Dan Rather in 1980
I hated to see 60 Minutes besmirched by Dan Rather and 60 Minutes II, a show with a different agenda and staff. For anyone doubting this please read this old 60 Minutes II memo where a producer tried to get the Unabomber to tell his side of the story. While part of this letter is a sales pitch, I’m certain that the 60 Minutes folks were never too happy about the 60 Minutes II clone which was always sloppy by comparison. This letter is kind of pathetic. Now, because of the fake letter about Bush, sloppy work has come home to haunt 60 Minutes II, 60 Minutes, and CBS News in general. And I still suspect the million dollar fine can be attributed to Dan Rather too. Hopefully the public will understand how this works.
on page 2 is says:
I want you to be very clear about who I represent and what we want to do. I work for CBS News chief anchor Dan Rather and produce stories for him which are broadcast on 60 Minutes II. Please understand that 60 Minutes II is NOT the program on which your brother and mother appeared. They appeared on 60 Minutes with Mick Wallace and Lesley Stahl. These are seperate programs with seperate staffs and managers. ..if you work with us…the folks who produced the story with your brother will have no input or control. Our story will allow you to personally refute what they said about you as well as provide a serious forum for your ideas.
Like we needed a serious forum for the Unabomber to tell his tale.
Dan Rather has an interesting history. His first notice was at the Democratic National Convention in 1968 when he was supposedly “roughed up” on camera during CBS coverage. The video is here and Rather seems to be making the most fuss and possibily faking the entire situation.
Definitly worth reviewing. His antics have all been about promoting himself . After reading the Unabomber plea above, one can only imagine what the plea to Saddam Hussein was like. This site Ratherbiased.com documents a lot of this.
22 Nov 1963 Breaks news of John F. Kennedy assassination.
1963 “I told Rather to go to [Abraham] Zapruder’s house, sock him in the jaw, take his film to our affiliate in Dallas, copy it onto videotape, and let the CBS lawyers decide whether it could be sold or whether it was in the public domain. And then take the film back to Zapruder’s house and give it back to him. That way, the only thing they could get him for was assault because he would have returned Zapruder’s property. Rather said, ‘Great idea. I’ll do it.'” — Don Hewitt, Tell Me a Story (published 2001.)
The CBS cocoons engender a kind of madness. Rather is paid an outsized salary—he makes $7 million per year—that is in no way commensurate with the number of viewers he delivers. Where most prime-time shows have a few weeks to prove their viability, newscasts often are given years and decades. The network’s former glory allows Rather to shroud himself in the aura of Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow. “I’m confident we worked longer, dug deeper, and worked harder than almost anybody in American journalism does,” Rather told the Washington Post Sunday, when in fact CBS spent less time verifying the Guard documents than most bloggers.
Yes, he makes $7 million a year and has been making that sort of income for a decade or more. You seriously have to wonder who is the primary benefactor. Who has kept this guy on the air so long? Who at CBS loves him. It has to be someone. That’s the guy who should be looked into. My guess? He’s long gone and nobody actually knows why Rather is there.
The problem, of course, is who can anchor these news shows? Not many people can do it nationally without looking clownish. I don’t know that CBS has anyone ready to move up. The best guy on the air is in Canada. He’s Peter Mansbridge. If you watch the CBC, he’s far superior to anyone we have here, by lots.