On a recent broadcast of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” former CBS host Dan Rather stated that, everyone should “think carefully” about the “propaganda tool” of alternate facts, and “Facts and the truth, or as close as is humanly possible to get to the truth, are the very foundation of our democracy and dealing with an informed citizenry.”
Rather said, “Listen, two plus two equals four. That’s a fact. There’s no alternative to it. Water runs downhill. That’s a fact. It snows in Alaska. There’s sand dunes in Saudi Arabia. These are facts. This idea of alternative facts, this is a propaganda too. And look, you and I know that Ms. Conway is a very smart lady, and she didn’t just offhandedly say this. They’ve made this point before. I don’t think that even most of the very –Trump supporters who really believe in him want us to deal in a world of alternative facts. Facts and the truth, or as close as is humanly possible to get to the truth, are the very foundation of our democracy and dealing with an informed citizenry. We all know that. And I think we have to be very careful, not all — not just those of us in journalism, and not just the White House, but the public at large has to think carefully about this whole propaganda tool of alternate facts.”
Do you remember this story of facts during the Bush vs Kerry campaign?
CBS News apologized Monday for a “mistake in judgment” in its story questioning President Bush’s National Guard service, claiming it was misled by the source of documents that several experts have dismissed as fakes.
The network said it would appoint an independent panel to look at its reporting about the memos. The story has mushroomed into a major media scandal, threatening the reputations of CBS News and chief anchor Dan Rather.
It also has become an issue in the presidential campaign. The White House said the affair raises questions about the connections between CBS’s source, retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, and Democrat John Kerry’s campaign.
Rather joined CBS News President Andrew Heyward in issuing an apology.
“We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry,” Rather said. “It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.”
Almost immediately after the story aired Sept. 8, document experts questioned memos purportedly written by Bush’s late squadron leader, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, saying they appeared to have been created on a computer and not on the kind of typewriter in use during the 1970s.
Dan Rather still stands by the CBS News report that got him fired, nearly a decade and one feature film later. The former anchor's reputation was tarnished after the accuracy of his 2004 story questioning President George W. Bush's military service was publicly disputed by the leader's administration.
And yet Rather has the audacity to declare that only facts and truth should be reported because it is critical to democracy. Rather was not questioned about his definition of facts and truth. I guess they depend on the circumstances and what is convenient.