On Bill Maher Show with Dan Rather
On Bill Maher Show, Dan Rather Slams Corporate Media: “To Put it Bluntly, Big Business Is in Bed With Big Government”
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.
Rather Defends George Bush Report, Slams Corporate-Owned Media On Real Time
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.
Dan Rather Doubles Down On Texas Air National Guard Story: Bush Was A Deserter
“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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