Sarah and I were sitting at her
grandmother's table in Tiltonsville,
Ohio when she asked me if I wanted
to go hear
Rather speak in
Seattle. That was odd. I sure as
hell don't trust the network
And I thought it sad during Bush's
inauguration in January '05 when
Rather "reported" the contents
of the Presidential Lunch Menu.
Well, he'd taken a swipe at the
big boys and been slapped down
GW Nat'l Guard memo which
later turned out to be forged), so I
figured now that he was retired
maybe he had something to get off
his chest. The problem is, he isn't
fully retired from CBS News. Yes,
he's no longer anchor, but I guess
he still has 60 Minutes. Had I
known that I never would have gone.
But I didn't know that, so we went.
After a longwinded personal anecdote
about his boyhood in Texas (meant, I
think, to show the audience what a
regular guy he is--something Bush
might do), then a patronizing and gratuitous remark about the
(who have been front page news here in Seattle for two weeks now*,
why I mistrust commercial media), Dan belabored his "New Year's Resolutions
for Journalists," a three-point plan demanding digging deeper, asking
questions, and following up on those questions. It sounded like a speech
might deliver to a press club. Nothing wrong with that, but it rang pretty
In the end, Mr. Rather struck me as any other successful old man who
respect when he walks into a room--vain but cloaked in false modesty. He
all smiley and kind while in authority (speaking to a silent audience), but
a probing question was raised in the Q&A session which followed, he
quite firm and flatly refused to discuss it further.
So much for asking tough questions...
Take the money and run.
*This was written on January 30 2006