Dan Rather, one of the most respected journalists and TV news anchors in broadcast history, has been an outspoken critic of US President Donald Trump since his election in November. In that role, it is unsurprising that Rather would take to Facebook to express his outrage at Trump’s latest attack on the Free Press.
The attack in question came from Trump in the form of a video Tweet which showed an altered clip of one of Donald Trump’s many appearances on WWE programming. The original clip showed Trump clotheslining a person and then striking that individual with his elbow several times. The altered version replaced Trump’s opponent’s face with the CNN logo, symbolic of attacking CNN in particular and the media as a whole. The Tweet included the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN, presumably meaning “Fake News Network,” a narrative that Trump has been running with for months now.
While many people, including celebrities, journalists, and average citizens alike, took to their own personal Twitter and Facebook accounts to express their outrage, Rather’s response was eloquent and to the point, as might be expected from a man who spent the majority of his life delivering headlines and reporting to the American people. However, while the tone of his Facebook post was respectable and forthright, Rather didn’t hold back on expressing his own concern and disgust with President Trump’s tweet.
“To be outraged is obvious, but increasingly I feel the creep of dread and sadness,” Rather’s Facebook post reads. “Dread at a sense that no one knows, least of all I fear Mr. Trump, where this all may lead. And sadness that this spectacle is now the norm of the United States.”
Rather did not attempt to shy away from expressing his own defiance, and seemed to actively encourage others in print and television media to continue digging for and reporting the truth to the American public and the rest of the world.
“… if Mr. Trump and his confederates think that this kind of bullying will intimidate reporters, I think they will find themselves sadly mistaken,” Rather declared. “It will only embolden the press, which has a Constitutionally protected role to play in our democracy.”
Rather, who was with CBS for over 40 years, was known as part of the “Big Three” network news hosts along with Peter Jennings at ABC and Tom Brokaw at NBC. As managing editor and anchor of CBS Nightly News, Rather became a trusted face and voice in American households. Though he has retired from the network news anchor life, he continues to be influential in US Politics and journalism today. Scrolling through his Facebook page, with post after post decrying the Trump administration’s actions and demeanor, there is little doubt that Dan Rather will continue to be a voice defending the constitutional protections of the Free Press.
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