Former TV anchor just keeps on sinking

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dan Rather was once important. Influential. Respected.

Granted, there was that mysterious episode when Rather claimed to be mugged by some strange assailant. But it was Dan Rather and we gave him a pass.

Then came along a juicy story about George W. Bush dodging the draft. Though the story had little factual basis, Rather jumped at the bait.

And then Dan Rather was fired as anchor of CBS Evening News.

Few readers under 50 may even know Dan Rather. He earned his reputation initially as a television reporter in Dallas the day President John Kennedy was assassinated.

Groomed as Walter Cronkite's replacement, Rather became a staple of the national media. And for most of us, Rather became a daily fixture in our news consumption.

Following his abrupt departure, Rather ventured into other news outlets using his name recognition to rebuild his career.

Those ventures faltered and Rather faded into the shadows.

Well, he's back.

The disgraced former news anchor decided this week to venture into the 2016 presidential campaign and his opinions today are just as quirky as always.

Rather blames the rise of Donald Trump's standing on the amount of media coverage given to his campaign.

The way to stop Trump, so Rather believes, is for the media to ignore him.

Rather thinks the media - and not just the ever-popular liberal punching bag Fox News - are "business partners" and "political partners" with the Trump campaign.

I can only assume Rather watches little of his former network.

Rather stopped just short of calling for a "blackout" of the Trump campaign.

The former mugging victim even accuses Trump of scheduling media events "when viewers are paying attention."

Can you imagine a political candidate actually planning media coverage when people are likely to watch?

I smell a conspiracy!

Rather warns that if Trump continues to receive air time from the networks, he may even defeat Hillary Clinton come November.

As a result of the Trump media coverage, Rather cautions Democrats to be "very, very afraid" of the November election result.

Once upon a time many years ago, journalists were expected to be impartial, even-handed and fair in their coverage of those entering the political arena.

For a journalist - even a former journalist - to advocate limiting coverage of a candidate because that coverage might work to the candidate's advantage is beyond sad.

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