Dan Rather (search) is no exception — I have an opinion about him just like I have one, or two, or three about everything else.
I met Rather once — just once, believe it or not. I have no reason to dislike him. He was courteous, cordial, we had a few pleasant words. In addition to that, I have watched him every one of his 24 years in the Cronkite (search) anchor chair and watched him before when he was a star correspondent.
His career is remarkable and distinguished and it's a shame he got caught up in the thing that brought him down.
What was that thing? I know a lot of you are going to say he started out as a youth in "red state" Texas and wound up a grown man in "blue state" New York, but that isn't it, I don't think.
I think it was Bush hating. I don't know that Rather hated Bush, but I think it was obvious that the Bush haters got to him and he had come to agree that Bush was too stupid, or too wrong about a bunch of things to be president for a second term.
That led to a sense of entitlement about bending the J-school rules when it came to Bush.
What else could have led Rather to either gloss over the flaws in the story about the Bush military documents, or to simply miss the obvious signs in the documents that they were fake? Inexperience? Incompetence? I don't think so.
If Rather were not part of that group of Americans who joined with the Europeans and the Arabs in a firm conviction that Bush had to go at all costs, I don't think he would have taken such a chance on a story built on such flimsy, or — as it turned out — phony evidence.
Bush hating has made Micheal Moore (search) irrelevant, it has made the Europeans irrelevant and it got Dan Rather too.
That's My Word.
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