Disgraced far-Left “journalist” Dan Rather weighed in on the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant Wednesday, claiming in a tweet that “#LetsGoBrandonReallyMeans ‘You can’t handle the truth.’” Rather, who is now 90, has apparently lost any sense of irony he may have ever had: If anyone knows about not being able to handle the truth, it’s Dan Rather, but only because he remains one of the most spectacular examples in recent history of someone who is not able to do so. In fact, Dan Rather will go down in history, if free people write the histories, as the father of fake news — the very epitome of not being able to handle the truth and fashioning an alternative to it.
Fake news is not the same thing as media bias; media bias has been around since Dan Rather was reporting balls and strikes at minor league baseball games, and longer than that. When Richard Nixon lost his race for governor of California in 1962, he excoriated the press for its Leftist bias and said, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” In 1971, journalist Edith Efron published a book entitled The News Twisters, demonstrating that there had been serious media bias in its coverage of the 1968 presidential election. And since then, of course, the problem of biased news reporting has gotten exponentially worse.
Dan Rather, however, was much more than just biased. His downfall, after nearly a quarter century as anchor of CBS Evening News, came in 2004 when he ran with a story about 1973 memos. The memos apparently showed that President George W. Bush had shirked his duties as a member of the Texas Air National Guard, and that his commanding officer had been pressured to give him a better evaluation than he deserved. While Rather insisted they were authentic, it quickly came to light that the memos had been typed on a modern-day computer, not an early-1970s-era typewriter.
CBS and Rather finally admitted that the documents in question — which, of course, could have given the presidential election to Democrat candidate John Kerry (horror of horrors) — could not be authenticated. Faced with clear evidence that Rather was so avid to bring down George W. Bush that he didn’t take basic and necessary precautions to ensure that the memos were authentic, CBS declined to renew Rather’s contract. For Rather, the anti-Bush memos had been too good to check.
That was the biggest fake news episode up to that time, but it did have some antecedents. In 1978, ABC News reported that the Ford Pinto could explode if it was hit from behind. There was a nationwide outcry; only later did it come to light that the Pintos were exploding because an incendiary device had been planted on them. Then, in 1992, NBC News presented a rigged crash test, leading Don Hewitt, the executive producer of CBS’s 60 Minutes, to claim that everything was on the up and up over at his shop. Referring to NBC’s fake crash report, he said, “If that had happened at 60 Minutes, I’d be looking for a job tomorrow. I can’t for the life of me figure out why anybody would do that. It’s not something anybody at 60 Minutes would do.”
Well, yes it was. It was on 60 Minutes that Rather broke the memo story, on September 8, 2004. And even though CBS ultimately abandoned the story, the episode didn’t prompt any soul searching. There was no repudiation of the general media tendency to paint conservatives in the worst possible light, and to heap adulation upon Leftists.
Rather’s legacy, meanwhile, is the inundation of fake news to which we have been subjected over the last few years: the Russian collusion hoax, the Ukrainian phone call hysteria and ensuing impeachment, the Jan. 6 “insurrection” hoax, and so much more. Every time an establishment media “journalist” pushes some of this nonsense, he or she is behaving as a spiritual child of Dan Rather. It doesn’t matter anymore for the establishment media whether or not a particular story is true or false. All that matters is whether or not it will help those whom they love and hurt those whom they hate. That’s the news media Dan Rather has given us.
And now, with chutzpah that rises to the very heavens, he is claiming that those who dislike Old Joe Biden can’t handle the truth. Has Dan Rather even once, in his long and hate-filled career, shown that he had the slightest regard for the truth?
This article by Robert Spencer originally appeared on JihadWatch.org and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.