Newsman Rather Tells Americans Ask More Questions : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

Newsman Rather Tells Americans Ask More Questions

Thu May 16, 7:49 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Veteran U.S. news anchor Dan Rather warned Americans on Thursday not to let patriotism in the wake of the September 11 attacks stop them from asking tough questions of President Bush (news - web sites) and his "war on terror."

Speaking to the BBC's Newsnight current affairs program, Rather said the heightened sense of patriotism after September 11 risked getting out of control, and stopping the press from holding the government to account over its war in Afghanistan (news - web sites).

"I worry that patriotism run amok, will trample the very values that the country seeks to defend," said the CBS newsman, whose steely manner and professionalism became a symbol of America's resilience in the dark days after September 11.

"In a constitutional republic, based on the principles of democracy such as ours, you simply cannot sustain warfare without the people at large understanding why we fight, how we fight, and have a sense of accountability to the very top." Rather admitted that journalists, himself included, often felt under pressure to pull their punches for fear of being branded unpatriotic -- the equivalent of having a "flaming tire" hung around their neck.

"One finds oneself saying "I know the right question, but you know what? This is not exactly the right time to ask it," he said.

"What we are talking about here -- whether one wants to recognize it or not, or call it by its proper name or not -- is a form of self-censorship," said Rather.

He also accused the Bush administration of giving news organizations too little access and information, which he said went directly against the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s stated policy of giving "maximum information and maximum openness" about the war.

"There has never been an American war, small or large, in which access has been so limited as this one," he said.

The news black-out was allowing those in charge, who were putting the lives of American servicemen and women at risk, to hide, he said.

"Limiting access, limiting information to cover the backsides of those who are in charge of the war, is extremely dangerous and cannot and should not be accepted," he said.

The more the American public swallowed the official line under the banner of patriotism, the more government accountability would suffer, Rather said.

"I am sorry to say that...overwhelmingly it has been accepted by the American people. And the current administration revels in that, they relish that, and they take refuge in that." He also panned the increasing "Hollywoodization of war" that is sweeping across the U.S. media, with hit shows such as VH1's 'Military Diaries', featuring real soldiers talking frankly about their experiences on Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan.

"I want to say quietly, but as forcefully as I can, that I hope this doesn't go any further. It has gone too far already. I am appalled by it, I do think it's an outrage," he said.

-- (don', May 17, 2002


Good to see a major player in the media step forward and speak up. Most Americans are blinded by the deceptive tactics of Dubya's secretive Fascist "Shadow Government" and would otherwise not wake up until it's too late.

Bravo Dan!!

-- Thank You Mr. Rather (Very @ Wise. Advice), May 17, 2002.

Old Dan is a sad, obsolete specimen. They shoot horses, don't they?

-- (euthanasia@CBS.please), May 17, 2002.

typical repug scumbag. attack the messnger cuz you cnat attack the messnge.

-- (Dumbya@and.Dumber), May 17, 2002.

LOL too funny! Rather thinking he can give advice to the American people! And what wonderful advice: Don't be too patriotic. Thanks for my morning chuckle.

-- Maria (, May 17, 2002.

Sooooo..... Dan Blabber, Mr Softball himself wants us to ask more questions. Is this the joke of the day? Some thoughts come to mind, first of all, he didn't seem to object to the "Hollywoodization of politics", secondly, if it is so urgent why has he not used his pulpit to espouse his message to the masses?

Just more bullshit from the media elite.

-- capnfun (, May 17, 2002.

For a long as I can remember, Dan Rather has been a shameless pimp for the liberal left. Didn’t he get into some hot water recently for attending a big Democratic fundraiser? A picnic of sorts down south if my memory serves me correctly.

It never fails to amaze how we elevate these ‘talking heads’ to carriers of special knowledge and anointed wisdom.

-- Send (mo@money.please), May 17, 2002.

Shameless Dan Rather

-- (cin@cin.cin), May 17, 2002.

Dan Rather, isn't he the codger that broke down sobbing while guesting on the Letterman show shortly after 9/11?

-- (Dan @ Old timey.TV reunion), May 17, 2002.

Dan Rather is many things, but mainly a lying sack of shit. He has claimed to be a ‘Marine’ when in fact; the asshole couldn’t even make it out of basic training. I vividly remember his relentless attacks on Dan Quale, accusing him of avoiding active service in the Nam by joining the National Guard.

Fucking Rather failed to mention that he did the same thing during the Korean War, only in the Army Reserves. The day after the Korean War ended, so did his membership in the reserves. He later tried to ‘cut it’ as a Marine but crapped out in boot camp.

You know he is a Democrat by the way he lies to enhance his bullshit past. Few that have worked with this cocksucker have anything good to say about him, especially Walter Cronkite.

That might have something to do with the fact that the CBS Evening News has been in the crapper since Rather took over the sole anchor position. But then, the liberal left has always been hard-up for role models.

-- Dan would (Rather@be.lying), May 17, 2002.

LOL, it's obvious you Pugs don't like Rather, and prefer to let Dubya run a secretive Fascist government. The message is a good one, even though you don't like it because it points out the deception of your idiot hero.

-- (pugs will @ be. pugs), May 18, 2002.

Rather thinking he can give advice to the American people! And what wonderful advice: Don't be too patriotic.

He didn't say "don't be patriotic". He says to ask questions. You know, like we are allowed to do in The United States of America.

Or are we supposed to be like they are in Cuba, not allowed to question their government?

Are we becomming a communist state, where people have no right to question or oppose the actions of their leaders?

It is amazing how much hostility was posted above about a statement that should not even have to be said, rights we have always taken for granted until reciently, freedom of speech, freedom to the actions of our leaders (who are supposed to represent us).

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 18, 2002.

Dan is an egotistical, pompous ass who thinks his shit no stinkee.

-- (Connie Chung, scratching @ Maury's.itch), May 18, 2002.


Yep, that's Dumbya to a tee, but when did he change his name to Dan?

-- (Dumbya@egotistical.Fascist), May 18, 2002.

CBS News is at the bottom of the ratings pile and there's a reason that doesn't have squat to do with democrats, republicans or popes. They lie.

-- Carlos (, May 18, 2002.


I never thought I'd see the day that I agree with you, but I do with your comments on this thread. :-) While I admit your views are much too liberal for my taste, I think you're 'right on' here. Explanations should not only be accepted but expected. Patriotism is displayed by a love and support of one's country; not blind acceptance of one's leaders. Our servicemen and women's lives are at stake.

-- (, May 18, 2002.

"They lie."

Not that the media isn't full of lies, but do you have any specific examples of this from CBS since you are attacking them?

-- (let's@see.proof), May 18, 2002.

Silly question. The trick is to say something you know isn't true then later when truth appears you're...........silent. You new to this?

-- Carlos (, May 19, 2002.

LOL, as I expected, you can't produce a single example of CBS telling a lie. You're just spewing more of the typical Repug crap-o-babble.

-- (hee-haaw@what.a.jerk!), May 19, 2002.

Read Bernard Goldberg's Bias. It has all the examples you could want, and then some.

-- Stephen M. Poole (, May 19, 2002.

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