23 Feb

Dan Rather Slams New Media’s Hagel Coverage

Pot meet kettle:

On Thursday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather appeared on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” to rebuke new media outlets for, in his view, tarnishing American journalism.

Rather said good reporting was in decline, and with the “new Internet,” “traditional journalism” remains “so susceptible to manipulation, deception, and distraction that it allows lies to get started and then spread like mildew in a damp basement.”

Rather and Schultz were criticizing conservative new media outlets like Breitbart News for writing stories about President Barack Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s refusal to disclose financial documents in his confirmation hearings.

Rather sorrowfully recounted his glory days, when the American mainstream media “was the gold standard for the world.” If a reporter received false information from a source, he claimed, “he found it out because he wore out shoe leather, he made telephone calls, his organization had other reporters who would check it out, and they’ve exposed the lie.”

Rather resigned from CBS News in 2004 when bloggers—not the anchor or his peers—proved he based an election-year report on forged documents which he claimed were evidence that former President George W. Bush went AWOL from National Guard duty in the 1970s.

Rather continued by saying Americans need to be reminded of what he believed was the shoddy journalism of conservative new media outlets because “there is a residue of people who say, listen, it was in the newspaper, it must be true, or it was on television, it must be true.”

Yet without new media, Rather’s report about Bush’s National Guard service would have been taken as fact by millions of viewers.

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About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.

28 Responses to Dan Rather Slams New Media’s Hagel Coverage

  1. Disenchanted says: 1

    Journalism is going down the tubes for making up the news. Plain and simple. For the record dan rather was part of this debacle making up the news and lying. Boo hoo danny – get lost

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  2. Greg says: 2

    Dan Rather didn’t actually make up the news. Both CBS and Dan Rather had been lied to by Bill Burkett, an ex-lieutenant colonel in the Texas Guard, who deliberately covered up the fact that the documents he presented to them might be forgeries.

    Rather’s journalistic error was to have placed too much trust a questionable source. He didn’t fabricate the story.

    Rather’s level of personal and journalistic integrity is vastly superior to the current-day standard. Take FOX New’s extravagant pre-election fabrications concerning Benghazi, for example. Not only does the level of journalistic integrity occasionally reach historic lows; they’re playing to a level of gullibility that sometimes seems to reach historic highs.

    I suppose it might be the same human failing we saw Rather exhibit on at least one occasion: a willing suspension of disbelief. People are biased when they evaluate evidence that seems to support conclusions they would like to be true.

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  3. retire05 says: 3

    @Greg:

    If a reporter received false information from a source, he claimed, “he found it out because he wore out shoe leather, he made telephone calls, his organization had other reporters who would check it out, and they’ve exposed the lie.”

    Yet, Rather didn’t apply those same standards to his own false reporting.

    From your own link:

    . For a week, CBS staunchly defended the documents against a stream of experts’ opinions that they were fake

    Dan Rather, his producers, and CBS all had a responsibility to make sure that what they were telling the American people was, in fact, true. But Rather, and the management at CBS, wanted so desparately to try to sell that snake oil to the American people, they were willing to try to continue to push the fake documents even after they were told the documents were fake. CBS went on to claim that certain “experts” had certified the documents as authentic, until those very “experts” came out publically saying the opposite. Mary Mapes took the axe first, then Rather. Rather even lost his law suit against CBS. To this day, Rather claims that no one has ever proved the documents were NOT fakes. He lies.

    Oh, but the Rather connection is even deeper than what is suspected. Dan Rather’s daughter, Robin, was good friends with Travis County Prosecuting Attorney, Ronnie Earle, who was going after Tom DeLay, and a number of other Texas Republicans. It was Earle, who told Rather’s daughter, about the faked documents. Those documents were then passed on by some “unknown” to a CBS representative at the Houston Livestock Show. Ronnie Earle, who facilitated the whole scandal, hated George W. Bush with a purple passion.

    Dan Rather now resides in Texas where he is hated, and is trying to resesitate his failed career. How the mighty have fallen.

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  4. retire05 says: 4

    @Greg:

    Take FOX New’s extravagant pre-election fabrications concerning Benghazi, for example.

    The lamestream media will not report on Benghazi. Four Americans died because Obama, and Hillary Clinton, did not do their jobs. But they LSM has to protect its Chosen One so they ignore the story. But the American people have not ignored it. We don’t like our politicians letting Americans die.

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  5. Carl says: 5

    @Greg:

    Take FOX New’s extravagant pre-election fabrications concerning Benghazi, for example.

    What Fabrications? That Obama and Hillary were both absent from the scene during the critical hours. Or that it was not due to a video as claimed.

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  6. Nan G says: 6

    The Watergate standard had been TWO independent sources or else Woodward and Bernstein’s ”facts” went unpublished.
    By the time of CBS’s Bush/Nat’l Guard story it was an unknown source (who never has been found) and an original ”memo” from before computers that was supposed to have been written on an IBM Selectric but that had letters smushed together as only computer programs such as WordPerfect do in modern times.
    See it overlaid by wordperfect here:
    http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd432/mijacat/throbbing-memo.gif
    So NEGATIVE two sources.
    Not POSITIVE two sources.
    Dan Rather has no shame!

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  7. Greg says: 7

    @retire05, #3:

    Surely you don’t believe that one instance of falling for a story from an unreliable source characterizes an entire career.

    If so, there’s the small matter of George W. Bush and Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, also known as Curveball. Why was any information from that guy taken at face value? Everyone who dealt with him knew he was a liar. Yet Bush told the American that Iraq had built mobile chemical weapons labs, based entirely on that source–because the lie was useful.

    Dan Rather didn’t get over 4,000 loyal American soldiers killed for a lie, did he?

    Dan Rather now resides in Texas where he is hated, and is trying to resesitate his failed career. How the mighty have fallen.

    No doubt. Texas seems to have quite a few haters. I respect the state enough to assume that they’re in no way typical, however.

    So far as how far the mighty have fallen goes, the GOP didn’t even want their most recent White House occupants to show up at their national presidential conventions. Apparently they didn’t want to remind the American people of what happened the last time.

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  8. retire05 says: 8

    @Greg:

    Surely you don’t believe that one instance of falling for a story from an unreliable source characterizes an entire career.

    How do you know it was only one instance of Rather reporting things that were not true? He’s been a rabid left winger for decades.

    Rather didn’t get over 4,000 American soldiers killed, did he?

    Hypocritical of you to be so concerned about the number of our military dead under Bush, yet you are mute on the 1,811 military dead under Obama, the dead Border Patrol agent, dead because of Obama’s DoJ policies and four dead Americans in Benghazi. But then, if you progressives didn’t have standards of hypocracy, you would have absolute no standards, at all.

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  9. retire05 says: 9

    @Greg:

    No doubt. Texas seems to have quite a few haters. I respect the state enough to assume that they’re in no way typical, however.

    Nope. Constitutionalists. Shame you don’t know the difference.

    So far as how far the mighty have fallen goes, the GOP didn’t even want their most recent White House occupants to show up at their national presidential conventions

    Bush declined. He said when he left the White House he was going to stay out of politics. Too bad Jimmah Cater and Bubba don’t follow his example. Nothing more pathetic that a former president trying to stay relevant.

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  10. another vet says: 10

    Dan Rather didn’t get over 4,000 loyal American soldiers killed for a lie, did he?

    100% total left wing lies and revisionist history. I spent 2 tours there and we weren’t lied to. Ask the majority who served there and they will tell you the same. As for the labs, I personally know someone who was inside one of them and said they were exactly as Colin Powell described them when he went before the U.N. I’ll take the word of an SF Team Sgt who was there any day over whatever source you can come up with.

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  11. retire05 says: 11

    @another vet:

    What do you know? Just because you served two tours in Iraq, are we to think that you know more than the Democrat politicians who voted to use our military forces against Iraq and then flip-flopped when the biggest flip-flopper of them all, John Kerry, decided to run for POTUS? How dare you dispute our Democrat politicans/press?

    You can’t convince those whose minds are already destroy by progressive propaganda, another vet.

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  12. another vet says: 12

    @retire05: They know everything about everything and if the facts don’t support their opinions, they’ll just change them. The left told us the reason we went to war in Iraq was for the oil. Where’s it at? Then they said the big reason for our deficits was the Iraq War. It’s been over with for two years now. Look at the deficits. As for your last statement, it’s one of the reasons I’ve cut way back on debating those on the left. Let them believe what they want. I’m coming to the conclusion that there is no way we can coexist anymore and a split would probably be best for both sides. Perhaps you in Texas can lead the way.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/14/sprj.irq.labs/

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  13. Greg says: 13

    Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi has publicly admitted that he made up the story about the mobile labs and the bio-weapons program. There’s a video. His confession is a matter of public record.

    I can’t blame an Iraqi for wanting the Saddam Hussein regime brought down, but that doesn’t mean it was the job of the United States to do it. Nor am I sure who appreciated it more–the Iraqi people, or the government of Iran.

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  14. Greg says: 14

    The story concerning the mobile bio-labs supposedly found in Iraq was pulled almost immediately–in the case of CNN, the same day it appeared. The meme that labs had been found was successfully injected into the public consciousness, however, and has remained ever since.

    Similar use was made of a story about a few chemical shells that were found in remote Iraqi locations. It was subsequently determined that they dated from the days of the Iraq/Iran war, and were so old that they were beyond the point where they could have been used as effective weapons.

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  15. another vet says: 15

    @Greg: Again, I’ll take the word of an SF Team Sgt who was physically there over whatever source you said. Perhaps the story was pulled because it wasn’t supposed to have been released? As for the shells that were found, wrong again. It wasn’t a few, it was several hundred. The links and evidence have been posted here numerous times before. At this stage of the game anyone who has posted here for any length of time and is still claiming there weren’t any WMD in Iraq is either lying or suffering so bad from Bush derangement syndrome that they can’t be reasoned with. And, has been prover here numerous times before, dems who supported the war and even those who didn’t (Ted Kennedy etc.) claimed Saddam had WMD in many cases BEFORE Bush was POTUS. If Bush was lying, then so are the dems. But of course, the left never accepts responsibility for anything.

    ReplyReply
  16. johngalt says: 16

    @another vet:

    The obvious seems to be overlooked by the left on this issue. It is now accepted that Syria has chemical weapons of mass destruction. Where did they get them? Saddam most definitely had them prior to our going there. Where did his go?

    To believe a madman, who in court still assumed that he had some kind of power over that court (up until his neck was broke), would WILLINGLY give up, or destroy, the weapons that everyone knew he had, is to engage in a complete suspension of disbelief, and accept that fantasy is reality.

    Saddam sent his weapons to Syria, where his Baathist buddies retained power, when it seemed inevitable that the US and it’s allies would invade.

    ReplyReply
  17. Richard Wheeler says: 17

    A.V. “The left knows everything about everything”
    Would that be like J.G. in #16? Whir of helicopters.

    I think a reasonable,intelligent,productive debate can take place between the right and the left.People like Word and Aye in discussion with people like Larry and Tom.
    Too much noise and B.S from the extremes as evidenced here at F.A.

    Semper Fi

    ReplyReply
  18. another vet says: 18

    @Richard Wheeler: What exactly did JG say in #16 that had anything to do with helicopters? I agree with his statement. The fact is, the WMD issue has been addressed numerous times here. Claiming that a few were discovered when in fact several hundred were found is a gross misrepresentation of historical facts and proves my point about how if the facts don’t support their opinions, they’ll change them. The only debatable issue left on the matter is if he had newer WMD and if so, how much. The answer to that question is most likely classified. Personally I believe they were destroyed, sent to Syria, and/or buried. Evidence has been posted here before supporting that. As for huge stockpiles, I think he may not have had as much as we thought but a little bit of that stuff goes a long way. Keep in mind, old or new, he wasn’t supposed to have any WMD.

    ReplyReply
  19. retire05 says: 19

    @another vet:

    What exactly did JG say in #16 that had anything to do with helicopters?

    It was meant to infer that JG is nothing more than a conspiracy nutcase who should not be paid attention to. It’s like calling someone a “racist” and then demanding they prove they are not.

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  20. another vet says: 20

    @johngalt: The left is going to believe what they are going to believe no matter what. Irrefutable evidence could be presented and they’ll still deny it. When I told one know it all lefty about how some folks in my unit and myself witnessed a missile get taken out by a Patriot, he told me that Saddam didn’t have missiles and that I had my head up my ass for believing he did. If he wasn’t my parent’s good neighbor, our conversation would have ended up quite differently. You simply can’t debate or reason with people like that. They know everything about everything.

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  21. another vet says: 21

    @retire05: The people we should really be listening to are the lefties who claim it was a missile that slammed into the Pentagon and that Bush blew up the WTC. Jesse Ventura and Rosie, where are you?

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  22. retire05 says: 22

    @another vet:

    The fact is, the WMD issue has been addressed numerous times here. Claiming that a few were discovered when in fact several hundred were found is a gross misrepresentation of historical facts and proves my point about how if the facts don’t support their opinions, they’ll change them.

    What do we know? We do know that Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame’s liar husband, claimed that there was no effort on the part of Saddam to purchase yellow cake. Yet, we also know that in 2008, 500 tons of Iraqi yellow cake was transferred to Canada, where it was purchased. We will be told that the yellow cake was beyond its shelf life, but no one is willing to say why someone in Canada would be willing to pay millions of $$ for an ineffective product.

    We also know that the chemical weapons were being supplied to Iraq by Russia and France. Ummm, where have we heard those names? Why yes, it was France that supplied weapons to the AQ based Libyan rebels, and it is France and Russia that are supplying weapons to Assad. And we have been told that Assad has chemical weapons, chemical weapons that he didn’t seem to have prior to our invasion of Iraq.

    Deny the dot to dot and you can deny that Saddam has WMDs immediately prior to our invasion of Iraq.

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  23. Greg says: 23

    @another vet, #15:

    I’m not suggesting that the SF Team Sgt didn’t see some sort of mobile laboratory facility, but I think it would probably take a knowledgeable chemist or technician to know for certain the purpose of the equipment he was looking at. It might even require sophisticated testing to know for sure.

    We’re all inclined to jump to conclusions based on our expectations. We all tend to assemble pieces into the patterns we’re looking for.

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  24. another vet says: 24

    @retire05: Some folks trust what Saddam said and did kind of like FDR trusting “Uncle Joe” Stalin as he so fondly called him despite all the evidence of what he was doing to those under his control. More than one Iraqi told us that as soon as we finished Saddam we should take out France. It’s probably a good thing they didn’t send troops there because those who were on our side probably would have attacked them making a difficult situation even more difficult.

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  25. Greg says: 25

    @retire05, #22:

    The Nigerian documents regarding Saddam’s supposed efforts to purchase yellowcake have long been known to be forgeries. Wikipedia covers the topic well. If you don’t trust Wikipedia, follow the footnotes provided to the original sources.

    Further, in March 2003, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released results of his analysis of the documents. Reportedly, it took IAEA officials only a matter of hours to determine that these documents were fake. Using little more than a Google search, IAEA experts discovered indications of a crude forgery, such as the use of incorrect names of Nigerien officials. As a result, the IAEA reported to the U.N. Security Council that the documents were “in fact not authentic”. The UN spokesman wrote:

    “The I.A.E.A. was able to review correspondence coming from various bodies of the government of Niger and to compare the form, format, contents and signature of that correspondence with those of the alleged procurement-related documentation. Based on thorough analysis, the I.A.E.A. has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents, which formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium transaction between Iraq and Niger, are in fact not authentic. We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded.”

    The Nigerian documents weren’t just forgeries–they were unskillfully done forgeries. As with the story told by Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, they were readily accepted because they were useful in furthering an objective.

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  26. retire05 says: 26

    @Greg:

    The Nigerian documents regarding Saddam’s supposed efforts to purchase yellowcake have long been known to be forgeries.

    Did anyone mention the Nigerian documents? No.

    And if Saddam did not amass yellow cake in the run up to the war, where did the 500 tons of Iraqi yellow cake come from that, according to CNN, the U.S. spent $70 million to transfer to Canada?

    He had it.

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  27. Greg says: 27

    @retire05, #26:

    The yellowcake uraniam that was sold to Canada had absolutely nothing to do with any ongoing Iraqi weapon program. There was no current Iraqi nuclear weapon program. The yellowcake in question was left over from a program that had been abandoned decades before, after the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor sites. The Israeli’s destroyed the first with a bombing raid in 1991; the remaining one was bombed and destroyed during Desert Storm in 1991.

    The existence of the yellowcake you’re referring to had been known for decades. It was stored in known locations, and had long been under the supervision of U.N. inspectors.

    If you haven’t got a reactor, yellowcake isn’t good for much of anything–except maybe as a basis for discredited claims.

    Refer to the Snopes discussion of this particular assertion.

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  28. another vet says: 28

    @Greg: He had NBC/WMD specialists/experts with his team. That is what their primary mission was.

    ReplyReply

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