At CPJ Gala, Dan Rather Criticizes Corporate Media, While Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Promises Journalistic Independence For NBC News
Last night the Committee to Protect Journalists held its annual gala at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. The bulk of the event was to honor journalists who risked their lives to cover the news, and along the way a few well-known faces showed up. In addition to the international award recipients, Mansoor al-Jamri of Bahrain, Javier Valdez Cardenas of Mexico, Umar Cheema of Pakistan and Natalya Radina of Belarus, former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather accepted a lifetime achievement award, while Comcast CEO Brian Roberts accepted his first public award since his cable company acquired NBCUniversal.
In his speech, Rather set his sights squarely on corporate media–of which Roberts is clearly a part– and sent a message to journalists to not forget their heritage. He was introduced by First Amendment lawyer James Goodale, who began by defending Rather’s report on former President George W. Bush‘s military service. “All the facts in that particular program were substantially correct,” Goodale said. “He was correct.”
Questions surrounding that report led to Rather’s departure from CBS News.
“As you know, we are living in an age when big money owns everything…including the news,” Rather said. “That cash bought a lot of silence for a long time. Enough time for unchecked power to get this country tangled into messes all around the world. We all know that money talks. But, so do the people…