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mazingerz88's avatar

Do you agree with Dan Rather on Trump?

Asked by mazingerz88 (25148points) July 9th, 2019 from iPhone

Here is a statement he posted.

[ Another day, another attack from the President on the news media. But we cannot become inured to this. It can’t be this is just Trump being Trump. Why, after all this time, does he still feel the need to lash out? Because reporters keep digging and reporting truths that tarnish or completely undercut the fiction he is peddling.

Nothing to see on the border? The New York Times has a smashing front page story well resourced and reported that paints a very different picture.

Standing strong on the global stage? Reporting from his recent forays suggest otherwise.

No collusion no obstruction? Not true in the slightest.

And on and on…

Trump’s most recent tweet tantrum even had Fox News in his sites, as well as the usual targets of the other cable networks and the New York Times. Why? Because Fox in their weekend coverage had the temerity to not sufficiently bathe in his cult of personality.

Coursing through President Trump’s attacks is the outrageous notion that there is some form of media conspiracy. Now conspiracy paranoia fuels much of his rhetoric, but this one is especially damaging and devoid of any basis in fact. As someone who has worked in news for over six decades, the idea that various entities are working in unison is laughable. What’s happening is they are trying to reflect the world as it is in its reality. And the consensus they are finding is jarring when compared to his fairy tales.

The danger is that we see President Trump’s vicious and authoritarian attacks on the press as just another feature of his presidency. This is a malignancy striking at the very heart of our democracy. The First Amendment, with its press freedoms, is not a disposable anachronistic whim from the Founding Fathers. It is a realization that power needs to be checked, from outside government as well as from inside. And that truth is more prescient today than it’s ever been.

I hope the American people continue to support the best of journalism. Buy subscriptions, especially to local papers. This week saw another casualty with the loss of the local paper in Youngstown, Ohio. Take the time to read and share deep, thoughtful investigations and other forms of reporting.

When the president says “fake news” and “nothing to see here” show him that the truth, as with so much with this administration, is the exact opposite. ]

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20 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I have been Dan Rather fan since the 1960s. He’s as smart now as he was 50 years ago. I’ll believe Rather before I ever believe a word from Trump.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I like Dan, too, but acting as if media bias doesnt exist, as in this post, undermines his past reputation to me. He should have acknowledged and chastised them right along with Trump to be accurate.

canidmajor's avatar

I don’t see him denying media bias at all, @KNOWITALL, I see him denying the sweeping media conspiracy that 45 is constantly accusing any press that doesn’t pander to him of being a part of. By the time a journalist has reached the NYT (for example) they are seriously individualistic and unlikely to be swayed by anything other than facts. If you are concerned about bias, there are a number of sources on the internet that address the direction of bias of a number of publications. The NYT leans slightly left, but is by no means radical.

I agree with Rather on this, even normalizing the term “fake news” does significant damage to our Constitutional protections.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@canidmajor I call bs. I’ve watched the entire saga from biased debate questions to election night, to now, with a background in journalism. I am not a Trump fan, but I see it very clearly from daily news to Sunday political reviews. Its not what school taught me, which is facts minus any opinion.

canidmajor's avatar

It has never been “facts minus any opinion”, because of the very basic fact that it is humans involved. The difference now, from, say 50 years ago, is that the population is much more outspoken about their “side” and has a much greater outlet for that expression.
The bias was recognized back then, it just wasn’t demonized, it was seen as a human quality. There were left and right leaning publications, preference determined by one’s own bias.
Yes, they try to teach impartiality in journalism, and that is a valuable approach, but it just ain’t never gonna happen.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@canidmajor Okay, I disagree 100%. I would posit that any worthwhile journalist knows better than to allow ‘their side’ to slip thru factual reporting on any issue. So in that aspect, they are failing at doing their job imo.

Even on this site, I’ve seen multiple arguments about ‘sourcing’ for facts. That shouldn’t even be a question, it’s either an opinion piece or it’s news/ verifiable facts.

“In the past, national evening news programs, local evening news programs, and the front pages of print newspapers were dominated by fact-reporting stories,” says the chart’s creator, patent attorney Vanessa Otero. “Now, however, many sources people consider to be ‘news sources’ are actually dominated by analysis and opinion pieces.”

Multiple examples (PS-this site is used by many teachers with their classes):

janbb's avatar

Yes, I have been reading Rather’s commentary for months and I agree with his alarm wholeheartedly. There is always some bias in news reporting – even in terms of what is chosen to be reported on – but that is totally different from the outright lies spewed by the extreme rags on the right and the left. And op-ed pages are for opinions and labeled as such.

gorillapaws's avatar

@canidmajor “The NYT leans slightly left”

Bullshit. That’s why they assigned Sydney Ember to cover (smear) Bernie Sanders? Her father-in-law was the CEO of Bain Capital, that also employed her husband. This article breaks down how horribly right-wing her coverage has been. NYT has been run by the Sulzberger family since the late 1800’s.

chyna's avatar

I do agree with Dan Rather. As a president, trump should be held to a higher standard, and yet he lies on a daily basis.

janbb's avatar

When a paper is attacked by the left as being too right wing and by the right as leftest, maybe that means it’s a mainstream medium? In any case, we all should be alarmed at Trump’s attacks on journalists and journalism of any stripe.

gorillapaws's avatar

@janbb “When a paper is attacked by the left as being too right wing and by the right as leftest, maybe that means it’s a mainstream medium?”

Nope. That’s the golden mean fallacy. The extreme far right labels all media to the left of them “leftist.” Allowing them to control the framing is partly how we have a situation where people seem to accept that the media is “left-leaning” when in actuality it’s being run by AT&T (CNN), Comcast (NBC), Disney (ABC), and billionaires like Bezos (Washington Post).

The article I referenced cites specific examples of journalistic malpractice designed to smear Bernie. The only rational explanation is that there is a strong bias against left economic policies.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@gorillapaws: “The only rational explanation is that there is a strong bias against left economic policies.”

As you would expect. Corporate media are large corporations and are usually owned by even larger corporations. We should – and can – predict exactly what a newspaper will cover and how they will cover it based on this fact alone.

Zaku's avatar

I completely agree with Rather except I think one small part:

“As someone who has worked in news for over six decades, the idea that various entities are working in unison is laughable. What’s happening is they are trying to reflect the world as it is in its reality.”

I think that this severely over-represents the integrity of the corporate US news media, which I think is very clearly pushing corporate-favored perspectives that ignore and downplay the truth of the role of corporate influence throughout our government, and consistently normalizes the ever-more-terrible corporate-endorsed narratives, including failing to report consistently about Trump’s endless abominations.

The corporate-owned big two parties are normalized as actual democratic representatives, and actual progressive people who try to run for office are largely ignored or minimized. Endless war for corporate purposes is normalized, the “war on “terror”” is normalized, etc., etc.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Zaku Well said. I don’t think corporate media is colluding in some vast conspiracy (though there are meetings being held), but their interests are mostly in line with each-other. It’s just like how cars in a traffic jam will naturally propagate to more efficient side-routes without overtly coordinating with each other.

Zaku's avatar

Yes… though evidently there is corporate-wide oversight, management, control and even dictation of reporting, and the coportate news media conglomerates are starting to simply own all the smaller networks.

The most famous and conspicuous example I know of being Sinclair Broadcast Group having newscasters say the exact same politicized phrases across about 40 percent of US television news.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Dan Rather of course. I have a brain.

flutherother's avatar

Of course I agree with Dan Rather. The job of the president is to uphold the Constitution and guarantee the right to a free press to all Americans. It is a founding principle of the country that a free press should exist and that it should serve the people and not the president.

Yellowdog's avatar

After four extremely thorough investigations, there was no collusion and insufficient evidence to make a case for obstruction. Yet, since the release of the most thorough investigation in American History revealed nothing, the regular news networks are reporting it as if it concluded opposite of what the one-sided report actually concluded.

What does that reveal about the American media?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

How many TIMES do you have to be told they WEREN’T LOOKING FOR “COLLUSION”.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Yellowdog Russian election interference and potential obstruction of justice officially.

I can understand your confusion, as much of the media uses ‘collusion’ in their articles and sound bytes. There are thousands of articles specifically using that word, so they are misleading, which appears to be intentional based on the volume.

Here’s on from NYT. NYPost used it, Washington Post used it, CNN, The Hill, etc…

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