March 09, 2005

Rather Ludicrous

From a recent New Yorker article ("Sign Off -- The Long and Complicated Career of Dan Rather", Ken Auletta):

"[US CBS network anchorman Dan Rather] certainly brings an attitude to the news. 'I have tried to speak truth to power,' he says, and adds a Ratherism: 'I do have my biases, such as, I'm hard to herd and impossible to stampede.'"

Later, in the same article, talking about CBS's swallowing the Bush Line on Iraqi WMDs hook, line, and sinker:

"'Look, when a President of the United States, any President, Republican or Democrat, says these are the facts, there is heavy prejudice, including my own, to give him the benefit of any doubt, and for that I do not apologize.'"

I rarely watch US broadcast network news. I doubt that I could pick Dan Rather (or most of the other manufactured "personalities" in the business) out in a police line up. I probably couldn't tell you for certain which of my local TV channels is ABC, which CBS, or which NBC. But even I know it's hard to beat this fatuous little sequence for unwitting revelation. Yes, US broadcast news really is this bad -- pompous, self-important, self-absorbed, impotent, irrelevant, and utterly unable to understand what it might actually mean to speak truth to power (never mind that in this country Dan Rather speaks for the Power that is CBS). And utterly unable to understand what it might actually mean to want to speak truth to power....

Spin truth for power, maybe.


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