The Corner

Dan Rather’s Place in History

The media watchdog chat today is all about Dan Rather’s place in history. Some are claiming it’s unfair to judge Rather by the one little mistake in 2004 and ignore the four decades of allegedly tough but fair journalism that came before it. Hogwash. The media pushes the public to remember elected officials all the time by their last, fatal ethical offense. Why should they be any different? Besides, Rather basically compiled four decades of partisanship disguised as journalism, whacking at Republicans (Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush) and fawning over people he felt more comfortable with (the Clintons, Saddam Hussein.) 

But what we really must admit about history is that it sticks to an unforgiving big picture. Ask your twentysomething friends or your summer interns if they can identify these names: Chet Huntley, Douglas Edwards, John Chancellor, Howard K. Smith, Harry Reasoner, Frank Reynolds. Rather may be about as well-known as Drew Pearson or Lowell Thomas to the next generation…

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...

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