Anyone who has watched the news regularly in the last few decades and knows about the history of American journalism knows the name Dan Rather. For twenty-four years, the anchor was the face of CBS Evening News. From 1981 to 2005, he brought the news into homes of Americans everywhere, covering major events ranging from the early days of the Reagan Administration through the Iraq War. Rather has widely been considered an influential news anchor for decades.
That is, until his fall in 2005 after a controversy involving a false story and forged documents.
The Killian Documents controversy unfolded in 2004. Within the final two months before the 2004 presidential election between then-President George W. Bush and Democrat John Kerry, CBS News dropped a bombshell about Bush’s military service. The documents were personal files supposedly from Bush’s commander in the Texas Army National Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian. These documents were highly critical of Bush’s military service.
Despite being presented as authentic by Rather, they were widely seen as forgeries. The documents were not authenticated by CBS, and the lack of backing from typography experts or document examiners spoke volumes.
Just weeks later, CBS would backtrack and admit that the story was fraudulent. A CBS-appointed panel forced out a number of high ranking executives over the story and Dan Rather himself would race into retirement after the controversy.
Given all of this, it is interesting to see the liberal anchor criticize Republican President-Elect Donald Trump on the topic of honesty. In a post to his official Facebook page, Rather hits Trump for making untrue statements and outright lying.
Is Dan Rather serious?
Rather is a disgraced news anchor who lost his job and tarnished his legacy because of a lie. It wasn’t just a simple tweet that led to the industry veteran losing his position. A tweet is a simple 140-character statement, but what Rather did was take fraudulent documents and present them on national television as fact.
Without authentication of the documents or validation of the facts, Rather put together an enormous story in an attempt to allow his liberal bias influence a presidential election in the final months.
Which is worse?
The debate into whether or not Donald Trump will be a good President or a positive influence on American culture will rage on for years to come. This is a separate debate, however. In some ways, Rather represented the beginning of the liberal mainstream media’s collapse. A decade later, Trump’s candidacy would expose the left-leaning media.
After pollsters, pundits, journalists, and anchors all proclaimed for months that Trump was done, he won the Presidency. The election was a stunning upset and it showed just how out-of-touch the media is with the American public. People like Dan Rather will never understand it, because they’re a part of the problem. In his view, a simple tweeted statement is worse than fraudulent story based on clearly forged documents.
The most dangerous thing in America may not be a Trump Administration, but the biased and dishonest mainstream media full of the likes of Dan Rather.