Defending Dan? Rather Not


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.


Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
Halyna Mokrushyna
On Ukraine’s ‘Incorrect’ Past
Jason Cone
Even Wars Have Rules: a Fact Sheet on the Bombing of Kunduz Hospital
Walter Brasch
Mass Murders are Good for Business
William Hadfield
Sophistry Rising: the Refugee Debate in Germany
Christopher Brauchli
Why the NRA Profits From Mass Shootings
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
Pete Dolack
There is Still Time to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Marc Norton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
David Rosen
If Donald Dump Was President
Dave Lindorff
America’s Latest War Crime
Ann Garrison
Sankarist Spirit Resurges in Burkina Faso
Franklin Lamb
Official Investigation Needed After Afghan Hospital Bombing
Linn Washington Jr.
Wrongs In Wine-Land
Ronald Bleier
Am I Drinking Enough Water? Sneezing’s A Clue
Charles R. Larson
Prelude to the Spanish Civil War: Eduard Mendoza’s “An Englishman in Madrid”
David Yearsley
Papal Pop and Circumstance
October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?