Rather's Still Making News at HDNET

'Toxic Trailers' Piece Among AHCJ's Reporting Honorees

Dan Rather collaborated on a report called "Toxic Trailers." [In this interview, he says] " I see my job as a journalist as being an honest broker of information. My first responsibility is to be as accurate and as fair as possible. Our job is to acquire the information and put it out to the public. Now, there are a lot of interpretations, but I ascribe to this: There's a particular way of doing investigative journalism. Use what is important to the public ... Full Story »

Posted by Beth Wellington

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Stephen Pizzo
by Stephen Pizzo - Oct. 1, 2008

Dan Rather's biggest failing was/is a personality quirk. It's hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. In some ways it's the same problem Al Gore has... a sense that he's trying to hard to fit a particular part, or mood or use the appropriate tones and gestures when expressing themselves. It's an affectation problem more than a substance problem. I recall being on the CBS Evening News set one afternoon back in the days when they were trying to jazz Rather's rating up. Everyone was rushing around very nervous. I asked one of the producers what was up. He blurted the answer: "Tonight Dan stands." That was the one and only night they let "Dan stand." The set up was that he would be sitting at the anchor desk as usual until a map of Afghanistan came up on a screen off to his left. At that time he would stand, walk a few steps over to the map and point at it. But the poor guy couldn't even pull that off. He stood and walked over to map stiff-legged, like, Frankenstein's creation holding a pointer stick. When he got to the map his arm jerked up into position, pointed, and jerked back down. He said something and returned, stiff-legged, to his chair. When he risked his life to cover the Afghan's resistance to the Soviets, he dressed in local garb earning the nick name, "Gunga Dan" among his peers. Dan's a good journalist handicapped by a personality deficit.

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