. It weaves together so many of the threads of our national tapestry. It is about power and race and the rule of law and economic opportunity and the very notion of what freedom should be.

I am about to enter my 92nd year as a citizen of these United States. As long as I have my health and my voice, I am going to use it to share what I see. If it means writing about this threat over and over and over again, so be it. If it fuels some people’s misconceptions about me, so be it. If it shapes my reputation and how I am remembered, so be it. I have lived my life. I have earned my livelihood. If I am reluctant to speak, what example would that set for others who don’t have my privilege?

To my fellow journalists, I know this is difficult. We are in uncharted waters. The old rules for covering politics no longer apply. In the end, false equivalence is just another way of obscuring the truth from your readers and viewers.

The truth is what it is. It is damning. It is dangerous. And it is the direct result of those who are undermining our democracy.

Not the ones calling them out on it.

—-

Note: If you are not already a subscriber to our Steady newsletter, please consider joining us. And we always appreciate you sharing our content with others and leaving your thoughts in the comments.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2022 02:04AM by RgrF.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 21, 2022 02:41AM
Mr Rather. I’m 20+ years your junior but, I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades” of President John F. Kennedy or the drunken, murderous acts of his brother Senator Ted Kennedy.

When did you decide to grow a conscious? old fogey smiley.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: RgrF
Date: September 21, 2022 03:27AM
People believe. It's what people do. You're blinded by your long held political beliefs, so be it!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2022 03:33AM by RgrF.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: Sam3
Date: September 21, 2022 04:31AM
Quote
testcase
Mr Rather. I’m 20+ years your junior but, I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades” of President John F. Kennedy or the drunken, murderous acts of his brother Senator Ted Kennedy.

When did you decide to grow a conscious? old fogey smiley.

I'm sorry, but that is incorrect. The Chappaquiddick incident was reported far and wide. I remember it as a kid. Back then national news was news and they didn't report on lascivious escapades unless there was a larger story behind them (except for those "aliens are living among us" tabloids.)



The arts are not luxuries but assets that give way more than they cost.
--Ronald Tucker on YouTube

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.
--Frank Zappa
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: September 21, 2022 06:19AM
Quote
testcase
Mr Rather. I’m 20+ years your junior but, I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades” of President John F. Kennedy or the drunken, murderous acts of his brother Senator Ted Kennedy.

When did you decide to grow a conscious? old fogey smiley.

BUT her emails!!



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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: zachdog
Date: September 21, 2022 07:03AM
Quote
Tiangou
Quote
testcase
Mr Rather. I’m 20+ years your junior but, I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades” of President John F. Kennedy or the drunken, murderous acts of his brother Senator Ted Kennedy.

When did you decide to grow a conscious? old fogey smiley.

BUT her emails!!

This.

Whenever anything related to accountability is mentioned, many so-called conservatives change the narrative by complaining about Hillary or Hunter. There is NO comparison to insurrection, espionage, and possible treason. None.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2022 07:04AM by zachdog.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: September 21, 2022 08:14AM
Love Dan.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: Acer
Date: September 21, 2022 08:29AM
But Dan pulled no punches when it came to Coolidge, let me tell you.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 21, 2022 08:36AM
I recently came across a recent Dan Rather interview. He's slowing down a bit but he's not stopping. Glad to see he's still doing what he can. Its something to aspire to.



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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 21, 2022 11:04AM
Quote
testcase
Mr Rather. I’m 20+ years your junior but, I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades” of President John F. Kennedy or the drunken, murderous acts of his brother Senator Ted Kennedy.

When did you decide to grow a conscious? old fogey smiley.

He probably decided to speak up when democracy became threatened. Other than that small detail, your comment is just super relevant almost.

What about George Washington? Should we first go back in time and have a conversation with him about the cherry tree, before staying on topic and dealing with the issues of today?

These Original Sin arguments aka “you’re a hypocrite” are a hoot.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: September 21, 2022 11:22AM
Quote
testcase
Mr Rather. I’m 20+ years your junior but, I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades” of President John F. Kennedy or the drunken, murderous acts of his brother Senator Ted Kennedy.

When did you decide to grow a conscious? old fogey smiley.

Horse puckey.



It is what it is.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 21, 2022 03:15PM
But there should be areas where there is no disagreement, regardless of political party.

You can’t disagree about whether a loser of a fair election has lost, or should summon up a violent mob to hold on to office.

You can’t disagree about whether a former president should be above the law.

You can’t disagree about whether corruption should go unpunished.

You can’t disagree about whether it’s okay to lie.



One would think so, and yet..


I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades”


Probably illegal?

And you're giving this equivalency to what 45* and his ilk are doing to the country?

Interesting sense of priorities.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 23, 2022 12:41PM
Quote
testcase
Mr Rather. I’m 20+ years your junior but, I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades” of President John F. Kennedy or the drunken, murderous acts of his brother Senator Ted Kennedy.

When did you decide to grow a conscious? old fogey smiley.

It wasn’t until Clinton that Republicans became aware that everybody was having sex and they’ve been working hard ever since to stop this from happening.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: TheCaber
Date: September 23, 2022 04:11PM
Quote
Speedy
Quote
testcase
Mr Rather. I’m 20+ years your junior but, I CANNOT remember your voice or the voices of ANY media personnel calling to task the lascivious (and probably illegal) “escapades” of President John F. Kennedy or the drunken, murderous acts of his brother Senator Ted Kennedy.

When did you decide to grow a conscious? old fogey smiley.

It wasn’t until Clinton that Republicans became aware that everybody was Democrats were having sex and they’ve been working hard ever since to stop this from happening.

*FTFY



=TC
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 27, 2022 05:32PM
I still think it's sad he threw away his career over documents he insisted were authentic when anyone looking at them knew they weren't.
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Re: At 92 Dan Rather's not yet done; he has something to say...
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: September 27, 2022 06:52PM
Quote
Bill in NC
I still think it's sad he threw away his career over documents he insisted were authentic when anyone looking at them knew they weren't.

His producer coached and deceived corroborating witnesses and distorted their statements, told him that the docs were thoroughly authenticated, and lied to him about the source of the documents.

He vouched for the entire news team and supported them publicly until it became absolutely clear that the documents were forged, and he ultimately he took the fall like a gentleman. Except for that producer and the supervisors who allegedly instructed her to take shortcuts to get the story on-air, his people kept their jobs.

...And while the documents were forgeries, to-date the claims that they were supporting about Bush's dishonorable service have never been contradicted by any witnesses.



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