Dan Rather, the former journalist who resigned from CBS for pushing a false news story critical of President George W. Bush’s service in the National Guard, has called upon the mainstream media to report their interpretation of President Trump’s beliefs and as not what he actually says.
According to Newsbusters, Rather appeared on CNN Monday night, where he told host Don Lemon that the press needs to start psychoanalyzing what the president says. The conversation stemmed from a tweet that Rather shared earlier in the day.
“To my fellow members of the press, I suggest we refrain from quoting the president’s words from prepared speeches into headlines and tweets without context. He sometimes says the right thing. The real questions are what he does and what he really believes,” tweeted Rather.
So if President Trump were to stand up on national television to condemn white supremacy, as he did on Monday, the media should psychoanalyze that instead of merely report what he said. When pressed about this opinion by Don Lemon, Rather was quite content in his interpretation of President Trump’s beliefs.
“What does he [Trump] really believe?” asked Lemon.
“Fear conquers,” Rather replied.
Rather then recalled his days of covering the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s, and how he framed it as a matter of right and wrong:
This moment in history reminds me a great deal of when I was covering the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the early 1960s. It was clearly definitively right and wrong. That was the truth of the situation. Then and now it’s the job of journalists not to try to hide or obscure but to speak the truth, and that’s where we are now. People say, well, I’m not sure President Trump is racist, but racist is as racist does.
Any time he tries to speak about hope or compassion, it’s about as authentic as a Times Square Rolex.
Lemon said that he took issue with just flatly calling President Trump a “racist,” but concluded that evidence leads one to say that.
“It did not come lightly or easily for me to say, ‘The President of the United States is a racist,'” Lemon said. “[B]ut in journalism, journalists work with facts and with evidence. And all one has to do is look at the evidence.”
“Well, exactly. It’s speaking truth!” Rather replied.
Don Lemon, of course, has taken his condemnations of President Trump to new heights this election cycle, referring to him as a “racist” during the Democratic Party presidential debates and even comparing him to Hitler on his own program.
“But think about the despicable people we’ve had in history,” Lemon said in June. “Now I’m going to use an extreme example. Think about Hitler. Think about any of those people. Would you say that that person is allowed — let’s put it this way — if you could look back on in history would you say, ‘well, I’m so glad that that person was allowed a platform so that they could spread their hate and propaganda and lies’? Or would you say it probably wasn’t the right thing to do to spread that because you knew in the moment that that was a bad person. And they were doing bad things. Not only were they hurting people. They were killing people. …”