SPECIAL EDITION: On Dan Rather's 20th Anniversary as Anchor, His Most Obnoxious Liberal Advocacy. Plus: "Ratherisms"
1) "20 Years of Liberal Spin from Gunga Dan." A collection of 21 examples of Dan Rather's liberal advocacy as distributed today in a two-page "Media Reality Check" fax report. Five years ago Rather promised, "you can sooner expect a tall talking broccoli stick to offer to mow your lawn for free" than expect to find him still in the anchor chair after the year 2000.
The MRC's Rich Noyes compiled the quotes and collated them into the printed issue which you can see online as fax recipients saw it by accessing the Adobe Acrobat PDF version: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/2001/pdf/fax0308.pdf 
Thanks to MRC Webmaster Andy Szul, the HTML online version of the Media Reality Check includes RealPlayer video of six of Rather's quotes. To watch them, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/2001/Fax20010308.html 
In the reprint of the text below I've added, in [brackets], links to lengthier excerpts of some of the listed Rather quotes.
Rich opened the Media Reality Check by explaining: "Five years ago, Dan Rather told the Los Angeles Times 'you can sooner expect a tall talking broccoli stick to offer to mow your lawn for free' than expect to find him still in the anchor chair after the year 2000. But he's still there, and on Friday, two full decades will have passed since the idiosyncratic Rather succeeded Walter Cronkite as anchor of the CBS Evening News, now the nation's third-rated evening newscast. To mark the occasion, this special 2-page Media Reality Check documents a few of the many liberal outbursts that have animated Rather's tenure."
Before we get to the rest of the text, the pull-out
quotes from Rather featured on the first and second pages of the fax. On
the front page:
And on the second page, a contrast showing how
Rather greeted both parties with liberal spin:
Go to the online version of the Media Reality Check
(address above) to view these videos side-by-side:
-- Republicans favor sleazy fundraising. "Republicans kill the bill to clean up sleazy political fundraising. The business of dirty campaign money will stay business as usual....Good evening. Legislation to reform shady big money campaign fundraising is dead in Congress. Republican opponents in the Senate killed it today." (CBS Evening News, February 26, 1998)
-- Hillary Clinton is a genius. "I hear you talking and, as I have before on this subject, I don't know of anybody, friend or foe, who isn't impressed by your grasp of the details of this [health care] plan. I'm not surprised, because you have been working on it so long and listened to so many people." (Interview with Hillary Clinton, 48 Hours, September 22, 1993)
-- Justice Souter is a right-wing woman-hater. "Senator Simon, is there any doubt in your mind that [Souter's] views pretty well parallel those of John Sununu's, which means he's anti-abortion or anti-women's rights, whichever way you want to put it?" (CBS Evening News interview with Democratic Sen. Paul Simon, July 23, 1990)
-- The Clintons are terrific! "If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now and walk away winners....Tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we're pulling for her." (To President Clinton, via satellite, at a CBS affiliates meeting, referencing new co-anchor Connie Chung to the Evening News, May 27, 1993)
-- No need for proof before alleging GOP dirty tricks. "Al Gore
must stand and deliver here tonight as the Democratic Party's
presidential nominee, and now Gore must do so against the backdrop of a
potentially damaging, carefully orchestrated story leak about President
Clinton. The story is that the Republican-backed special prosecutor,
Robert Ray, Ken Starr's successor, has a new grand jury looking into
possible criminal charges against the President growing out of Mr.
Clinton's sex life." (CBS Evening News, August 17, 2000, the
final day of the Democratic convention. The next day, a Carter-appointed
federal judge revealed he had inadvertently leaked the news)
-- Competitors to CBS News are morally inferior. "It is not just Congress that is taking a sharp turn to the right. The surge to the right on Capitol Hill is making waves all over the country on openly politically partisan, and sometimes racist, radio." (CBS Evening News, January 4, 1995)
-- Hillary Clinton should run for President someday. "I would not be astonished to see Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee in 2000....Hillary Clinton is the Person of the Year in that, you talk about a comeback kid -- she makes her husband look like Ned in kneepants in terms of comeback from where she was early in the Clinton administration. You know, you add it all up, and you can make the case that Hillary Clinton might, might -- mark the word -- be the strongest candidate for the Democrats." (Interview with CNN's Larry King, December 3, 1998)
-- Castro really cares about the Cuban people. "While Fidel Castro, and certainly justified on his record, is widely criticized for a lot of things, there is no question that Castro feels a very deep and abiding connection to those Cubans who are still in Cuba and, I recognize this might be controversial, but there's little doubt in my mind that Fidel Castro was sincere when he said, 'Listen, we really want this child back here.'" (CBS News live coverage of the Elian raid, April 22, 2000)
-- George W. Bush didn't really win the election. "Good evening.
Texas Governor George Bush tonight will assume the mantle and the honor of
President-elect. This comes 24 hours after a sharply split and, some say,
politically and ideologically motivated Supreme Court ended Vice President
Gore's contest of the Florida election and, in effect, handed the
presidency to Bush." (CBS Evening News, Dec. 13, 2000)
-- Democrats are uncaring if they back conservative policies. "You said this morning that the party's message will focus on the needs and cares of the people. Now, how do you reconcile that with a President who has just signed a, quote, 'welfare reform bill' which by general agreement is going to put a lot of poor children on the street?" (Question to Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, CBS Evening News, August 25, 1996)
-- Republicans are radicals and extremists. "Some of your staff members, not by name, have been saying, 'Yes, the President thinks Bob Dole is a nice person and has been a pretty good leader in some ways but,' they say, 'he's been captured by extremists in the Republican Party, the radical part of the Republican Party, including Newt Gingrich. Is that what you think?" (60 Minutes interview with Bill Clinton, Aug. 18, 1996)
-- Hillary Clinton is fantastic. "Once a political lightning rod,
today she is political lightning. A crowd pleaser and first-class
fundraiser, a person under enormous pressure to step into the arena, this
time on her own." (60 Minutes II, May 26, 1999)
-- The Reagan years were unfair. "Everyone knows the rich got richer in the 1980s. Now, a new study shows how dramatic the change was." (Reporting on a study by the Economic Policy Institute, a group founded by Dukakis and Clinton advisors, CBS Evening News, Oct. 29, 1992)
-- The impeachment case against Clinton amounted to a coup d'etat. "Is or is there not some concern of the public, concern in some quarters, not all of them Democratic, that this is, in fact, a kind of effort at a quote, 'coup,' that is you have a twice elected, popularly elected President of the United States and so those that you mention in the Republican Party who dislike him and what he stands for, have been unable to beat him at the polls, have found another way to get him out of office?" (Interview with former Republican Sen. Warren Rudman, CBS coverage of the start of the impeachment trial, January 7, 1999)
-- Criticizing gays is as bad as fighting communism. "Gays and lesbians are beaten to death in the streets with increasing frequency - in part due to irrational fear of AIDS but also because hatemongers, from comedians to the worst of the Christian right, send the message that homosexuals have no value in our society....In the post-cold-war era, gays have been drafted to replace communists as the new menace to the American Way: We're told gays corrupt youth and commandeer art and entertainment to win converts." (Writing in The Nation, April 11, 1994)
-- I am not biased. "I'm all news, all the time. Full power, tall tower. I want to break in when news breaks out. That's my agenda. Now, respectfully, when you start talking about a liberal agenda and all the, quote, 'liberal bias' in the media, I quite frankly, and I say this respectfully but candidly to you, I don't know what you're talking about." (Interview with Denver radio station KOA's Mike Rosen, November 28, 1995)
END Reprint of Media Reality Check
Space precludes running more than a few additional policy bias quotes from Rather (meaning non-"Ratherisms"), but as a CyberAlert bonus here are a few more of my favorites. On Friday I'll probably distribute some more.
++ Rather's infamous interview with 41. "You've made us hypocrites
in the face of the world."
++ Gorbachev's great eyes. "He has, as many
great leaders have, impressive eyes...There's a kind of laser-beam stare,
a forced quality, you get from Gorbachev that does not come across as
something peaceful within himself. It's the look of a kind of human
volcano, or he'd probably like to describe it as a human nuclear energy
++ Clinton and Bush abortion executive order
contrasts. "On the anniversary of Roe versus Wade President Clinton
fulfills a promise, supporting abortion rights....It was 20 years ago
today, the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark abortion
rights ruling, and the controversy hasn't stopped since. Today, with the
stroke of a pen, President Clinton delivered on his campaign promise to
cancel several anti-abortion regulations of the Reagan-Bush years."
++ Conservatives can't use their own name.
"The head of the Republican political lobbying group that calls
itself, quote, 'the Christian Coalition' said today he's leaving to start
a political consulting business. Ralph Reed's group took a beating on some
of its hard-right agenda in the last election."
++ Ending affirmative action like spreading
syphilis. "Earlier tonight, we reported the President's apology for
medical experiments that allowed black Americans to die of syphilis. The
President noted how badly this hurt public trust in government, especially
among minorities. The same criticism is being made today on another score.
As CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports, it's the fallout from
California's voter-approved ban on state affirmative action
++ Republican haters from the far right. "On
another front, there could be trouble for the Ken Starr Whitewater
investigation. Reports continue to surface that this key witness for the
prosecution, David Hale, may have been secretly bankrolled by political
activists widely regarded as Clinton opponents, people that Clinton
supporters call Republican haters from the far right."
++ "On one bit of campaign meanness and
nastiness in particular, George Bush now says he's sorry his gutter
language and personal attack was picked up by a microphone at a campaign
stop yesterday, but he refuses to apologize for the substance of his
comment. Bush's remark was about Adam Clymer, a New York Times reporter
whose coverage he doesn't like."
++ "You may want to note that Cheney is referring to Clinton Gore, not Clinton and Gore, in effect making Clinton Al Gore's first name: Clinton Gore."
-- Dan Rather during Dick Cheney's acceptance speech after Cheney said "We're all a little weary of the Clinton-Gore routine...it is time for them to go," August 2, 2000 CBS News Republican convention coverage.
++ Florida's Secretary of State has no legal authority?
To view a video of these comments as shown by the
Fox News Channel, go to:
For more quotes from Rather that night, go to:
Wow. So little space. I still have at least another two dozen outrageous Rather quotes. So, look for more in the next CyberAlert.
"Ratherisms," or as those inside CBS News call them, "Danisms," collected by the MRC over the years. Enjoy:
++ "Let's go down to Texas and let me show you
actual votes in and tabulated. This was a race considered so nasty it
would gag a buzzard....This race is so close that everybody's having a
4,000-calorie attack down there."
++ "I wouldn't touch that line with a 12-foot
pole, which as you know is a pole I reserve for those things that I
certainly wouldn't touch with an 11-foot pole."
++ "Now, walking down the red-carpeted
staircase, President Bush, President Gorbachev, with Gorbachev's
interpreter in between. You can just see at the top of your picture that
huge chandelier, almost 4,000 pounds. It's the older sister of all
++ "Stay with CBS now for more news, including:
Is there a pall over the mall as holiday shoppers think small?"
++ "It will be so exciting as to make the wax
pop out of your ears."
++ "I'd like to leave you with the words of
that popular, secular, patriotic hymn: 'Long may our land be bright with
freedom's holy light.'"
++ "Mr. Clinton was about as relaxed as a pound
++ "If an American inauguration can't bring a
lump to your throat and a tear to your eye, if you don't feel as corny as
Kansas in August, maybe you need a jump-start and some vitamins."
++ "Well, in Texas they have a saying:
'That's a good way for Momma to drive a Cadillac,' which is a way of
saying that if you play with one of these things, particularly if you are
in a low-water area. I would say, Harry, this morning there must be lot of
people who are in that
let's-have-another-cup-of-coffee-and-not-worry-about-it stage. And I agree
with that. That's the stage to be in."
++ "Double T trouble. T is for Thelma, T is for
Tennessee, and T is for big trouble tonight."
"In New Hampshire, closest Senate race in the
country, this race between Dick Swett and Bob Smith is hot and tight as a
too small bathing suit on a too long car ride back from the beach."
++ "I think you're more likely to see the Pope
ride through this room on a giraffe."
++ "Ken Starr and his people have been working
for three to four years, spent more than $30 million, they've used
dozens if not a hundred or so FBI agents. They may have turned this up,
whether you had the Paula Jones case or not. But again maybe not, but
again that's like if a frog had side pockets he'd probably wear a
handgun. It didn't happen that way."
++ "Democrats and Republicans are nervous as
pigs in a packing plant over these returns because the polls have closed
and we don't know the results....Now, if you're in those states where
the polls are open, let me encourage you to vote. And of course, if
you're in a state where the polls are closed, let me encourage you not
to vote. It's illegal."
++ "Charles Schumer is one of the stunners of the
night. This race was as hot and squalid as a New York elevator in
++ "Now Florida, that race, that race, the heat
from it is hot enough to peel house paint."
That's all for the wackiest "Ratherisms." So much bias, so little space.
--Brent Baker 
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