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Does Dan Rather’s apology help to restore his or CBS’s credibility?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 21, 2004

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Photo of Jennifer Prohaska

“I think that the media needs to take extra precautions, especially in an election year.”

Photo of Ulli Spiegl

“He should be a better journalist than that. He should be more certain about issues of such gravity. By reporting unverified information, he may potentially mislead the American public.”

Photo of Barbara Bergers

“I don’t think he should have to apologize. I don’t know why they aren’t emphasizing the role of the secretary in verifying the information.”

Photo of Mike Cullen

“Dan Rather has been credible since the early ‘60s. Bush is the one who just sobered up in ‘86. I don’t trust his credibility at all.”


Kelly 13 years, 7 months ago

Ulli's skin looks absolutely flawless.

Savage 13 years, 7 months ago

I think Dan Rather is actually a closet Republican who set the whole thing up to make the Dems look silly, and hes tired and wants to retire... Good timing Dan!

what do ya think of that?!!!

Todd 13 years, 7 months ago

Who says what goes for 'news' is the truth anyhow? CBS and other press organizations are companies. (ie pursue profit)

ak 13 years, 7 months ago

to lunacydetector - do you think FOX news is unbiased?

lunacydetector 13 years, 7 months ago


they ran with a story the WANTED to believe. they received their information from a democratic mental case, then they contacted the Kerry campaign BEFORE they ran with the story.

why didn't CBS contact someone with the Bush campaign, especially since the FORGED documents were about Bush?

it shows how left leaning the mainstream press has become - that they need a made up story.

no wonder Fox News is kicking everyone's butt in the ratings wars - yes, even the big three networks.

nicegirl 13 years, 7 months ago

I don't think that it will hurt his credibility in the long run. It's not the first time that he has aired stories with no evidence or proof of the contents validity. However, I personally am not a fan of his. A good journalist knows to investigate it's sources thoroughly before airing a piece. Though there are many people involved in the process and it's not all his fault either.

Hi_Jinks 13 years, 7 months ago

Hey! What's with the black and white photos all of a sudden?!--I noticed they were black and white the other day, as well! Man! You're creeping me out, LJ World!

Richard Heckler 13 years, 7 months ago

I believe the content and I thank Dan Rather for his effort in this matter. I suspect they did not go on the air without some effort to verify. It smells like a Karl Rove dirty politics set up.

Let's face it Pres. Bush has been less than candid on this matter.

About the credibility of Pres. Bush...this partial article was taken from larryville:

The following article was just written by Charley Reese of the Orlando Sentinel. If you know the writer and his strongly conservative reputation, you should find it eye-opening. Note in particular what he says about John Kerry. Other conservative journalists, such as Robert Novak, William Kristol, and George Will are expressing similar sentiments.

Vote for a Man, Not a Puppet by Charley Reese

Americans should realize that if they vote for President Bush's re-election, they are really voting for the architects of war Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of that cabal of neoconservative ideologues and their corporate backers.

I have sadly come to the conclusion that President Bush is merely a frontman, an empty suit, who is manipulated by the people in his administration. Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory.

It's no wonder the president avoids press conferences like the plague. Take away his cue cards and he can barely talk. Americans should be embarrassed that an Arab king (Abdullah of Jordan) spoke more fluently and articulately in English than our own president at their joint press conference recently.

John Kerry is at least an educated man, well-read, who knows how to think and who knows that the world is a great deal more complex than Bush's comic-book world of American heroes and foreign evildoers. It's unfortunate that in our poorly educated country, Kerry's very intelligence and refusal to adopt simplistic slogans might doom his presidential election efforts.

mr_daniels 13 years, 7 months ago

Rather and the main stream media began the downhill slide for objective journalism years and years ago. By Rather and SeeBS's overtly siding against a standing President during an election year and in a time of war, Dan Rather has dropped kicked the MSM into Lake Ticonderoga! The Old Media and the Kerry Campaign are literally TOAST! Pajama party? Anyone?

Hi_Jinks 13 years, 7 months ago

Kelly.....Ulli's skin looks "absolutely flawless", you say?! Hmmm...... How can you tell for sure?....Because I can't!! Black and white photos always annoy me!

jonas 13 years, 7 months ago

Hoof_hearted, consumer1: Impressive dodge of assertions through use of sidetracking and emotional rhetoric. Huzzah.

Now, take a deep breath, and notice that the post you are responding too simply requested an apology and correction, and noted the obvious hypocracy inherent in the situation. If you'd quit slobbering on yourselves you'd notice that he has a point, especially after the forged (unverified sources, anyone?) yellow-cake documents that provided one of the cornerstones for the case for war.

By the way, the opposite of an inability to make and stand by a decision is to blindly continue on a particular course rather than admit a mistake was made and re-evaluate your options. Both are faulty.

And if you think this war was ever about saving the Iraqi people, then you are a fool. The proof is very simple, nobody said anything substantial about the idea of liberation, or stressed it in any way, until the WMD's turned up missing and the links to Al Quaeda were proved largely insubtantial. Which is a shame, because I would have supported a war based, from the get-go, on freeing the Iraqi people from a dictator. I would, however, have preferred it have happened after Afghanistan was solidly under control, and Bin Ladin and Al-Zarqawi were caught or verified as dead.

Kyle Rohde 13 years, 7 months ago

Irresponsible journalism at its best. The stories were proved false quickly due to many people using online blogs like this one who recognized that the documents were produced using simple computer programs. Dan Rather should be embarrassed that he's let something this stupid and obvious ruin what has been a brilliant broadcasting career.

David Ryan 13 years, 7 months ago

Gimme a break.

Yes, no journalist -- or anyone else -- should make claims with faulty evidence.

CBS has apologized. Let's hope they have better procedures in place from here on out.

Now, though: let's see apologies and corrections from the Bush administration for GOING TO WAR on faulty evidence.

That's far, far more serious than this CBS event. Going to war on faulty evidence has already cost over 1,000 American families a loved one.

The Bush administration has gone through 23 different rationales for its war on Iraq, trying to find one that accords with the facts. So far none have stuck. They started a war on faulty evidence and pretenses and have been searching for a reason for it ever since.

Where are the apologies and corrections from the Bush adminstration?

Keep it in perspective, folks. You're smugly satisfied that Rather and CBS had to apologize, and all the while Bush & Co. have been telling you unfounded story after unfounded story while Americans die and Iraq slides into chaos.

David Ryan 13 years, 7 months ago

Your leap to "rather have saddam back in power" is specious.

Bush has flipflopped 23 times on trying to find a reason for his war.

You are quite glum in your approval of sending thousands upon thousands of Iraqi citizens to their deaths. I'm astounded you feel so confident that being murdered by the U.S. was good and right for those citizens.

And your repeating Bush's words, with apparently no critical thinking on your part, is worrisome.

I'm also worried for you that you seem to have forgotten -- as Mr. Bush has as well -- that Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda attacked us on 9/11.

He's still out there, because of Mr. Bush's war in Iraq, planning to murder more Americans.

I would love to see your rationale for thinking we're safer with Mr. Bush's letting Bin Laden remain free to plan murders of Americans.

Hi_Jinks 13 years, 7 months ago

......I don't know what LuLu thinks....And I don't care, either! She's nuts! And I can't help but get the "creepy feeling" that the only thing worse than LuLu's "thoughts".......would be seeing LuLu's face....IN BLACK AND WHITE!!! UGH!!

nicegirl 13 years, 7 months ago

Hi_Jinks: Did you have a bizarre and tragic incident with a black and white photo as a child? Maybe your high school yearbook photo was black and white and turned out really bad? You seem very freaked out today.

Hi_Jinks 13 years, 7 months ago

Oh! I'm sorry, nicegirl! Forgive me! I forgot that you were the president, vice president, CEO, and janitor of the "LuLu Fan Club-North America". What was I thinking with that LuLu (negative) remark of mine? you really think that ANYBODY (CAPS FOR YOU!) looks any better pictured in B/W as opposed to color? (Especially LuLu!--I have a mental picture of her, and let me tell ya, it ain't very pretty!!) Maybe you look better in black and white......

Hi_Jinks 13 years, 7 months ago

BTW, nicegirl....for your information, if you are truly curious to know what I looked like in high school, it just so happens that the LJ World has posted a picture of me on their Web site today! Go back one page, to the section "Lawrence Living"......that's me in high school! Red hair, glasses and all! The LJ World wanted to post some pictures of people who thought that they were truly good looking in high school! I was, so I gave the LJ World permission to publish one of my old high school photos! Quite a handsome devil, I was/ still am! Wouldn't you agree?


Savage 13 years, 7 months ago

wmds ... who cares forged docs ... who cares vietnam service ... who cares

bush is just a better candidate... get over it.

Yo Dems ... I have voted Dem a few times in my life buy not often. Please... next time... endorse a candidate worth voting for . Geeesh.

Kerry is a political wmd... ooops.

My bad.

nicegirl 13 years, 7 months ago

Hi_Jinks: Maybe you missed the humor in my comment. I was simply teasing you, which you used to be able to take. I guess I struck a nerve. No reason to get nasty.

Hi_Jinks 13 years, 7 months ago


And you didn't see the humor in my last post? What do you think of my picture?

P.S. I drink a lot of coffee...thus the somewhat "intense nature" of my posts. I'm still mulling over the idea of decaf. Give me a little more time.

mrcairo 13 years, 7 months ago

If you are not totally appalled by the Bush Administration, you haven't been paying attention.

I'd like to see Bush apologize for lying to the World and creating zero jobs.

Larry 13 years, 7 months ago

Jonas - was that really your post? Good grief - it doesn't sound like your normal posts. First of all, WMB's were the priority and I'm not convinced that they weren't there in the first place. After sixteen resolutions, I'm sure Saddam had plenty of time to get rid of them in Syria. Another reason was Iraq's association with terrorist networks, which has been proven. I'm sure that President Bush will present the proof during the debates. Lastly, the fact that Saddam was an evil dictator has ALWAYS been mentioned as a reason to remove him from Iraq. The guy gased his own people! The rationale for being safer (even though OBL hasn't been captured) is the fact that the terrorist network is in disarray. I have personally spoken with two soldiers in the past month who have returned from Iraq and both have stated that the people creating the problems in Iraq are actually from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and neighboring countries. SO- this means that the terrorists are concentrating on keeping democracy out of Iraq rather than putting all efforts into attacking America.

Mr. Cairo - By your statement above, I assume that you and Michael Moore would agree that Dan Rather should apologize even if he was mislead. After all, according to Mr. Moore, if you act on information that was misleading or misguided, then you are lying. Why aren't all the liberals and democrats demanding that Dan Rather apologize as they have demanded President Bush apologize. Geezz, President Bush had many advisors, former presidents (Clinton), congressman (Kerry), and countries telling him that the information was correct. With some many people saying the WMB were there, who wouldn't believe it! Dan Rather only had a few people to deal with which could easily indicate that the information could be wrong. Why isn't Michael Moore all over Dan Rather???????

snoozey 13 years, 7 months ago

The media survive by selling shoddy consumables to the sheep, that is their purpose and the means of their continued existence. How can anybody with a three digit IQ complain about their content?

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