Rather finds climate of fear

The human ego is an amazing thing. When some men get into a very successful and powerful position in life, there is a tendency for a god-like inflation of their ego to occur; or, if they already have a huge ego, it will only get bigger. If such a man is actually deeply flawed and badly fails, he will be unwilling to acknowledge his own mistakes that brought this about. His failure will only make him turn against the world. Think, e.g., of Jimmy Carter, who has spent the last 25 years in ever-deepening kookdom because of his humiliating loss to Ronald Reagan in 1980 (the biggest defeat in electoral votes, 49 to 489, suffered by an elected incumbent in U.S. history, even worse than Hoover’s loss to Roosevelt in 1932, 59 to 472). Utterly unwilling to face the reasons for his richly deserved rejection by the American electorate, Carter blamed America, and so became an anti-American.

Another example of ego-inflation turning batty is Dan Rather. Unbelievably, Rather is complaining about a “climate of fear” in the media, which he apparently sees as the reason for his own downfall. See the discussion of this at Lucianne.com (only online for a couple of days). The L-dotters certainly have Dan’s number. As they point out, if the mainstream media for the first time in its history actually faces serious criticism and is made accountable for its misdeeds (the same way it gleefully and ruthlessly holds other parties accountable for their supposed misdeeds), that, as the media people see it, is the equivalent of a new advent of McCarthyism. (For past VFR discussions of Rather and Memogate, see this and this and this.)

Also note Rather’s complaint about “dumbed-down, tarted-up” coverage.” This takes the cake, since Rather, as managing editor and anchorman of the CBS Evening News, was in the absolute forefront of those who reduced tv news to dumbed-down, tarted-up coverage. See my 1996 letter to CBS about Rather’s spending the first 13 minutes of one evening news program on a wildly sensationalist non-story about newly uncovered footage of Dallas on November 22, 1963 that revealed absolutely nothing of importance.

I virtually stopped watching the CBS Evening News after that, except that once every several months, or every couple of years, yearning for some regular tv news, I would turn it on, but within minutes would be so shocked by the naked partisanship of the program, indeed, by its absence of even the pretence of being a news program, that I would turn it off again. In any case, it was ironic that Rather’s breathless coverage of a phony Kennedy assassination follow-up was the cause of my ceasing to be a viewer, given what a reader says below:

Memogate was a fitting end to Rather’s career before a national audience considering his first widespread exposure before a national audience was on November 22, 1963 in Dallas where he interviewed a Methodist minister who fraudulently claimed, and Rather knew it to be fraud, that students at Dallas’ University Park elementary school cheered when they heard that JFK had been shot. The man is quite simply immoral, never caring how many lives and reputations he destroyed in his ambitious quest to be the top liberal propagandist, to serve the “greater good.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 20, 2005 02:56 PM | Send

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