The father of fake news, former CBS journalist Dan Rather, bemoaned the fact that Americans don’t trust the media — ignoring his own seismic scandal at CBS News that forced him to resign.
Speaking on NBC’s Today on Tuesday, Rather fielded a question from host Savannah Guthrie about Americans’ growing mistrust in the media.
“There’s a recent poll that said nearly half of people think the media make up stories. The media itself is under fire,” Guthrie said. “What do you think the media needs to do better to enhance its own credibility?”
“We need to do a better job, we need to do our job,” Rather responded. “Our job is to bear witness, to be honest brokers of information, to be as accurate and fair as we possibly can.”
Rather, who had a strong reputation for his liberal bias while at CBS News, used people’s distrust of the media to attack President Donald Trump.
“I think most of the public understands that we’re under attack by very powerful people, including the president, for their own partisan, political, and ideological reasons,” Rather continued.
Rather, who has a well-documented history of distorting the news, resigned after a hit piece he ran at CBS News which used forged documents to attack President George W. Bush right before the presidential election.
The Media Research Center provides a summary of the scandal that ended with Rather’s resignation:
On September 8, 2004, Dan Rather cited “exclusive information, including documents” to justify major CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes stories alleging that George W. Bush shirked his duties when he was in the Texas Air National Guard in the 1960s and 1970s. Within a few hours of those documents being posted on CBS News’ Web site, however, typography experts voiced skepticism that the documents had actually originated with their alleged author and Bush’s former commanding officer, the late Lt. Colonel Jerry Killian.
As the evidence mounted, Rather stubbornly clung to the idea that his story was bulletproof, and he derided critics as partisans and Internet rumormongers. When he “apologized” on September 20, Rather would not concede that the documents were forgeries, only that he and CBS could “no longer vouch for their authenticity.” On November 23, 2004, CBS announced that Rather would soon be leaving his job as anchor of the CBS Evening News. An investigative report released on January 10, 2005 faulted CBS’s rush to put the flawed story on the air and their “stubborn” defense in the days that followed, but oddly decided that they could not blame partisan bias.