"Good afternoon, Mr. Rather, and thank you for making time for
us. Let me ask you first, straight out: Is there or isn’t there a
liberal bias in the media, and where exactly do you fall in the
Rather: "I’m all news,
all the time. Full power, tall tower. I want to break in when the
news breaks out. That’s my agenda. Now very respectfully, when you
start talking about a liberal agenda and all the, quote, liberal
bias in the media, I quite frankly, and I say this respectfully but
candidly to you, I don’t know what you’re talking about."
O’Beirne: "That reminds
me, what do you think about winning this year’s Gilligan Award for
the Flakiest Comment of the Year?"
Rather: "I wouldn’t
touch that line with a 12-foot pole, which as you know is the pole I
reserve for those things that I certainly wouldn’t touch with an
O’Beirne: "Mr. Rather,
I hate to tell you, but you’re losing me. You’re also losing
your audience, by the millions, to Fox. Why should conservatives
stick with CBS News?"
Rather: "Stay with CBS
now for more news, including: Is there a pall over the mall as
holiday shoppers think small?"
O’Beirne: "I’ll pass
that along, yes I will. One final question for you: most journalists
are loathe to admit an error. Do You ever make mistakes, and if so,
Rather: "Where I come out
with this, look, we’ve made mistakes in the past. Somebody wrote
in the paper the other day that I was, quote, ‘boneheaded.’
Well, of course, it’s a matter of record I’m boneheaded, said,
‘well, this is bizarre.’
O’Beirne: "Hold it a
minute. Did I hear you correctly? Are you saying you’re
Rather: "Well, of course
I’m bizarre, you know, we’ve known that for a long
time...Somebody, I don’t know if he put it exactly this way, but
he said, ‘well, you know, it’s a dumb-ass thing he’s doing.
‘Well, you know, I’ve been a dumb-ass all my life."
O’Beirne: "Okay. Thank
you for your time, Mr. Rather."
Rather: "I’ll see you
along the trail."