Skip to comments.Rather says he was victim of 'own shortcomings'
Posted on 06/03/2005 1:52:28 AM PDT by My Favorite Headache
Rather says he was victim of 'own shortcomings'
"There certainly were days when I felt I was rode hard and put to bed wet,"
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, recalling the stinging criticism he and the network received after airing a controversial story on President Bush's National Guard service, admits he was a victim of his "own shortcomings."
"It's never pleasant, but among the many things my late father, God bless his soul, taught me was don't whine, don't complain, don't fall in a trap and say, well, it's bad luck or good luck."
"I'm not a victim of anything except my own shortcomings. It didn't feel terrific. There certainly were days when I felt I was rode hard and put to bed wet," Rather told CNN's Larry King on Thursday night.
'Journalism is not a precise science'
The story alleged that Bush used his family connections to get into the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam era and that once in, failed to fulfill his obligations and ignored a direct order to get a required physical.
The legitimacy of the documents came into question almost immediately after they became public. After defending the report for 12 days, CBS News eventually admitted it could not vouch for the authenticity of the memos.
"I've always tried to be an independent reporter. If you do that, not everyone's going to like you," he said.
"I won't say that anybody was out to get us. Clearly, there are some people -- for their own partisan, political and ideological reasons -- who want to jump on people who they perceive to be not with them."
Although admitting the documents had weaknesses, he said that "the facts were supported by all kinds of things other than the documents."
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
As "Deep Throat," Felt, now 91, frequently met Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward in a Washington parking garage to provide or confirm information about the Watergate investigation, which drove President Nixon from office in 1974.
"What a terrific story," Rather said.
"This was great reporting. I think the public should know that great reporting starts with a publisher who has guts and an editor who has guts. And the role of the late Katherine Graham, who owned The Washington Post, is not to be underestimated," Rather said. He also praised former Post editor Ben Bradlee.
The Watergate affair "was a widespread criminal conspiracy" led by Nixon, using his power to take the view that "the Constitution doesn't apply to us because we're in power," said Rather. "If Mark Felt had not provided information to the Washington Post, I think they would have got away with it."
Liberal bias is indeed a shortcoming.
How bout a US Senator who has over 900 FBI files? Would that be a story dipshit? " Er Ah, not if it's a democRAT Senator."
Don't you just hate people like that, Dan? Isn't it a good thing when their pointless careers, founded on lies and deception, are forced to come crashing down? Isn't that a good thing, Dan? Dan?, Dan?
Oh, come on, Dan. You just had a great big new one ripped on you (make you limp any?), are you trying for number three? If you know you're a victim of your own shortcomings, why not just STFU?
Give it up, Dan. You lied!
He is sorry he got caught after all these years of spreading lies.
How many computers were stolen from Republican headquarters around the country last election?
One word comes to mind, delusional.
Pancake on a rabbit's head for that comment Dan.
Was Dan, in his own way, trying to tell us all his probelms stemmed from bed wetting?
Rather doesn't know when to shut the hell up and go away.
..."There certainly were days when I felt I was rode hard and put to bed wet,"....He worked in a brothel?
Please tell us more, Dan. Your personal insights, are intriguingly provocative.
(Rather) ...Now, the documents were a support for those and an important support, and when questions were raised, well, how do we know that documents are true? We had some problems. However, I do want to point out, and I -- listen, anybody who wants to castigate this or fuss with this, have at it. I will point out that the panel, which was headed by a President Nixon, Reagan, Bush family supporter and a journalist who said that George Bush one was one of the greatest people he ever met -- this panel came forward and what they concluded, among the things they concluded after months of investigation and spending millions of dollars, they could not determine that the documents were fraudulent. Important point, that we don't know whether the documents were fraudulent or not.
KING: Are you saying the story might be correct?
RATHER: Well, I'm saying a prudent person might take that view.
KING: Do you have that view?
RATHER: Well, I'm saying a prudent person might take that view.
Number two, it's important, the panel said that this story was not -- the story was not born of any personal or political bias. Now, that's not all they said. They were very critical of CBS News, of "60 Minutes Weekday," and of myself, very critical of us for all kinds of things that they believe we should have done that we didn't do. And with some of those things, I do agree.
But I do hope people will keep in mind that two of their findings were what I just described to you. Wasn't born of political or personal bias, and they could not determine whether the documents were fraudulent or not. It's not a complaint, but I do want to point out -- and I understand what people write about this story, they often say, well, they dealt with fake documents or fraudulent documents. Let's just say gently that that's not known. That's not a fact. And if you're going to criticize us -- and I think we should be criticized for some of the things we did and didn't do in reporting -- then gently I say, maybe you wouldn't want to say that, and the panel could not and did not conclude it.
Now, James Goodale, a well-known First Amendment lawyer, has written, well, this is what Goodale wrote -- that if the panel couldn't prove that the documents were fraudulent, then why did they issue a report?
Now, I think I know the answer to that. That CBS, and I think rightly, and Viacom, which owns CBS, said, listen, we're catching so much heat that we need to address this.
But you know, by this late stage, I think this may be boring people cross-eyed to be talking about it.
Dan should have taken his wise father's advice and not have been a whiner. That is the very reason that I stopped watching CBS news long ago. I just couldn't abide Dan's tears and whining.
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