Dan Rather has had enough of Donald Trump and his supporters. He’s so fed up that he decided to let his feelings truly be known in a perfectly worded take down of Donald and his idiot brigade on Facebook.
Not only did he classify Donald and his supporters as the ignorant simpletons they are, but he went on to make a very serious point – almost a warning in the context of our modern political discourse. The point he made was that we can’t ignore Donald anymore.
It’s very fashionable for people to say we should ignore him, or “stop making him famous” and write him off. That isn’t going to work. He’s now the Republican nominee, and if anyone calls themselves a progressive they have a duty to talk about the offensive things he says and does. Reporters need to ask the hard questions, instead of softball him to ensure continuing press access. Ignoring him is what got him to the nomination.
Dan Rather’s post from his Facebook page is below:
I felt a shudder down my spine yesterday watching Donald Trump’s fusilade against the press. This is not a moment to be trifled with. It wasn’t his first tirade and it won’t be his last.
I was reminded of my college journalism professor, the late Hugh Cunningham, who would exhort his young charges in a thundering voice to “never let them scare you.” It was his most important lesson. One of Edward R. Murrow’s favorite words was “steady.” That also bears repeating today.
This is a dirty, nasty election. And it is only going to get worse. The reporters in the trenches need no lecture from me. They are walking through daily minefields, bracing themselves against winds of discontent whose effects no one can predict.
I know what it is like to sit in those seats and feel the scorn and even wrath of politicians of all political persuasions. Attacking the press for unfair coverage has long been a bipartisan pursuit. Sometimes it works. I am happy to say that more often it doesn’t. But Trump’s brand of vituperation is particularly personal and vicious. It carries with it the drumbeats of threatening violence. It cannot be left unanswered.
This is not about politics or policy. It’s about protecting our most cherished principles. The relationship between the press and the powerful they cover is by its very definition confrontational. That is how the Founding Fathers envisioned it, with noble clauses of protection enshrined in our Constitution.
Good journalism–the kind that matters–requires reporters who won’t back up, back down, back away or turn around when faced with efforts to intimidate them. It also requires owners and other bosses with guts, who stand by and for their reporters when the heat is on.
I still believe the pen is mightier than the sword. And in these conflicted and troubled times, we should reward the bravery of the men and women not afraid to ask the hard questions of everyone in power. Our nation’s future depends on it.
Dan Rather has some experience with political violence. During the 1968 Democratic convention, he was assaulted on the convention floor for asking questions of politicians and other attendees. This was the same year that anti-war protesters were in wildcat riots with police in the city as the convention was taking place.
Watch the footage of Dan Rather getting assaulted below:
The choice is pretty clear. Do we continue to not take him seriously in our media, or are we going to hold him to account for his resurrection of this old evil in America?