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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Rather’

Dan Rather on The Secret Service, Mark Cuban and Not Having ‘to Kiss Up to Anybody’

Photo - Dan Rather Presents A Crisis Inside The Secret Service on AXS TV (1)

Exclusive: Dan Rather, as the oft-told story goes, went from being an unknown CBS runner to a rising star at the network with his dogged reporting in Dallas on the day President John F. Kennedy was killed.

Years later, in 1981, Rather was just settling into his role as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” when it very nearly happened again. “The Kennedy assassination, the shooting of Ronald Reagan, those were watershed moments for the Secret Service,” Rather told TVNewser in a telephone interview from his home in Austin. “Afterward, major adjustments were made.”

For the last month, Rather has been reflecting on those two defining days, and reporting on the current state of the Secret Service. The agency has been rocked by reports of serious security lapses, both at the White House and in the field as agents traveled with the president. The reporting–led by The Washington Post‘s Carol Leonnig–forced the director of the Secret Service to step down on October 1. “Hats off to The Washington Post, which has done, in my humble opinion, Pulitzer-level reporting on this story,” Rather told us.

Rather’s at work on his next AXS-TV special, “Dan Rather Presents: A Crisis Inside The Secret Service,” which debuts November 18th. Is the agency doing its job to protect the president? “I think the public should be concerned,” Rather said. “The facts speak pretty loudly here.” Rather’s reporting includes talking to contacts inside the agency, and an interview with Ralph Basham (pictured, above, with Rather outside the White House), a former director of the Secret Service.
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Dan Rather: Current Evening News Anchors ‘Have the Goods’

dan rather_304x200Dan Rather thinks the current evening news anchors have the talent to carry the tradition forward.

“They have the goods,” Rather said during an interview with The Huffington Post’s Roy Sekoff at Advertising Week yesterday about today’s evening news anchors (he stipulated he doesn’t know new “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir).

“They want to walk in the steps, they want to keep the flame burning, but it’s extremely difficult to do under the circumstances.”

Those circumstances, according to Rather, are “operating within the system.” That system features corporate media restraining journalists from challenging powerful government officials, institutions, and corporations. The former “CBS Evening News” anchor’s controversial CBS exit will be depicted on the big screen in 2016: Robert Redford signed on to play Rather in “Rathergate” in July.

Rather on the evening news after the jump (around the 45:30 mark).

WATCH:

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Dan Rather: If One of My Staffers Were Held Captive, I’d ‘Negotiate for Ransom’

Rather.jpgAppearing on “Reliable Sources” yesterday, Dan Rather reacted to the beheading of journalist James Foley and described what he’d do if one of his journalists were captured by terrorists.

“If some member of our ’Dan Rather Reports’ team was kidnapped, I’d be looking to negotiate for ransom,” Rather said.

“And you can criticize that if you want, damn if you want, but the loyalty to our people who work with us and take these great chances engenders loyalty back,” he continued.  Earlier in the program, Foley’s boss, GlobalPost CEO Phil Balboni, said “it’s suicide for a journalist to go into Syria now.”

Over on “MediaBuzz,” Howard Kurtz examined whether news organizations should’ve shown footage from Foley’s beheading. “We are not showing you images from the execution videotape, which were splashed all across television, and the web, and the New York tabloids, and social media.  And the reason is, that’s what ISIS wants; to spread fear and disgust, and most of the media played into their hands.

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Robert Redford to Play Dan Rather in ‘Rathergate’ Film

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Robert Redford has signed on to play Dan Rather in a film about the 2005 “60 Minutes II” story about Pres. George W. Bush‘s military record, which became known as “Memogate” and “Rathergate,” and would cost several CBS Newsers their jobs, and cost Rather millions of dollars.

“Truth” is based on the 2005 memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and The Privilege of Power by former CBS News producer Mary Mapes, who worked on the story and was later fired by CBS after an independent review found serious flaws with it. Cate Blanchett will play Mapes.

Rather left CBS News in 2006, and would later file a lawsuit against CBS Corp. In 2009, Rather told TVNewser he spent $2 million of his own money fighting the suit which was later dismissed. “60 Minutes II,” also known as “60 Minutes Wednesday” was canceled, another casualty of the debacle.

CBS News has no comment on the casting of the film.

Redford has played journalists in the past. In the 1996 film “Up Close and Personal” he starred as Warren Justice, a local news director in Miami who molds “Tally” Atwater, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, into a network news star. Earlier in his career, Redford played Bob Woodward in the film adaptation of All the President’s Men.

The film adaptation of Mapes’ book is years in the making. In 2008, TVNewser wrote about who might play Rather in the movie. At the time, Anthony Hopkins was a top choice.

The TV Ticker: FNC, CNN, NBC, CNBC

  • Fox News has a new special report airing this weekend hosted by Chris Wallace. “Fox News Reporting: Iraq and the Rise of a Terrorist State” airs first tonight at 10pmET, with encores tomorrow night and Sunday night.
  • On CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday, guest host Jeffrey Toobin will talk about the significance of the anchor change at ABC “World News” this week, and the future of the evening news, with former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather.

  • Monday night on NBC, Meredith Vieira hosts “Harry Potter: The Making of Diagon Alley,” an NBC News primetime special produced by Peacock Productions. Universal Orlando Resort and NBC News share the same parent company.

  • CNBC’s David Faber has a new, one-hour documentary debuting Sunday night at 9pmET. “Amazon Rising” tells the story of a visionary named Jeff Bezos who bet his fortune on the internet and created one of the most admired and feared companies in the world.

The ‘Subliminal Message’ Behind David Muir’s Ascent to ‘World News’ Anchor

david muirCome September, three white men will anchor the three network evening newscasts. Is it 2005 — or 1975 — all over again? Some think so.

“The evening news anchors are the face of the network,” says Karen Turner, an associate professor of journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia, whose research focuses on race in the news. “In this growing multicultural nation, it’s unconscionable that as of September three white men will lead their respective networks.”

Brian Williams, 55, has been anchor of “NBC Nighty News” since 2004, he took over for Tom Brokaw who had been anchor since 1982, and John Chancellor before that. Scott Pelley, who turns 57 next month, has been at the helm of “CBS Evening News” since May, 2011. That broadcast was anchored by Katie Couric for the previous 5 years, and by Bob Schieffer, Dan Rather (briefly paired with Connie Chung) and Walter Cronkite in earlier years.

Muir, 40, takes over for Diane Sawyer who has been anchor since 2009. Sawyer came in following the retirement of Charles Gibson who, in 2006, succeeded the anchor team of Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas. The Woodfuff-Vargas pairing lasted only a few weeks following the serious injuries sustained by Woodruff in an attack in Iraq.

“Certainly Pelley, Williams and now Muir are accomplished journalists,” Turner adds. “However, the subliminal message this sends is these — white males — are the legitimate faces that should represent America.”

Erin Burnett: My First Big Break

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Erin Burnett‘s first big break came in a very old school way. She wrote a letter to someone in the TV news business whom she admired. But it went beyond just letter-writing. “I was essentially a Willow Bay stalker,” Burnett tells us. But her desire to work in broadcast news began much earlier in life and involved Dan Rather. “I kissed Dan Rather every night. I’d go over and give him a peck on the lips on the TV.” Here’s Erin Burnett’s First Big Break:

Dan Rather was one of the first people we profiled in our “My First Big Break” series back in 2012. For that, and more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Barbara Walters to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Barbara WaltersThe Barbara Walters send-off continues. On Tuesday, Quinnipiac University will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to the veteran journalist at the university’s annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award luncheon.

This is just the second time the Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented. It was awarded to first amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, father of ABC’s Dan Abrams, in 2008.

“We are presenting the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award to Barbara Walters for a very simple reason,” says Lee Kamlet, dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac. “She epitomizes the characteristics we want our students to develop: an endless curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge and truth, regardless of whether it’s in an interview with a president, a pop star, or a person suspected of a crime, and a willingness to work harder than the next 10 competitors.”

The School of Communications has presented the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, bearing the name of the former CBS News president, since 1994.

Previous recipients include Dan Rather, Lesley Stahl, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, Christiane Amanpour, Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer, Charles Gibson, Morley Safer, Gwen Ifill, Martha Raddatz and Scott Pelley.

Have Journalists Lost Their Guts?

dan rather_304x200Dan Rather has covered almost everything across the journalism spectrum, including reporting from war zones in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

But today, Rather thinks his industry has lost its guts, he tells the Toronto Star.

Now, so often covering international news is, “Put four people in a room and have them shout at one another.” Take Afghanistan, for example. Coverage has disappeared from many newspapers and television programs, as if nobody wants to hear about it. But if Afghanistan is to be “covered,” networks put two or three people up on the screen to spout off their opinions about it. And very often none of the three has been to Afghanistan. I think journalists and journalism — certainly in the U.S. — we lost our guts. An attitude got around: Be careful, because if you report something people in power don’t like, you may have to pay a very heavy price for that. That’s not in the best tradition of U.S. journalism, nor do I think it’s in the best tradition of the free press anyplace.

Greta Van Susteren has a different take, taking to GretaWire to counter Rather’s claim, suggesting it’s lower travel budgets—not a loss of guts—that has kept more journalists from reporting in the trenches.

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Barbara Walters Farewell: ‘True, I Was the First Female Co-Host… But Also True, I Was a Flop’

WaltersSawyerIt was a star-studded farewell for Barbara Walters at New York City’s Four Seasons restaurant tonight. From comedian Joan Rivers to commissioner Bill Bratton; from New York’s chronicler of scandal, Cindy Adams, to the man who plays the president on “Scandal,” Tony Goldwyn; from actor Woody Allen to attorney David Boies, But mostly, the pool room was packed with Walters’ fellow TV news colleagues and those ladies — past and present — from “The View.” Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd; Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar.

Following a best of Barbara video, Disney Chairman Bob Iger welcomed the crowd, before Walters delivered a few words of thanks and admitting it hasn’t always been easy. “True, I was the first female co-host of a network news program. But also true, I was a flop. My male co-host didn’t want a partner and neither did the audience. I was drowning, gasping for air. Then someone threw me that life preserver called Specials with the biggest stars in news and show business and I learned how to swim again.”

Current and former evening news anchors were there, including Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams who arrived with Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and fiancé John Molner; and Connie Chung (who was part of an ill-fated co-anchor pairing with Dan Rather) and husband Maury Povich. We caught up with early risers Savannah Guthrie and George Stephanopoulos along with their spouses, Mike Feldman, and Ali Wentworth, respectively, as they were heading out. Guthrie’s “Today” colleague Al Roker and his wife, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts made the rounds as well.

Walters continued: “I’m grateful to the legendary Roone Arledge for bringing me to ABC News; thankful to David Westin for his steady leadership; to Ben Sherwood – you made us all believe we could win and with your leadership and passion, we did; and James Goldston – I’m told that all our shows are number one at the moment – you should quit right now.” Sherwood, Goldston and Westin were all on hand, as were other ABC News executives including Barbara Fedida, David Sloan, Jeanmarie Condon and John Green.

We spotted Jenny McCarthy hand-in-hand with fiance Donnie Wahlberg; the “Nightline” team of Juju ChangDan Abrams, and Dan Harris as well as a host of correspondents and anchors from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and Fox, including Elizabeth VargasAmy RobachDavid MuirNorah O’DonnellJon KarlGio Benitez, Dr. Richard Besser, Tory JohnsonRick Klein, Brian Ross, Mara Schiavocampo, Thomas RobertsAlicia MenendezHoda Kotb, Greta Van Susteren and Lisa Ling, a former “View” co-host, now woking on a new show for CNN.

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