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Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News Hardcover – May 1, 2012
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A renowned journalist settles scores in this investigation of how the news media has become dangerously intertwined with politics and corporate interests.
With the assistance of Diehl, Rather (The American Dream: Stories from the Heart of Our Nation, 2002 etc.) comes out swinging as he delves into the circumstances behind his firing from CBS News, where he had worked as a reporter since 1962, covering everything from Vietnam to Watergate to the conditions at Abu Ghraib. Unfortunately for Rather, his determination to air a potentially damning story about then-president George W. Bush's spotty military record irked the higher-ups at CBS's parent company, Viacom, leaving the feisty anchor unemployed at 75. Never one to shirk controversy, he sued CBS for breach of contract; although the suit was dismissed before it could come to trial, he has no regrets and no qualms about naming names. Indeed, this memoir reads as a muckraker's delight, with Rather lambasting CBS management as "spineless" and "risk-averse." He painstakingly details the cloak-and-dagger operations that Bush proponents resorted to in an attempt to hide the truth and discredit Rather's source materials. Invoking Edward R. Murrow, Rather rails against those who would distort the news for their own gain and intentionally mislead the public. In between, he provides fair-minded portraits of the presidents he has interviewed, traces his passion for the news to his upbringing in a news-savvy family and expresses concern for the future of independent media in an industry that is increasingly kowtowing to the almighty bottom line. While Rather occasionally lapses into platitudes-a chapter on 9/11 offers little beyond well-worn observations about courage and patriotism-he always gives credit where credit is due, and his sincerity is never in doubt.
An engaging grab-bag: part folksy homage to roots, part exposé of institutional wrongdoing and part manifesto for a truly free press.
-- Kirkus Reviews
Anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, much-honored newsman Rather has been working as a reporter for 64 years. He began his series of memoirs with The Camera Never Blinks (1977), a bestseller spanning his life from journalism study at Sam Houston State Teachers College to Watergate. He followed with I Remember (1991), recalling his Texas childhood, and The Camera Never Blinks Twice (1994) about TV journalism on location from Afghanistan to Vietnam. In this latest update to the series, his straight arrow honesty is punctuated with occasional humor: "It was long said of me that I had the CBS Eye tattooed somewhere on my ass." For a blistering opening chapter, he details the "absence of executive backbone" during CBS News' investigation of Abu Gharib: "The possibility that the financial and political interests of CBS corporate almost buried a story as compelling as Abu Gharib is most unsettling." He's equally outspoken on the "journalistic meltdown" when CBS News was ordered to drop its investigation into Bush's experience with the Texas Air National Guard. Throughout the book he delivers strong punches at those who stood in his way, but he also has much praise for the co-workers who joined him in his quest for the truth. With his usual conversational writing style, he maintains a personal connection with his readers in this riveting and revelatory autobiography that can also serve as a valuable textbook for anyone studying journalism.
About the Author
Dan Rather is an award winning journalist who anchored CBS Evening News for decades. He is one of America's most decorated news journalists of all time.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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The falling out he had with CBS is probably explained in a little more detail than we need, for a little longer than we need--but it is symbolic of the changing face of news organizations and their link to politics and the almighty quest for profit, much like any other corporation. While Dan Rather has been born and bred to hold news organizations to a higher standard, most of us reading the book probably accept the fact that news is often sold as entertainment, and to consider the source when tuning in. To Dan Rather, what may seem a tragic evolution of the big news corporations since WWII has become just business as usual to those of us raised in front of a TV. While Dan is appalled at what they don't tell us on the news, most of us more quickly filter out the garbage and seek out news from sources other than big network stations like CBS, CNN, or any of the big money machines whose greatest goal is selling more ads to Coke.
I think it has been evident as to where Network loyalties lie..and, of recent, cannot even listen to them. Local stations have been contacted in regard to content of political ads as they contain "untruths"...but, they apparently need the funding. This candid book has been helpful. Thank you, Dan Rather.
and I wasn't disappointed. Dan Rather has covered virtually all of the
major American stories during the last half of the 20th century. I think we first met him during those dreadful days of the Kennedy Assassination. He wasn't afraid to show the grief we were all feeling then went onto do the reporters job.
In this book Dan comes across as exactully the person you think he is.
Honest, to a fault sometimes, hard working and a style that tells you he's
one of the best at what he does. He says in the beginning of his book
that he never wanted to do anything else but be a reporter and it shows.
Reading this book gives you a good idea of what it's like to be a reporter
in the age of television by one of the best.
Most recent customer reviews
Lying Dan Rather has no shame..... In this book there's a photo of him in a US Marine uniform ~ but Rather never qualified...Read more