Defending Dan? Rather Not

by JACK RANDOM

The buzzards are circling, the scent of fresh kill wafts through the newsrooms, trickles down and spreads, engulfing talk radio and sweeping through the internet. The sharks are poised and the operatives sharpen their daggers. Dan Rather, the logical successor to Walter Cronkite at the vanguard of American journalism, is down and bleeding. Move in for a close up.

Shall we rise in defense of Dan Rather? Sorry, Dan, rather not.

In truth, Dan Rather’s star fell from the sky long ago when he killed the story of an insider’s expose of the great tobacco industry lie.

Dan Rather, you are no Walter Cronkite.

When he donned the uniform of an embedded journalist (an oxymoron if ever there was one), it only confirmed what we already knew. Corruption is absolute. A once proud and honorable journalist had become a stooge for his corporate sponsors.

For those who insist that Rather was trying to make amends, trying to set the record straight, trying to stand up against the pervasive cowardice of his trade, take a step back and look at what he and his CBS brethren have accomplished: The story of George W’s cowardly evasion of military service in Vietnam is dead. Not a whimper will be heard from now until election day.

Was he duped? The obvious analogy is the Nigerian yellow cake document used by the Bush administration to paint a picture of the mushroom cloud as a pretense for war in Iraq. It was an obvious forgery, a juvenile piece of work, and one that Colin Powell refused to place on the record before the United Nations Security Council. The bogus Killian memos were so obvious they were exposed within seconds of airing. If Dan Rather was duped, he was done in by his own people for their own reasons.

Dan and CBS News were used by Karl Rove and the dirty tricks machine. Like Colin Powell at the United Nations, it could not be done without their complicity. Rather got his orders (put out the story as written) and he carried them out like a good little soldier.

It is not necessary to defend Dan Rather. He will be defended by people in high places. By the end of this ordeal, he will be the portrait of a victim and all America will cry out for mercy. If the powers have their way, he will rise again to even greater prominence. Soon enough he will be put out to pasture with all the accolades of an American hero.

Walter Cronkite will know better. Dan Rather is not alone in having betrayed his profession and his country in its hours of greatest need. Where is his apology for willingly promoting a war he knew to be immoral, illegal and unfounded? His place is in the Journalism Hall of Shame.

There are things that should not be forgiven.

The unfortunate truth is: Dan Rather is the symbol of journalism in America. He is the epitome of a once proud profession that sold its soul. And the stench of a dying rat will be his just epitaph.

JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES, THE WAR CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). HIS COMMENTARIES HAVE BEEN POSTED WIDELY. SEE WWW.JACKRANDOM.COM.



Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Vacy Vlanza
Without BDS, Palestine is Alone
Laura Finley
Adjunct Professors and Worker’s Rights
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode Three, Where We Thrill Everyone by Playing Like “Utter Bloody Garbage”
Weekend Edition
July 24-26, 2015
Mike Whitney
Picked Out a Coffin Yet? Take Ibuprofen and Die
Henry Giroux
America’s New Brutalism: the Death of Sandra Bland
Rob Urie
Capitalism, Engineered Dependencies and the Eurozone
Michael Lanigan
Lynn’s Story: an Irish Woman in Search of an Abortion
Paul Street
Deleting Crimes at the New York Times: Airbrushing History at the Paper of Record
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications
Andrew Levine
After the Iran Deal: Israel is Down But Far From Out
Uri Avnery
Sheldon’s Stooges: Netanyahu and the King of Vegas
David Swanson
George Clooney Paid by War Profiteers
ANDRE VLTCHEK
They Say Paraguay is in Africa: Mosaic of Horror
Horace G. Campbell
Obama in Kenya: Will He Cater to the Barons or the People?
Michael Welton
Surviving Together: Canadian Public Tradition Under Threat
Rev. William Alberts
American Imperialism’s Military Chaplains
Yorgos Mitralias
Black Days: August 4th,1914 Germany and July 13th, 2015 Greece