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Calvin Freiburger

Dan Rather's Idea of News – Thanks, But No Thanks

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Posted on October 26 2009 3:37 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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At least someone likes Dan Rather.

TV Newser reports that ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather has weighed in on the Obama Administration’s attacks on the Fox News Channel.  Given the example of Glenn Beck interviewing Ann Coulter about Rush Limbaugh, Rather said,

“One entertainer interviewing a second entertainer about a third entertainer isn’t my idea of news.”

He complained about corporate influence corrupting journalism, and stated his opposition to any potential effort to censor any news or opinion outlet, even a purely-propagandistic cable station—“and we may be near that now.”

Oh, where to begin?

Perhaps by observing that it never seems to occur to MSM types to raise similar entertainer-on-entertainer questions about sitdowns between sportscaster Keith Olbermann and alleged comedian Janeane Garofalo. Of course the Beck/Coulter/Limbaugh example isn’t news. It’s opinion.  So what?  Not only is Glenn Beck’s show just one of several types of show Fox airs, but the above scenario is just one of several different types of segment Beck does on his show!

It’s not Beck’s eccentricity or his temper that’s riled the Left (if it was, I’d like them to meet a fellow by the name of Ed Schultz,) but his much-noticed investigative reporting that’s taken the shine off of Hope & Change.

The boogeyman of evil corporations is an old liberal favorite.  It is an article of progressive faith that conservative opinions cannot be trusted, and must be driven by ulterior motives, the most common of which being money.  Boy, it sure is a relief to know that the Left doesn’t have any deep-pocketed benefactors or corporate media moguls of its own to worry about!  Oh, wait…

Of course, the most glaring problem with Dan Rather offering his two cents on what’s journalism and what’s propaganda is that he doesn’t know the difference.  A longtime partisan who regularly let his liberalism seep into his reporting (such as his professed admiration for Bill & Hillary Clinton), Rather has churned out some “pure propaganda” of his own a time or two.  In 1988 he interviewed six supposed combat veterans of the Vietnam War for a TV documentary about unspeakable atrocities committed in America’s name, and the toll the war took on our fighting men.  But it turned out that their horror stories were fraudulent (most of the interviewees never even saw combat,) as were the statistics on homelessness, suicide, and mental illness among Vietnam vets that the show publicized.

Most famously, in the heat of Election 2004 Rather used the “CBS Evening News” to promote forged documents slandering President George W. Bush’s military service—a scandal that ultimately cost Rather his job.  I think that if we really want to know how to identify real news, we’d best look elsewhere.

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Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also blogs at the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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