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Dan Rather File Home Page
Bias by Topic
Dan Rather Suggests “First
Husband” Bill Clinton
Dan Rather: "Mr
President, when we traveled with you in China, you weren't aboard Air Force
One. Do you miss it?"
Bill Clinton: "Well, I don't miss the trappings so much,
but I loved the plane because it's a great place to work."
Rather, looking bemused: "Do you, in some quiet moment, look
forward to the time maybe when you fly on it in a different capacity, as First
Clinton chuckled, then responded: "Well, the answer to that
is no, I don't. I don't think about that and I have urged all of Hillary's
supporters not to think about that, because she's got to run for re-election.
And it's a big hazard for anybody who's up for re-election to think about
anything but re-election."
Rather, trumpeting Geena Davis on ABC's Commander-in-Chief: "Well,
as you know, we now have on television, we have a woman President of the
Clinton: "Yeah, Geena Davis."
Rather: "Is the country ready for a woman President, a real
woman President as opposed to one on television?"
Clinton: "I don't know. My gut is, yes, that if a woman
came across as strong and seasoned and well prepared, if you said the right
things in the right way and you had a good record to back it up, my gut is,
yes. But the hard truth is we won't know until it happens."
Rather, narrating over video of Clinton with AIDS patients in
China: "For now, Mr. Clinton says he's concentrating his efforts on AIDS.
But globe-trotting can take its toll. In China, the President seemed grayer
and thinner than the last time we had seen him."
Exchange between reporter Dan Rather and former President Bill
Clinton, 60 Minutes, Jan. 1, 2006.
Where’s Our Tax Increase?
Dan Rather: “Has there been any American President in a time of war who has asked for as little sacrifice as President Bush has done? Or is that a misreading of history?”
Liberal historian Joseph Ellis: “No, I think you’re right, Dan.”
-- Exchange during CBS’s live coverage at about 10:40AM on January 20, 2005, an hour and 20 minutes before President Bush delivered his second Inaugural Address.
“It's going to cost you, the taxpayers, a whole lot more than you were told” for “the controversial new Medicare prescription drug plan.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, February 9, 2005.
Time to Pay for CBS’s Advocacy
“The red ink keeps rising. The Medicare overhaul and prescription drug benefit haven’t taken effect yet and President Bush is already upping the ten-year price tag. First pegged at $400 billion, the Associated Press says the new estimate is $540 billion.”
-- Dan Rather on the January 29, 2004, CBS Evening News.
“In Washington today, for the umpteenth time, there’s talk of a possible compromise deal to provide at least some prescription drug coverage for people on Medicare. CBS’s Joie Chen reports what’s different this time as millions of older Americans wait for action.”
-- Dan Rather on the June 10, 2003 CBS Evening News.
Dan Pops His Clutch
“Not a va-room, but a putt, putt, putt. Tonight, America’s economic engine creates some new jobs, but not nearly enough to replace the thousands lost.”
-- Dan Rather at the top of the February 6, 2004, CBS Evening News, teasing a story on 112,000 new private-sector jobs created in January, 2004, the most in more than three years.
Casualties of Bush’s Recession
“What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy it may be, for some, the only job they can find.”
-- Dan Rather teasing a report on the CBS Evening News on March 31, 2004, the day four American civilians were killed in Fallujah, Iraq.
“In Najaf, the militant Shiite cleric Al-Sadr echoed the refrain Iraq could become quote, ‘another Vietnam’ for America.”
-- Dan Rather on the April 7, 2004, CBS Evening News.
Message: He Really Doesn’t Care
“You may want to note that some of the families of the 9/11 victims point out that it was only under pressure that President Bush finally agreed to the formation of the independent commission and only under pressure that he finally appeared before it today -- under his ground rules, on his ground. At the President’s insistence, it was a joint appearance with the Vice President behind the closed doors of the Oval Office and there was no audio or video recording and no full written transcript.”
-- Dan Rather on the April 29, 2004, CBS Evening News following a story about President Bush’s meeting with the commission investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Rooting for Rumsfeld’s Removal
“Tonight, new photographic evidence of Iraqi prisoner abuse. President Bush finally apologizes, but will he fire Defense Secretary
-- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, May 6, 2004.
Dreaming of a ‘Bush Nightmare’
“[Senator John] Kerry has yet to pick a running mate, but belief appears to be growing that the Democratic dream team -- and President Bush’s nightmare -- would be Kerry and Republican Senator John McCain. Look at this: The latest CBS News poll indicates Kerry with an eight-point lead [49 to 41 percent] over President Bush. With McCain on a Kerry ticket, the lead grows to 14. McCain insists he is not interested in joining the Democratic ticket.”
-- Dan Rather on the May 27, 2004, CBS Evening News.
Cap’n Dan, the Book Review Man
“I read the book [My Life by Bill Clinton] completely. And I think it compares very favorably with Ulysses S. Grant’s gold standard of presidential autobiographies.”
-- Dan Rather on CNN’s Larry King Live, June 18, 2004.
“While Dan Rather, who interviewed Mr. Clinton for
60 Minutes, has already compared the book to the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, arguably the most richly satisfying autobiography by an American President, My Life has little of that classic’s unsparing candor or historical perspective. Instead, it devolves into a hodgepodge of jottings: part policy primer, part 12-step confessional, part stump speech and part presidential archive, all, it seems, hurriedly written and even more hurriedly edited.”
-- New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani in a June 20, 2004, front-page critique of
Does GOP Meanness Bother You?
“Speaking of angry, have you ever had any anger about President Bush -- who spent his time during the Vietnam War in the National Guard -- running, in effect, a campaign that does its best to diminish your service in Vietnam? You have to be at least irritated by that, or have you been?”
-- Dan Rather to Senator John Kerry, on the July 22, 2004, CBS Evening
Kerry at His Sweaty Best
“John Kerry working himself literally into a sweat. Or as my high school English teacher would prefer, into a high state of perspiration. An almost literal thunder inside the hall, shaking the Fleet Center in a way that it seldom shakes, if ever, even during a Celtics basketball playoff game or a Bruins hockey playoff game. These Democrats, as the speech built, having what amounted to maybe a three-thousand-gallon attack about every three minutes, united in a way the Democratic Party has not been for about half a century.”
-- Dan Rather during CBS’s live coverage of the Democratic convention, July 29, 2004.
“The Republican convention opens in New York to re-nominate George W. Bush and showcase the party’s, quote, ‘moderate side.’ Will voters buy it?”
-- Dan Rather opening the August 30, 2004, CBS Evening News.
Rathergate: First the Smear...
“Tonight, a CBS News/60 Minutes exclusive: New information on President George W. Bush’s record in the National Guard. Newly discovered documents spark new questions....Good evening. There are new questions tonight about President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard in the late 1960s and early ’70s, and about his insistence that he met his military service obligations. CBS News has exclusive information, including documents, that now sheds new light on the President’s service record.
60 Minutes has obtained government documents that indicate Mr. Bush may have received preferential treatment in the Guard after not fulfilling his commitments.”
-- Dan Rather opening the Sept. 8, 2004, CBS Evening News.
... Then the Stonewall
“The story is true. The story is true....I appreciate the sources who took risks to authenticate our story. So, one, there is no internal investigation. Two, somebody may be shell-shocked, but it is not I, and it is not anybody at CBS News. Now, you can tell who is shell-shocked by the ferocity of the people who are spreading these rumors.”
-- Dan Rather in a sidewalk exchange with reporters on September 10, 2004, denying rumors that CBS had launched an investigation to determine if the “memos” were forged.
“Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people, including many who are partisan political operatives, concentrated not on the key questions of the overall story, but on the documents that were part of the support of the story. They allege that the documents are fake....The
60 Minutes report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of the evidence, including documents that were provided by what we consider to be solid sources and interviews with former officials of the Texas National Guard. If any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it. So far, there is
-- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, September 10, 2004.
Experience: CBS News
“Document and handwriting examiner Marcel Matley analyzed the documents for CBS News. He says he believes they are real.”
-- Dan Rather on the September 10, 2004, CBS Evening News.
“There’s no way that I, as a document expert, can authenticate them.”
-- Quote from Marcel Matley in a September 14, 2004, Washington Post story by Howard Kurtz and Michael Dobbs.
No Doubts About Dan’s ‘Thrust’
“We shall continue to aggressively investigate the story of President Bush’s service in the National Guard and the story of the documents and memos in Colonel Killian’s file....We do feel it’s important to underscore this point: Those who have criticized aspects of our story have never criticized the heart of it, the major thrust of our report, that George Bush received preferential treatment to get into the National Guard, and once accepted, failed to satisfy the requirements of his service. If we uncover any information to the contrary, rest assured we shall report that also.”
-- Dan Rather concluding a Sept. 15, 2004, 60 Minutes interview with Marian Carr Knox, Killian’s secretary, who said she doubted that CBS’s memos were genuine, but nevertheless “the information in those is correct.”
Dan’s Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
“Powerful and extremely well-financed forces are concentrating on questions about the documents because they can’t deny the fundamental truth of the story. If you can’t deny the information, then attack and seek to destroy the credibility of the messenger, the bearer of the information. And in this case, it’s change the subject from the truth of the information to the truth of the documents. This is your basic fogging machine, which is set up to cloud the issue, to obscure the truth....Over the long haul, this will be consistent with our history and our traditions and reputation. We took heat during the McCarthy time, during Vietnam, during civil rights, during Watergate. We haven’t always been right, but our record is damn good.”
-- CBS’s Dan Rather as quoted by the New York Observer’s Joe Hagan, September 15, 2004.
“I don’t back down. I don’t cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political ideological forces.”
-- Dan Rather to the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz, in a September 16, 2004, article.
Dan, Not Political?
“Anybody who knows me knows that I am not politically motivated, not politically active for Democrats or Republicans, and that I’m independent. People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, ‘Because he won’t report it our way, we’re going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain.’ They know that I’m fiercely independent and that’s what drives them up a wall.”
-- Dan Rather as quoted by USA Today’s Peter Johnson and Jim Drinkard in a September 17, 2004, article.
Rather’s Battle with Reality
“Do I think they’re forged? No.”
-- Dan Rather discussing the “memos” he had already apologized for using, as quoted by Jeff Zeleny and John Cook in the September 21, 2004,
Bush, Another Herbert Hoover
“The Labor Department reported today that the unemployment rate remained at 5.4 percent in September. What’s troubling is the number of jobs the economy did and did not create....It’s the first net job loss on a President’s watch since Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression of the 1930s.”
-- Dan Rather on the October 8, 2004, CBS Evening News.
A Last-Minute Push for Kerry
“Good evening. The FBI has revealed that it is expanding its investigation into how Halliburton company billed taxpayers for its contract work in Iraq. The FBI will now include a criminal investigation of how the Bush administration awarded Halliburton those no-bid contracts in the first place and whether there was any insider favoritism.”
-- Dan Rather leading off the CBS Evening News, October 28, 2004, as an on-screen graphic showed the White House with the words “Criminal Probe” underneath.
Explains a Lot
“In my mind and the minds of the people I work with, this is a magical, mystical kingdom -- our version of Camelot. And we feel we are working at a kind of roundtable of King Arthur proportions....Ed Murrow’s ghost is here. I’ve seen him and talked to him on the third floor of this building many times late at night. And I can tell you that he’s watching over us.”
-- Resigning CBS anchor Dan Rather, quoted by the Hollywood
Reporter’s Ray Richmond, November 30, 2004.
Readying Next “Reform” Push
“The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld the new campaign finance law designed to stop unlimited campaign donations to political parties, what’s called ‘soft money.’ The ruling was five to four. CBS’s Wyatt Andrews has details on the Court’s decision and how special interest donors with deep pockets have already found a way around it.”
-- Dan Rather on the December 10, 2004, CBS Evening News.
30 Straight Years of NASA Cuts
“There’s certainly been talk that in recent years that Congress’s attitude and, for that matter, the attitude of a succession of Presidents beginning with President Nixon, running through Carter, Reagan, Bush first and President Clinton and now President George W. Bush, there’s been more cost cutting that has resulted in safety
-- CBS’s live coverage on February 4, 2003 of a memorial for Columbia’s crew. Moments later, CBS space expert Bill Harwood corrected Rather, pointing out that “after Challenger, the budgets really ramped up.”
Dan’s Distorted Poll Reporting
“The President calls the tax cut necessary. Democrats call it a campaign for the wealthy. So far, it’s a problematic sell for the President. In a CBS
News/New York Times poll out tonight, less than half the respondents thought the Bush tax cut would actually help the economy.”
-- May 13, 2003 CBS Evening News. Dan Rather failed to report that the poll he cited showed twice as many said tax cuts would help the economy (41 percent) than said new tax cuts would hurt (19 percent).
Bush’s Partisan Stance on Global
“President Bush has been criticized at home and abroad for pulling out of the international treaty to curb global warming, the Kyoto Treaty. Now, CBS’s John Roberts reports, conservationists, environmentalists and some others are taking the President to task for what they say was the cynical changing of a major report on global warming. They say it was altered to put hardball partisan politics over hard independent science.”
-- Dan Rather CBS Evening News, June 19, 2003.
Campaigning Against Free Speech
“In tonight’s Eye on America, CBS gives you an in-depth look at the sudden revival of congressional interest in legislation that’s been killed more times than Dracula: Legislation for serious campaign finance reform. In the wake of the Enron fiasco, will Congress finally put its votes where its mouth
-- Dan Rather CBS Evening News, January 25, 2002.
“Honest” Bill Revisited
“I think the fact that someone has told a lie, even a big lie or maybe several big lies over a lifetime, does not mean that they’re an inherently dishonest person....I believe in redemption and that Bill Clinton -- is he an honest person? I think he is an honest person. Did he lie? Yes, he lied, and on those occasions he was dishonest.”
-- Dan Rather, appearing on the Feb. 7, 2002 Imus in the Morning radio show defending his comment from May 15, 2001 on FNC’s
The O’Reilly Factor that Clinton was “an honest man” and that “you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”
Cheering Anti-Free Speech Law
“On Capitol Hill, it took seven years, but the shame of Enron finally got Congress to pass a campaign finance reform bill today. The legislation bans soft money, the unregulated special interest donations to national political parties. But it doubles the allowable hard money with donations to individual candidates now to be capped at $2,000.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, March 20, 2002.
Rather’s Rather Ridiculous Rant
“It’s an obscene comparison, and I’m not sure I like it, but there was a time, in South Africa, where people would put flaming tires around peoples’ necks if they dissented. And in some ways, the fear is that you’ll be necklaced here, you’ll have the flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it’s that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore in on the tough questions so often. And again, I’m humbled to say, I do not except myself from this
-- Dan Rather, BBC’s Newsnight program, May 16, 2002.
Ashcroft Saved Himself & Let Others Fly in Harm’s Way
“Increasingly, there are important questions that need to be asked...For example, the Attorney General of the United States before, just before September 11th, started inexplicably taking private aircraft to places where normally the Attorney General wouldn’t take private aircraft, you know, government planes. Well, that would indicate that somebody somewhere was getting pretty worried, but if you’re going to share that with the Attorney General, you know, why wasn’t it shared with the public at large?”
-- Dan Rather, on Imus in the Morning radio program, simulcast on MSNBC, May 22, 2002.
“There was a personal threat assessment done by security agencies at Justice, and it was determined that since John Ashcroft is such a polarizing figure, that the threat assessment against him would be high, and that shortly after he was sworn in, he started taking government planes all the time. It was recommended for his own security....It had nothing at all to do with any terrorist threat.”
-- NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski later on the same program.
Pushing For More Spending
“Senior Americans who saw retirement savings evaporate in the Wall Street meltdown have another financial headache now. It turns out it was all talk and no action with the President and Congress again today on passing any version of Medicare prescription drug coverage.”
Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, July 23, 2002.
Bush’s Anti-Uniter Cabinet
“When you nominate someone to be Attorney General... who you know is going to raise questions, rightly or wrongly, justifiably or otherwise about race relations, quote ‘a hardline stance on a woman’s right to choose’ on abortion; when you appoint somebody, nominate someone, to be head of the Interior Department who says, ‘Listen, it’s alright for people who own private land to pollute,’ I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. I am saying that a lot are going to say, ‘Wait a minute, this is not uniter-divider country.’”
-- Dan Rather, Jan. 15, 2001 Late Show with David Letterman.
Clinton and Bush Abortion Executive Order Contrasts
“On the anniversary of Roe versus Wade President Clinton fulfills a promise, supporting abortion rights....It was 20 years ago today, the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark abortion rights ruling, and the controversy hasn’t stopped since. Today, with the stroke of a pen, President Clinton delivered on his campaign promise to cancel several anti-abortion regulations of the Reagan-Bush years.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, Jan. 22, 1993.
“This was President Bush’s first day at the office and he did something to quickly please the right flank in his party: He re-instituted an anti-abortion policy that had been in place during his father’s term and the Reagan presidency but was lifted during the Clinton years.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, Jan. 22, 2001.
Treating Liberal Spin as Fact
“President Bush tonight outlines his cut-federal-programs-to-get-a-tax-cut plan to Congress and the nation. Democrats will then deliver their televised response, which basically says Mr. Bush’s ideas are risky business, endangering among other things, Social Security and
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, February 27, 2001.
Choosing Cash Over Clean Air
“President Bush insisted today that he was not caving in to big money contributors, big-time lobbyists, and overall industry pressure when he broke a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But the air was thick today with accusations from people who believe that’s exactly what
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, March 14, 2001.
Kids Sacrificed for Big Tax Cuts
“On Capitol Hill, the Republican-controlled House voted mostly along party lines tonight to pass President Bush’s federal budget blueprint. This includes his big tax cut plan, partly bankrolled, critics say, through cuts in many federal aid programs for children and
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, March 28, 2001.
Another Environmental Rollback
“President Bush is ordering another rollback, another reversal in U.S. environmental policy. This time it amounts to abandoning support for an international treaty designed to reduce emissions linked to global warming. CBS’s John Roberts has more about the heat this is generating, environmental and political.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, March 28, 2001.
|An Honest Liar
Bill O’Reilly: “I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clinton’s an honest man?”
Dan Rather: “Yes, I think he’s an honest man.”
O’Reilly: “Do you, really?”
Rather: “I do.”
O’Reilly: “Even though he lied to Jim Lehrer’s face about the Lewinsky case?”
Rather: “Who among us has not lied about something?”
|O’Reilly: “Well, I didn’t lie to anybody’s face on national television. I don’t think you have, have you?”
Rather: “I don’t think I ever have. I hope I never have. But, look, it’s one thing – ”
O’Reilly: “How can you say he’s an honest guy then?”
Rather: “Well, because I think he is. I think at core he’s an honest person. I know that you have a different view. I know that you consider it sort of astonishing anybody would say so, but I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”
— Exchange on FNC’s
The O’Reilly Factor, May 15, 2001.
CBS’s “Dumb-Ass” Anchorman
“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.’ 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.”
-- Dan Rather, on the July 19, 2001 Imus in the Morning show, discussing his refusal to cover the scandal surrounding Democratic Congressman Gary Condit until his weekday
CBS Evening News aired a single story on July 18.
I Can’t Figure This Out, So Go Buy a Paper
“Obviously, this is a very complicated subject. It’s the kind of subject that, frankly, radio and television have some difficulty with because it requires such depth into the complexities of it. So we can with, I think, impunity recommend that if you’re really interested in this you’ll want to read in detail one of the better newspapers tomorrow. This has been a CBS News Special Report.”
Dan Rather, concluding CBS’s coverage of President Bush’s August 9, 2001 stem cell speech after only 53 seconds of analysis right before his network aired Big Brother 2.
Bush “Hard Right”
“Now to Bill Whitaker covering George W. Bush’s talking the right talk, as in Republican hard right, to try to take out Steve Forbes in Iowa and focus on eliminating John McCain in New Hampshire.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, January 23, 2000.
Pushing Gun Control
“President Clinton met today with congressional leaders, pushing them for new gun control laws in response to more shocking gun violence. It’s been a week since a six-year-old Michigan girl was shot dead by another six-year-old. As CBS’s Diana Olick reports, the little girl’s death has many wondering what, if anything, more can be done and asking why Congress hasn’t done anything for months.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, March 7, 2000.
Castro Cares about Cubans
“While Fidel Castro, and certainly justified on his record, is widely criticized for a lot of things, there is no question that Castro feels a very deep and abiding connection to those Cubans who are still in Cuba and, I recognize this might be controversial, but there’s little doubt in my mind that Fidel Castro was sincere when he said, ‘Listen, we really want this child back here.’”
Dan Rather, CBS News live coverage of the Elian raid, April 22, 2000.
Gee, Thanks Dan
“You may want to note that Cheney is referring to Clinton Gore, not Clinton and Gore, in effect making Clinton Al Gore’s first name: Clinton Gore.”
-- Dan Rather during Dick Cheney’s acceptance speech after Cheney said “We’re all a little weary of the Clinton-Gore routine...it is time for them to
go.” August 2, 2000 CBS News Republican convention coverage.
No Need for Proof Before Alleging GOP Dirty Tricks
“Al Gore must stand and deliver here tonight as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, and now Gore must do so against the backdrop of a potentially damaging, carefully orchestrated story leak about President Clinton. The story is that the Republican-backed special prosecutor, Robert Ray, Ken Starr’s successor, has a new grand jury looking into possible criminal charges against the President growing out of Mr. Clinton’s sex life.”
Dan Rather, August 17, 2000, the final day of the Democratic convention. (The next day, a Carter-appointed federal judge revealed he had inadvertently leaked the news.)
Mean and Nasty George W. Bush
“On one bit of campaign meanness and nastiness in particular, George Bush now says he’s sorry his gutter language and personal attack was picked up by a microphone at a campaign stop yesterday, but he refuses to apologize for the substance of his comment. Bush’s remark was about Adam Clymer, a
New York Times reporter whose coverage he doesn’t like.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, September 5, 2000.
Florida Secretary of State Has No Legal Authority
“Florida’s Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner -- as she sees it and she decrees it -- of the state’s potentially decisive 25 electoral votes.”
“The believed certification -- as the Republican Secretary of State sees it.”
“She will certify -- as she sees it -- who gets Florida’s 25 electoral votes.”
“The certification -- as the Florida Secretary of State sees it and decrees it -- is being signed.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, November 26, 2000.
Impeachment is Coup D’Etat
“Is or is there not some concern of the public, concern in some quarters, not all of them Democratic, that this is, in fact, a kind of effort at a quote, ‘coup,’ that is you have a twice elected, popularly elected President of the United States and so those that you mention in the Republican Party who dislike him and what he stands for, have been unable to beat him at the polls, have found another way to get him out of office?”
-- Dan Rather, interview with former Republican Sen. Warren Rudman, CBS coverage of the start of the impeachment trial, January 7, 1999.
Impeachment Too Distracting
“The Republican leadership has decided, and spoken....They want the calling of witnesses and the lengthening out of the process. This is where the matter now stands. Questions such as what to do about Social Security, improving the nation’s schools, and the drug menace among America’s youth basically are on hold. So is what to do about threats to health of the U.S. economy by what is happening in Asia and Brazil; the threats to U.S. security posed by Iraq, Iran, and North Korea; and the peril represented by a collapsing Russia and an emerging China -- all important parts of the people’s business -- all remain pretty much on hold, while the trial drags on.”
-- January 25, 1999 “Dan Rather’s Notebook” radio commentary posted on the CBS News Web page.
Clinton Scandal vs. VP Bush Scandal
View a video comparison of how Dan Rather treated President Clinton in a March 31, 1999 interview in which Rather avoided the Chinese espionage and fundraising scandals and the Rather's infamous interview of Vice President Bush on January 25, 1988 on the Iran-Contra scandal in which Rather told the president, “You've made us hypocrites in the face of the world.”
“Once a political lightning rod, today she is political lightning. A crowd pleaser and first-class fundraiser, a person under enormous pressure to step into the arena, this time on her own.”
-- 60 Minutes II, May 26, 1999
(For the CyberAlert analysis of Dan Rather's interview with Hillary
Clinton, see the May 27,
Admiring the Kennedys
“We Americans, even those among us who have never liked the Kennedys’ politics, have long been fascinated by the Kennedy mystique. Or as some call it, the Kennedy myth. The dictionary defines mystique as ‘an aura of heightened meaning surrounding something to which special power or mystery is given.’ A myth is ‘a traditional story dealing with ancestors or heroes,’ a story that ‘shapes the world view of a people or delineates the customs or ideals of a society.’ By those definitions, like it or not, there is a Kennedy mystique and their history is mythic....
“What we do know is that some of the aching grief the family feels tonight we feel because the mystique and the myth are deep within us. That’s 48 Hours for tonight, an American Tragedy.”
Dan Rather, concluding 48 Hours, July 19, 1999, after the death of John Kennedy, Jr.
Republicans Favor Sleazy Fundraising
“Republicans kill the bill to clean up sleazy political fundraising. The business of dirty campaign money will stay business as usual....Good evening. Legislation to reform shady big money campaign fundraising is dead in Congress. Republican opponents in the Senate killed it today.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, February 26, 1998.
“Republican” Ken Starr
“New indications in a CBS News poll out tonight of how the public perceives Republican special prosecutor Ken Starr’s investigation. Our poll suggests only 27 percent believe Starr is conducting an impartial probe. And 55 percent think it’s time for Starr to drop his investigation.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, March 2, 1998.
Far-Right Republican Haters
“On another front, there could be trouble for the Ken Starr Whitewater investigation. Reports continue to surface that this key witness for the prosecution, David Hale, may have been secretly bankrolled by political activists widely regarded as Clinton opponents, people that Clinton supporters call Republican haters from the far right.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, April 2 1998.
Starr Ruins Clinton’s Day
“Ken Starr drops another load on President Clinton....Good evening. Just as President Clinton was enjoying a day talking up the economy, officially announcing the first U.S. budget surplus in three decades, Ken Starr hit him again. The Republican independent counsel and special prosecutor decided late in the day to announce his decision to press his subpoena for samples of Monica Lewinsky's handwriting, fingerprints and her voice.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, May 26, 1998.
What Could Have Been If Not
“It began with so much promise. Bill Clinton became the first Democratic President since Franklin Roosevelt to be reelected to a second term. This was the term he’d make his mark on history and determine how he’d be remembered. CBS’s Wyatt Andrews looks tonight at the state of the Clinton legacy.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, August 18, 1998.
Just about Sex
“On Capitol Hill, the Republican-dominated House now plans to vote Thursday to approve an official impeachment investigation into President Clinton, his sex life, and lies he told to hide it.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, October 6, 1998.
Hillary Clinton For President
“I would not be astonished to see Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee in 2000....Hillary Clinton is the Person of the Year in that, you talk about a comeback kid -- she makes her husband look like Ned in kneepants in terms of comeback from where she was early in the Clinton administration. You know, you add it all up, and you can make the case that Hillary Clinton might, might -- mark the word -- be the strongest candidate for the
-- Dan Rather, interview with CNN’s Larry King, December 3, 1998.
“The head of the Republican political lobbying group that calls itself, quote, 'the Christian Coalition' said today he's leaving to start a political consulting business. Ralph Reed's group took a beating on some of its hard-right agenda in the last election.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, April 23, 1997.
Ending Affirmative Action like Spreading Syphilis
“Earlier tonight, we reported the President's apology for medical experiments that allowed black Americans to die of syphilis. The President noted how badly this hurt public trust in government, especially among minorities. The same criticism is being made today on another score. As CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports, it's the fallout from California's voter-approved ban on state affirmative action programs.”
-- Dan Rather, introducing a story on drop in minority admissions, May 16, 1997.
No Religious Persecution in China
“An editor's note: When your reporter was in China recently, a very high ranking Chinese government official was repeatedly asked questions about religious persecution. He told me, and I quote directly, 'These stories are untrue.. We do, as you do, have some trouble with cults and we, like you, deal with them accordingly but that's all.' End quote.
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, July 22, 1997.
Republican Ken Starr
“The Republican Whitewater offensive is taking an unprecedented turn: First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has been subpoenaed and now must testify before a Whitewater federal grand jury. That grand jury is led by a Republican prosecutor, Kenneth Starr.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, January 22, 1996.
Republicans Radical and Extreme
“Some of your staff members, not by name, have been saying, ‘Yes, the President thinks Bob Dole is a nice person and has been a pretty good leader in some ways but,’ they say, ‘he’s been captured by extremists in the Republican Party, the radical part of the Republican Party, including Newt Gingrich. Is that what you
-- Dan Rather, 60 Minutes interview with Bill Clinton, August 18, 1996.
Democrats Uncaring If Back Conservative
“You said this morning that the party’s message will focus on the needs and cares of the people. Now, how do you reconcile that with a President who has just signed a, quote, ‘welfare reform bill’ which by general agreement is going to put a lot of poor children on the street?”
-- Dan Rather to Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, August 25, 1996.
“Hard Right” Clinton
“Bill Clinton's been running pretty hard to the right, so far that some Democrats now call him a ‘Republicrat.' Do you go that far?”
-- Dan Rather to Jesse Jackson, August 26, 1996, CBS convention coverage.
GOP Threaten Human Survival
“There was no doubt Republicans in the House had enough votes tonight to pass another key item in their agenda to rip up or rewrite government programs going back to the Franklin Roosevelt era. It is a bill making it harder, much harder, to protect health, safety, and the environment. For example: the benefit of any new regulation would be required to outweigh the financial cost.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, February 28, 1995.
Republicans Kill Kids and
“The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, March 16, 1995
Prelude to a Clinton Kiss
“President Clinton will outline his version of a plan he says will balance the federal budget in ten years without what Mr. Clinton sees as a radical and extremist Republican plan to gut programs that help the old, the young, and the poor in order to bankroll tax giveaways to the rich. Republicans, of course, see it a different way.”
Dan Rather, before CBS News coverage of President Clinton's budget address, June 13, 1995
Carpet Bombing Health and Safety
“This is just for starters on a tough week ahead for President Clinton and his agenda. From another offensive wave on Whitewater to a sweeping rollback of federal regulations on health, safety, and the environment, it's a political carpet-bombing attack, wall to wall, House to Senate.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, July 17, 1995.
Criticizing Gays as Bad as Fighting Communism
“Gays and lesbians are beaten to death in the streets with increasing frequency -- in part due to irrational fear of AIDS but also because hatemongers, from comedians to the worst of the Christian right, send the message that homosexuals have no value in our society....In the post-cold-war era, gays have been drafted to replace communists as the new menace to the American Way: We’re told gays corrupt youth and commandeer art and entertainment to win converts.”
-- Dan Rather, writing in The Nation, April 11, 1994.
“Republican” Ken Starr
“There is growing controversy tonight, about whether the newly named independent counsel in the Whitewater case is independent or a Republican partisan allied with a get-Clinton movement. Among the questions about Kenneth Starr are these: the involvement of anti-Clinton activists in pushing for Starr's appointment to replace Robert Fiske. Also, Starr's public stand actively supporting a woman's current lawsuit against the President. This is a potentially important and explosive story, correspondent Rita Braver has the latest.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, August 8, 1994.
Poor Threatened by Republican Takeover of Congress
“Soup kitchens around the country are reporting demand for their services is up this Thanksgiving -- unfortunately, donations are down. And now with the coming shift of power and agendas in Washington, many charitable groups are worried about how they -- and the people they help -- can make it.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, November 23, 1994.
Bill’s the Best
“[Clinton] pointed out the Andrew Jackson magnolia tree. He's a very good historian. Harry, I think if you had been in the room, any viewer-listener who had been in that room, would have been impressed with the breadth of his knowledge. I mean he talked about the Oscars. He talked very knowingly about Clint Eastwood and his new movie Unforgiven, Jack Nicholson's role in A Few Good Men, and then switched very quickly to a knowledgeable analysis of Arkansas's chances against North Carolina in the big basketball game tomorrow night.”
-- Dan Rather to CBS This Morning's Harry Smith, after March 25, 1993 Clinton interview.
The Clintons are Terrific
“If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we’d take it right now and walk away winners....Tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we’re pulling for
-- Dan Rather to President Clinton, via satellite, at a CBS affiliates meeting, referencing new co-anchor Connie Chung to the
Evening News, May 27, 1993.
Hillary Clinton, Genius
“I hear you talking and, as I have before on this subject, I don’t know of anybody, friend or foe, who isn’t impressed by your grasp of the details of this [health care] plan. I’m not surprised, because you have been working on it so long and listened to so many people.”
-- Dan Rather, nterview with Hillary Clinton, 48 Hours, September 22, 1993.
Dan the Welfare Expert
“Take an election year, add a budget crunch, and one sure result is an assault on the welfare system, help for the poor. Still, most of the people who attack welfare have little or no contact with the people who depend on it.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, February 5, 1992.
“And, Eye On America -- a town fighting back against greed, corporate raiders, and the hangover of the go-go '80s.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, March 19, 1992.
Centrist Clinton-Gore Ticket, I
“Delegates approved the Clinton-Gore center-of-the-road Democratic Party platform, trying to move the party closer to voters around the malls in America's suburbs.”
-- Dan Rather, first convention update during the all-star game, July 14, 1992.
Centrist Clinton-Gore Ticket, II
“Assembled delegates here approved a center-of-the-road Democratic Party platform to help the Clinton-Gore ticket go shopping for votes in the fall in America's malls and suburbs.”
-- Second convention update, July 14, 1992.
Centrist Clinton-Gore Ticket, III:
“Earlier, the Democratic Party approved the Clinton-Gore middle-of-the-road platform calling for law and order, work for welfare recipients, and a strong U.S. military.”
-- Third convention update, July 14, 1992.
Reagan Years Unfair
“Everyone knows the rich got richer in the 1980s. Now, a new study shows how dramatic the change was.”
-- Dan Rather, reporting on a study by the Economic Policy Institute, a group founded by Dukakis and Clinton advisors, October 29, 1992.
Keeping Soldiers Safe
“Allied military units are on the move. Their positions, movements, and plans must be carefully safeguarded. We must assume that the enemy is confused about what is happening on the battlefield and it is absolutely essential that we not do anything inadvertently ourselves to clarify the picture for him.”
-- Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in a press conference at the start of the Gulf War ground operation, February 23, 1991.
“As part of our CBS News live coverage of the beginning of the ground war offensive, we're talking to Bob McKeown, a CBS News reporter who's one mile from the Kuwaiti border. Bob, any indication of how far up you the think the Allies are now?”
-- Dan Rather, 21 minutes later.
Non-Liberal Blacks “Reactionaries”
“Black conservatives or reactionaries are getting a lot of attention since the Thomas nomination...It has been a common misconception that Americans who happen to be black also happen to be liberal or progressive. True, perhaps most are, but as Bruce Morton reports in tonight's Eye On America, the terms black or African-American and conservative or reactionary are not mutually exclusive.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, July 12, 1991.
Justice Souter, Right-Wing Woman-Hater
“Senator Simon, is there any doubt in your mind that [Souter’s] views pretty well parallel those of John Sununu’s, which means he’s anti-abortion or anti-women’s rights, whichever way you want to put it?”
Dan Rather to Democratic Sen. Paul Simon, July 23, 1990.
1988 (& 1999)
Clinton Scandal vs. VP Bush Scandal:
View a video comparison of how Dan Rather treated President Clinton in a
March 31, 1999 interview in which Rather avoided the Chinese espionage and
fundraising scandals (on right) and Rather's infamous interview of Vice
President Bush on January 25, 1988 interview on Iran-Contra scandal in
which Rather told the Vice President, “You've made us hypocrites in the
face of the world.” Watch the videos below.
Soviet Citizens Liked Communism
“Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy.”
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, June 17, 1987.
Dan Rather File Home Page