Media Research Center - Press Release - January 18, 2002
WASHINGTON, D.C. - CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather won the Quote of the Year award last night at the Media Research Centers annual Dishonors Awards Ceremony. The audience chose Rather from among the evenings top three Dishonor award winners. Rather won for his absurd defense of Bill Clintons honesty during his appearance on Fox News Channels The OReilly Factor last May 15.
Bill OReilly: I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clintons an honest man?
Dan Rather: Yes, I think hes an honest man.
OReilly: Do you, really?
Rather: I do.
OReilly: Even though he lied to Jim Lehrers face about the Lewinsky case?
Rather: Who among us has not lied about something?
OReilly: Well, I didnt lie to anybodys face on national television. I dont think you have, have you?
Rather: I dont think I ever have. I hope I never have. But look, its one thing
OReilly: How can you say hes an honest guy then?
Rather: Well, because I think he is. I think at core hes an honest person. I know that you have a different view. I know that you consider it sort of astonishing anybody would say so, but I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.
It really wasnt much of a contest, said MRC President Brent Bozell. Rathers insistence that someone much less a President of the United States could be an honest man at his core and still lie about any number things was more than the audience could take. Rather admitted that we would consider it in his words astonishing that anyone would think that way and say so, and hes right.