Dan Rather wants Obama to help save the news

The Article appears here

by Andrew Travers, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather called on President Barack Obama to form a White House commission to help save the press Tuesday night in an impassioned speech at the Aspen Institute.

“I personally encourage the president to establish a White House commission on public media,” the legendary newsman said.

Such a commission on media reform, Rather said, ought to make recommendations on saving journalism jobs and creating new business models to keep news organizations alive.

At stake, he argued, is the very survival of American democracy.

“A truly free and independent press is the red beating heart of democracy and freedom,” Rather said in an interview yesterday afternoon. “This is not something just for journalists to be concerned about, and the loss of jobs and the loss of newspapers, and the diminution of the American press’ traditional role of being the watchdog on power. This is something every citizen should be concerned about.”

Rather, who has been a working reporter for more than six decades and currently hosts “Dan Rather Reports” on HDNet, pointed out that there are precedents for such national commissions, which have been used to help other at-risk industries.

Corporate and political influence on newsrooms, along with the conflation of news and entertainment, has created what Rather called “the dumbing down and sleazing up of what we see on the news.”


Heather Rousseau/Aspen Daily News

Dan Rather shares some of his thoughts on the state of public media as he gives a personal interview at the Aspen Meadows on Tuesday before his speech at the Aspen Institute later that evening.

It has also thinned the amount of investigative and international journalism. The latter loss of correspondents covering America’s two foreign wars, Rather opined, is both a critical detriment to the nation and a disservice to our troops.

Tears welled in the lifelong reporter’s eyes as he discussed the dwindling number of war correspondents.

“I feel particularly strong about coverage of the wars,” he said, noting that covering the war in Afghanistan is his top priority on his HDNet program. “No apologies, both as a journalist and as a citizen I just can’t stand to leave those guys out there, fighting, dying, bleeding, getting torn up and say, ‘Look, it’s page 14 news.’ Or ‘Sorry, not on tonight’s newscast.’ It’s an example of the problem, that and not having the watchdogs.”

The free press, as established by the First Amendment to the Constitution, ought to operate as a public trust, not solely as a money-making endeavor, Rather argued, and it’s time the government make an effort to ensure the survival of the free press. If not the government, he suggested, then an organization like the Carnegie Foundation should take it on. Without action, he predicted, America will lose its independent media.

“If we do nothing more than stand back and hope that innovation alone will solve this crisis,” he said, “then our best-trained journalists will lose their jobs.”

andrew@aspendailynews.com

Comments

liberal government one way

Submitted by michaelp on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 3:20pm.

liberal government one way news ! wow ! we get that now.

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DAN RATHER WANTS OBAMAS HELP FOR NEWS

Submitted by michaelp on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 3:17pm.

michael Dan the fox news is doing very well. conservative radio is also doing very, very well. your problem with your liberal news is ! liberal news is one way reporting, lies,and the people are not stupid anymore.n.y. times and all liberal one way reporting is over. example: bush went to barney and congress about the upcoming banking problems in 2001.it was in the news back in the day. barney laughed, and nothing was done about it.now were in trouble. THERE WAS NO NEWS ABOUT IT ! even though it was on t.v. in 2001. the same people are still in office bankrupting the country now.why read news that is only one way, and the same reason your not working anymore. you got caught slandering the news .but don’t worry ! obama plans on bailing out the one way reporting. and plans on shutting down conservative news. yes our freedom of speech ! we are now a socialist country now.government is taking over everything. i know your happy, along with soros, and the rest of the liberal commies.

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Goober Rather

Submitted by worknmal on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 1:57pm.

Just what we need now to inform the ignorant masses. Gov’t funded news run by a guy that makes it up as he goes along.

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give me a break!

Submitted by williecp on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 1:47pm.

Williecp

Who does this guy think he is? He’s looking for the government to help the press watch the government? Does this sound crazy to anyone else?

If the media is in trouble, then they have no one to blame but themselves. The media hasn’t taken seriously it’s “historic” role as the watchdog on government power since the Nixon Administration. Even more pathetic, we saw most arms of the State Media jump so far in bed with the Obama campaign that it was impossible to tell who was hogging the blanket!

And let’s not even talk about all the water carried for corrupt organizations like Acorn! Dan, you want someone to investigate? Then how about pulling your head out of your nether regions and practice some SERIOUS journalism and expose the rank corruption and downright evil connections between the DNC, Americorp, and the above mentioned ACORN!

It is the steadfast refusal of the mainstream media to treat both sides of the political spectrum with appropriate journalistic impartiality that has resulted in declining revenues and lost jobs. The games up people! We know that you’ve been lying to us for decades and we sick of it. We actually have choices now in where we get out news and you elites just can’t deal with that. Too bad. My advice: Suck it up, Buttercup!

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Dan Blather

Submitted by homo_superior on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 11:30am.

the title says it all

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Is Smart Journalism an Oxymoron?

Submitted by BelMarin on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 11:24am.

Journalists are supposed to be smart enough to catch the government when it is corrupt. They are also supposed to be smart enough to catch when politicians working for themselves and not working for the folks. They are supposed to be smart enough to explain complicated issues to the ordinary person.

Now we have a whole class of journalists and the people who own newspapers who are not smart enough to run their own businesses properly. How can we trust them to carry out their duties as journalists?

Whether they are idiologs or not is irrelevant since they have shown an inability to deal with idiologies they do not like such as GWB. He proved to be far smarter than the press.

We need to somehow attract smart people into journalism instead of glib idiots who could not explain a Credit Default Swap or any other derivitives to anyone. How can they catch the bad guys when the press doesn’t understand what the bad guys are doing? Credit Default Swaps for instance are insurance policies that were written without any actuarial backup. If the press had figured that out, then we would not be in the financial pickle we find ourselves in today.

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Some problems with Dan Rather’s position

Submitted by kraftyse on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 10:54am.

1) So we are supposed to divert our already over-extended government revenues to help prop up the mainstream media?

2) There are lots of new media sources for good coverage. The fact is that in the 21st century delivering a big paper that goes “thud” on your doorstep every morning, or a “you must tune in at exactly 5:30 PM to see a national anchor who may or may not talk about anything you are interested in” are both archaic delivery systems for information.

3) Pity the poor journalists! I don’t see anyone lining up to save other specific white-collar professions, so why do journalists qualify for a government bailout?

4) Didn’t Rather and his leaping to conclusions (and then being caught by bloggers) based on forged letters involving GWB’s national guard service serve as a seminal moment in discrediting the journalistic practices and value of the very organizations/professions he now wants to save?

5) Speaking of GWB, would Dan Rather be just as gung-ho about giving a Republican administration and congress so much power over the mainstream media?

Dan–you know why the mainstream media is getting clubbed? Because it is not delivering value. It’s delivery systems are expensive and not customer-friendly. Its content (which it likes to portray as objective) is too often partisan and poorly-researched. I personally would rather pay attention to bloggers and new media, which cost zero tax dollars and if I catch them in acts of hypocrisy and inaccuracies I can easily find other more reliable new media sources.

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Dan Rather wants Obama to help…

Submitted by loldanrather on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 10:50am.

“A truly free and independent press is the red beating heart of democracy and freedom,”

ROFL. This is so funny. Yes, a truly free and independent press is the red beating heart of democracy and freedom. But the press stopped being truly free and independent YEARS ago. As stated before, they are no longer journalists, but progressive, statist cheerleaders and propagandists. People are hungry for real news, and the reason the press is dying is because they no longer are able to find it.

This last election, with the press acting like infatuated adolescents, is all the evidence the public needed. Who can believe that they are truly free an independent after such a sickening performance?

An overwhelming number of American citizens were long ago concerned about the loss of a free and independent press. The press just would not listen. The public was basically told to shut up and sit down like a good serf…

So we did. We shut up our pocket books and stopped paying attention.

Now Dan Rather wants the government to save the press so that it can be free and independent. ROFL. So, if the government saves the press, how can it then be free an independent and not beholden to the government that just saved it?

This is the logic that doomed the press in the first place. They cannot see the truth when it has just finished pummeling them.

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Rather, etal.

Submitted by lifot on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 5:16am.

An significant number of Americans are content to get their news in ‘20 second sound bites’ and assume that what they hear is correct; when in reality this is most often a poor assumption. Getting at the truth requires an individual effort that most are unwilling to make and even when the truth is blatantly obvious, it is often discounted or ignored.

The major media in this Country no longer appears to be in the news business, rather they are in the ‘business of news’. This results in the news being packaged in a manner that best suits the media’s interest and not an objective presentation of the facts.

Finally, and perhaps the most alarming is that the major media has clearly lost their journalistic values and have become cheerleaders for every left-wing cause and politician, regardless of the facts or consequences.

We have the Cronkites, Rathers to ‘thank’ for this, however it appears that truth is beginning to prevail as their ratings and stocks are plunging.

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DAN RATHER

Submitted by ozzie on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 4:19am.

Dan Rather is exactly what is wrong with the MSM. He is one that has caused the general public to look elsewhere for factual news.

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“not having the watchdogs”

Submitted by William_Brown on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 12:27am.

You were NEVER a watchdog, Rather (pun intended), you were a lickspittle liberal lapdog. I’ve got a memo for you and all of the current crop of state-run media: You helped put this Kenyan communist in office and this citizen invites the whole lot of you to join Cronkite in hell.

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Yeah Right!

Submitted by leroitroisieme on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 12:12am.

He wants a “Goebbels” state, one-side all the time. Save the press? The press needs to start reporting fairly and accurately. I don’t see this happening anytime soon.

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Rather is one of the frauds of his biz

Submitted by Profsportster on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 12:03am.

I’ll never forget Rather fronting fake documents attacking Bush. He is a sleeeeeeeezy son of gun, for sure. How amusing to read of him waxing melancholy over the loss of his elite’s monopoly. I grew up listening to the networks spill their statist garbage, and then came Rush. Bye bye news/Hollywood monopoly, hello talk radio! Go hair spray your wig, Danny Boy.

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What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Submitted by LibertarianChick on Wed, 07/29/2009 – 11:57pm.

This is the worst case of calling for the fox to guard the henhouse I have ever heard. We already have an interchangeable media between the administration and traditional media, as well as cross-pollenation of network and cable news organizations and entertainment venues. Dan Rather is not relevant and should quietly fade away with the little respect he has left.

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Dan Rather

Submitted by Opie254 on Wed, 07/29/2009 – 11:21pm.

Dan rather is an example of a very partisan liberal hack that will always overshadow his integrity as a journalist. after a while reader just stop wasting time reading a distorted and made up story which CBs called news.whe I first arrived in this country 30 years ago the first anchor i watch was Dan Rather and sadly he was also the first one that I stop watching. I lost respect in him as a journalist.

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Lap Dogs

Submitted by DWarner on Wed, 07/29/2009 – 11:09pm.

Uhh… that doesn’t even make any sense. The press needs to watch the government, so lets have the government set up a commision to tell us how the press should operate.

Our press is a joke. They are sheep in wolves clothing. 12 trillion dollars of debt, body bags from Afghanistan, Iranian nukes, socialized industries, 785 billion dollars of wasted stimulous money and 9.4% unemployment. Where are the tough questions with follow ups?

“Yes Mr. President that was an eloquent answer, but it realy provided no factual explanation of your policies.”

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“A truly free and independent press”

Submitted by StanM on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 3:47am.

The old dinosaur media hasn’t been “a truly free and independent press” for a long time. First, they changed from reporting the news to reading leftist press releases. And now they have moved on to acting as PR companies for the statists.

I stopped getting my news from TV years ago, and then as the blight spread to print media, I stopped bothering with that also.

If “a truly free and independent press” ever reappears, they will have one more loyal customer. If not, who cares what happens to the current crop of PR flacks>

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Dan Rather

Submitted by stability-flow on Wed, 07/29/2009 – 10:28pm.

Dan really blew it with his ‘investigative reporting’ during the ’04 election…his time has come and gone.

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Dan Rather wants Obama to help…

Submitted by JWayne on Wed, 07/29/2009 – 10:12pm.

Dan Rather and his liberal political sycophant ilk have destroyed the credibility of the main stream media and now Rather wants the obamites he helped create to save their own government, state run, advertising agency?
Oh Danny Boy…the pipes the pipes are calling…. You lost because you refuse to lead with truth. All you yes men needed to do is report the facts. Not your wishes, your opinions…the truth.

The truth comes out anyway and when it does you are shown to be the stooges of the left that you are. You yourself Mr. Rather are the walking reincarnation of Goebbels. If you don’t like the news… make some up! And after that, read this afternoon’s spin from your supplied talking points.

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