Former CBS anchor Rather, dismissed over false Bush report, talks journalism responsibility on CNN
By Evan Lips | November 14, 2016, 3:44 EST
NEW YORK — CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” a program that boasts a swath of journalists committed to “telling the story behind the story,” featured former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather — with Rather cautioning against journalism lethargy in the wake of an election year upset.
Rather told the show’s host, Brian Stelter, that the media must be “fiercely independent” in its coverage of Republican President-Elect Donald Trump.
A synopsis review of Stelter’s report, the host of which is billed on CNN’s website as an examiner of the “media world,”, and who cites Rather’s reflections, indicates that the show’s host did not address Rather’s own troubles vetting “reliable sources.”
“I know that some of you right now are having a very hard time trusting this channel and every other news source,” said Stelter, days after Trump’s upset victory. “So we on the other side of the screen, over here, have to reckon with that.
“Not just for a week or two, but for the long term — some of you feel that the media paved the way for a madman to become president, others of you feel like journalism is completely irrelevant now.”
Stelter’s mea culpa neglected to reference a specific point of trust.
Records show that in 2005, CBS News announced that the company “failed to follow basic journalistic preparation and reporting” of Rather’s September 2004 report of then-GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush’s military service record.
Said Rather regarding the upcoming presidency of Trump:
“Now that he’s the president-elect, clearly he’s off on a strategy of trying to intimidate the press,” Rather said. “This is gut check time for the press.”