Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather surfaced last week at the John F. Kennedy Forum at Harvard University last week and proved that he still can’t come to grips with the inglorious end to his career last March.
According to the Harvard Crimson the evening started out with Alex Jones who is the director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy describing Rather as an icon and a man who “speaks his mind.” Jones then went on to say that “the president sassed him (Rather) and he sassed him back.” Maybe my memory is faulty, but if Jones was referring to the infamous confrontation that Rather had with then vice-president George H.W. Bush he needs to be reminded that it was Rather who started things off by what Slate said was a harangue about the Iran-Contra scandal. Only then did Bush fire back. Slate actually credits this confrontation with helping Bush claim the presidency.
For his part Rather was quoted in the Crimson as saying he denied having “sassed” any president but that he did try to “stand his ground.” So that’s what they call it. Rather also told the crowd that “I’m not an icon,” and that “I can be arrogant and conceited.”
Does that include that when he was informed in 1987 that a tennis match would cut into his broadcast time he walked off the set leaving the network with six minutes of dead air?
It was his arrogance and conceit that eventually forced Rather to resign as the CBS News anchor after the fallout from the “Memogate” scandal when Rather continued to stand behind the National Guard memo’s about President Bush despite the mounting evidence that they were fake and created to derail Bush’s re-election bid.
The Crimson reported that there was a heated question and answer period but there was no indication that any questions were asked about the above incidents sparing Rather the embarrassment of trying to defend the indefensible.
In the end all this appearance did was prove that the words Rather and biased go together like peanut butter and jelly.