[important]On Bill Maher Show, Dan Rather Slams Corporate Media: “To Put it Bluntly, Big Business Is in Bed With Big Government”[/important]
>By Lauren Kelley | Sourced from AlterNet | Posted at May 19, 2012, 8:28 am |
Whether you’re a conservative or a liberal or a progressive, a Democrat or a Republican, everybody can be and should be concerned about this: the constant consolidation of media, particularly national distribution of media, with a few companies — no more than six, my count is four — now control more than 80 percent of the true national distribution of news. These large corporations, they have things they need from the power structure in Washington, whether it’s Republican or Democrat, and of course the people in Washington have things they want the news to be reported. To put it bluntly, very big business is in bed with very big government in Washington, and has more to do with what the average person sees, hears, and reads than most people know.
[notice]Rather Defends George Bush Report, Slams Corporate-Owned Media On Real Time[/notice]
Dan Rather sat down with Bill Maher tonight for a candid conversation about what the news has come to these days with the rise of opinion journalism and consolidated media. In the middle of the discussion, Rather reflected on one of his most infamous reports when he was at CBS: the story of George W. Bush going AWOL during his service in the Texas Air National Guard. Rather asserted that everything he said was true, but “the powers that be” and the Bush administration didn’t like that he was bringing it up, so his departure from CBS resulted from the fallout.
Maher first asked Rather for his take on the rise of opinion journalism in the past few years. Rather admitted that it can have a role, but he much prefers to be “an honest broker of information.” And, of course, because this is Dan Rather talking about honest reporting, we naturally have to talk about the Bush story. Rather argued that his report was important because it was a story about the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military going AWOL when he served, and recounted how the report ended up making powerful people uncomfortable, which ultimately led to his separation from CBS.
“The powers that be and the corporate structure were very uncomfortable with the story. They got pressured by the Bush administration and others in Washington, and it cost a lot of people their jobs, including myself.”
Rather also touched on the sensationalism of the modern news, trying to make interesting what is important, and reminisced about the time when corporate media owners understood that the news was a “public service” instead of a sole focus on the bottom line.
[notice]Dan Rather Doubles Down On Texas Air National Guard Story: Bush Was A Deserter[/notice]
On Monday’s edition of Good Morning America, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather spoke with George Stephanopoulos about his new book Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News, focusing for a moment on the controversial 60 Minutes report about George W. Bushand his Texas Air National Guard service that led to Rather’s exit at the network. Rather said he had no regrets over the story. “We reported a true story,” he said. “I am not at CBS now because I and my team reported a true story. It was a tough story, a story a lot of people didn’t want to believe and it was subjected to a terrific propaganda barrage to discredit it.”Stephanopoulos asked Rather whether there was any way to know the entire truth without all of the documents.
“No, what story does anyone know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” Rather replied. “But we reported the truth and that is that President Bush–later President Bush–when he was in National Guard service, he was at least AWOL and we had a top general in the Army saying on the record he was a deserter. Now everybody makes mistakes. I made some, President Bush obviously made some. But because we reported that story, they put heavy pressure on the corporate entity and the corporate entity voted.”
“The Bush team would point out that he was honorably discharged,” Stephanopoulos observed. “Which at least raises questions about if he was a deserter. They, of course, deny that.”
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