Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather compared President Trump’s criticism of the media to something “straight out of Orwell.”
Rather first made the comparison in a Facebook post on July 24:
Many recognize the eerie similarities to George Orwell. That’s very true. But I think most Americans can and will see through the propaganda. Hopefully they will vote accordingly. And one thing is certain: a free and independent press remains vital to the cause!
He then doubled down on those remarks on an appearance Friday on CNN with Don Lemon calling Trump “authoritarian.”
Veteran journalist Dan Rather said on Friday that Trump’s false statements about and attacks on the media are “straight out of Orwell.”
The former longtime CBS News anchor told CNN’s Don Lemon that Trump is “authoritarian” and wants people to believe that “the one and only truth comes from him.” and that “this is the hallmark of authoritarian regimes.”
“It’s straight out of Orwell. [George] Orwell, what he wrote, it’s practically a shooting script for Donald Trump,” claiming that Trump’s method is to “convince people that the only truth is the truth that comes from me, the ultimate power.”
“As several people have said before me, he is not just attacking the truth, he wants to annihilate the truth,” he added. “He wants to move us completely into the post-truth political era in which there’s no such thing as objective facts.”
Rather told Lemon that he believed that there “has been some desperation” in Trump’s recent attacks because he faces increasing pressure from the Mueller investigation and the questions surrounding his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
“And as he gets more desperate he takes bigger risks in telling bigger lies or more often telling lies. And telling people, ‘look, don’t believe what you read or see anywhere else, just come to me. I have the ultimate truth, I am the way,’ ” Rather said.
Trump has repeatedly clashed with the media, especially CNN which he has labeled “fake news,” and has found that calling the media “the enemy of the American people’ has struck a chord with his base while infuriating the media at the same time.