Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

3/12/2006

Rather’s Rules

Filed under: Media — Dangerous Dan @ 11:49 am

Dan Rather gave a speech Wednesday in which he expounded on his rules for good journalism. Judging from what he said, they appear to be as follows:

1) Ask more questions, especially the tough ones.
2) Offer less sensationalism and more real analysis.
3) Pay more attention to international events.

It should be immediately obvious that in the memogate affair, Rather violated rules 1 and 2. Tough questions were not asked and the analysis was pitiful. Does this mean that Dan Rather was a bad journalist according to his own criteria?

For further irony, observe this statement: "American journalism at its best is a public trust and is deeply bound up in our system of checks and balances." Yes, the guy who reported clear forgeries as fact, who ignored concerns from document experts as to the memos' authenticity, who depended on a handwriting expert to say the typed documents were real (even though he didn't), who still claims the memos are real despite blinding evidence to the contrary, and who thinks he was unfairly canned for the fiasco, is lecturing on public trust and checks and balances.

Rather also said, "American journalism is in need of a spine transplant." A spine isn't very useful if it doesn't have a brain attached to it. Courage without moderating prudence and intelligence is not courage, but merely dangerous recklessness. Maybe Rather should first worry about that.

(link via MRC)

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