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Dan Rather

Last week, CBS popular newsman, Dan Rather, announced that he is quitting his job as anchorman of the CBS Evening News, as of March 9, 2005 – which is the 24th anniversary of his career with the media outlet.  Dan Rather, who is 73-years-old, was hoping to be able to work till the 25th year.

Dan Rather’s departure is yet another event that was caused by the CBS network’s investigation into a “60 Minutes” broadcast that was narrated by Rather, that, apparently, was based on false documents and not enough of research that claimed that George W. Bush was treated with special attention – read, favorably – when he was serving in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. 

The codpiece was broadcasted on September 8, during the election, and it was almost immediately questioned by reports that have appeared on the Internet blogs that were written by right-wing politics reps and activists that were connected to the Bush campaign.  The writings showed that the documents were defective, pointing things like typography – they couldn’t have been written in the early 1970s – and claiming that they were falsified, simply through using Microsoft word processing program.  Dan Rather was asked to discredit the program in a statement read during an evening news broadcast.

The media bias and the lack of effective journalism – there was little if not, none fact-checking done on the piece – was a big blow to the supposed left-wing leaning CBS with Dan Rather as its editor-in-chief.  Rather’s departure was celebrated in the right-wing circles.

Dan Rather started as a local television reporter in Texas and was first exposed to the national attention during the assassination of John F. Kennedy, in November 1963.  Shortly after that he became a national affairs reporter for CBS, later on assigned to covering the Nixon White House. 

According to his supporters, Dan Rather never really associated himself with any criticism of U.S. politics, despite the fact that his questioning during the Watergate was unusually aggressive, according to critics. 

Since Rather’s fallout in September, and his announcement that he was stepping down as anchor, stock in CBS news employees has been quite favorable.  A few days after Rather’s announcement, CNN hired former CBS News executive Jonathan Klein to run its operation.