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Rather writes: "For all the talk and real grave concern over 'fake news' and the sometimes fawning and largely unquestioning coverage Donald Trump got during the primaries and even from some quarters during the general election, there have been some real signs of hope of late."

Dan Rather. (photo: WNYC)
Dan Rather. (photo: WNYC)

2016 Wasn't All Bad

By Dan Rather, Dan Rather's Facebook Page

30 December 16


2016 will be remembered for many things, but one of those may be that it was the year that American journalism got a much-needed spine transplant - perhaps too belatedly for election coverage, but nonetheless.

For all the talk and real grave concern over "fake news" and the sometimes fawning and largely unquestioning coverage Donald Trump got during the primaries and even from some quarters during the general election, there have been some real signs of hope of late. I believe the perniciousness of "false equivalence" has begun to sink in, and especially in the print press we have seen a strong surge in deep digging investigative reporting.

I have noted on this page that there have been some surprising new sources of serious reporting - such as Teen Vogue - and some of the more legendary journalistic enterprises seem to be hitting their stride. Perhaps chief amongst them in my opinion has been the Washington Post whose coverage during and since the election has been top notch - and not only when it comes to politics but in international coverage, the sports pages (a personal favorite) and almost every other section of the paper.

There are reports that subscriptions for many publications are surging as perhaps Americans realize that good reporting isn't free. And for someone who believes a free and independent press is the bedrock of our democracy, headlines like this that the Post is greatly expanding its reporting staff is reason not only for celebration, but hope - hope for the future of journalism, and by extension, our Republic.

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+12 # Ralph 2016-12-30 17:13
My last post criticizing ole Dan drew down arrows galore. I've learned my lesson. I just can't say how great guys like Rather and Bourdain are. These neoliberal guys have such great hearts, feel such empathy for all the working class below them. What class acts.

I can't thank you enough over the years as our manufacturing base was destroyed and the nation was plunged into endless war. It was guys like you and Bourdain who grew your viewership and offered us hard hitting critiques on... well, at least you reported the news and Bourdain took us to good restaurants. That's certainly worth something.

I hope you end up in the newscaster hall of fame or whatever you guys have. I hope Bourdain wins the golden spoon award as well. Two great neoliberal men, real champions of the working class. I have to agree with you Dan, the MSM has really curtailed their coverage of Trump and are now covering the real issues of endless war, environmental destruction and predatory economic systems.
+11 # librarian1984 2016-12-30 20:02
lol Good luck with your new tactic!

I don't know what's more pathetic -- whimpering Dan or cheerleader Dan.

The Washington Post? The ones who published PropOrNot's blacklist and did its best to submarine Sanders and Trump?

The new and improved investigative journalism? Is that where we got all the great stories about the DNC and the DP's crooked nomination process? Or the NSA spying? Oh, no, that was Wikileaks -- whose content the msm chose not to cover.

You are praising fake news, Mr. Rather. You are absolving a msm that has not admitted its problems. They continue to act as if they haven't been fooled by Trump, used by TPTB and made irrelevant by social media.

Sure, praise away. They'll eat it up. Even if no one believes it.
+2 # Ralph 2016-12-31 11:30
"used by TPTB"

Ahem. Owned by TPTB.
+19 # Carol R 2016-12-31 03:44
I am a regular reader of the Washington Post. Every since Trump refused one of its reporters access to the section roped off for reporters, the Post has been very critical of Trump and his lame thinking.

Exactly what is wrong with covering "issues of endless war, environmental destruction and predatory economic systems"? These exist mainly because of the ignorance of our society that doesn't demand better. The Post can't control how the public reacts to real news.
-1 # Ralph 2016-12-31 11:21
Omission is a powerful tool. The MSM goes to great lengths to obscure the real issues. Instead, the Rather's and Bourdain's of the world feed us pablum. What's in the headlines for the last week? The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!
+2 # lfeuille 2016-12-31 18:38
It's their selective coverage and bias that is the problem, not what they cover. For example, the criticize Russia more doing the same things in Aleppo that we and out allies do in Mosel and Saudi Arabia does with out weapons in Yemen, but never mention the similarity. Maybe the height of hypocrisy was criticizing Wikileaks for releasing the Snowden docs but not returning the Pulitzer they won for their coverage of same.
+9 # Jim Rocket 2016-12-31 10:12
Yes, it's Anthony Bourdain's fault that journalism is in such a bad place.

Delusion is as American as apple pie and the MSM caters to that. The fact that a blatant, profoundly dishonest, propaganda machine like Fox News is tolerated says it all. "We know it's bad for our society but, hey, they're making money so Jesus would approve." That rot has spread. We can't forget the words of the great visionary Les Moonves who said that the Trump circus "may be bad for America but it's sure good for CBS."
-5 # Ralph 2016-12-31 11:19
Rather and Bourdain are nothing more than Bill O'Reilly's and Sean Hannity's with sugar sprinkled on them. The good cop side of this global capitalist Kabuki theater. Notice how they both furiously defend the status quo of illegal wars of foreign aggression, predatory economic systems and mass environmental destruction. They know who butters their bread and in some ways, the right wing neoliberals are more sinister than their conservative right wing counterparts.
+8 # Brice 2016-12-30 21:56
Dan Rather is so amazingly tone deaf. That's why he is relegates to making these idiotic comments. 2016 has been horrible in just about every way. Rather say he "believes" but all the things he believes in lack any evidence, and Trump's behavior and associates just get worse. Of course, Rather, even though he was smacked down hard is still very much invested in the Texas Repubican status quo. I just find not only have I lost respect for Rather, but al the TV news anchor and journalists ... except maybe some of those on PBS and Democracy Now!.
+4 # MidwestTom 2016-12-30 23:43
Many American news sites are discovering that "" is stealing their viewer with it's sharp clear format, and undoctored pictures.
+6 # Jim Rocket 2016-12-31 10:07
RT used to be excellent until Putin cracked down on them... as well as every other media organisation in Russia. There's still some good work being done but it's not like it was a few years ago. Al Jazeera is worth it for news from a different perspective, also.
+11 # Walhalla 2016-12-31 00:15
The "comments" on this site have changed since I joined and donated $$.....
I very much hope that you are paying your "dues" for promoting your agendas.
0 # dotlady 2016-12-31 00:28
Perhaps Midwest Tom you jest? Surely few here think that Russian-tilted news is better than US-tilted news? A balance might be useful in helping viewers get a grip.
+6 # MidwestTom 2016-12-31 07:41
Remember that it was murder as the bombs fell on Allepo, but bombs falling on Mosel are only hitting ISIS. I find RT's coverage of America interesting. They pickup stories that get little play here.
+1 # lfeuille 2016-12-31 18:48
The US media has, with a few exceptions, become so lopsided in it's coverage of US action that RT can serve as a corrective. I'm sure there are situations when there coverage of Russia leaves out too much. You need more than one source. RT seems to advocate for common sense when US media gets hysterically rabid.
+16 # dotlady 2016-12-31 00:34
And to Dan's cheery overview, I notice how the WashPost and NYTimes really dug in and kept on top of things like environmental news, like the Dakota Access Pipeline Water Protectors, the big high-pressure Spectra-AIM pipeline going under the Hudson River two weeks ago that passes next to Indian Point Nuclear Plant backup cooling generators as well as homes and schools, while ruptures and leaks across the country went almost unnoted.
-4 # xenonman 2016-12-31 00:47
Don't forget Rather's flawless bit of investigative journalism about George W. Bush and the Air National Guard!
+21 # dquandle 2016-12-31 02:30
If you're filthy rich and make your filthy lucre by murdering millions of people and raping peoples and lands, and destroying lives, it was a spectacular year.
+4 # Nonna 2016-12-31 08:21
I am sad to see how many young people are so pessimistic and angry. Our country depends on you to make things better, so go out there and work hard for what you believe, rather than carp at those who have worked hard already, have gained wisdom and try to promote hope.
+4 # vicnada 2016-12-31 10:29
"Bezos’ investments are twinned, literally joined at the publishing hip. Now, the Post thinks “product” almost as much as news. In fact, almost 80 technologists now sit right in the new Post newsroom, in addition to those soon-more-than- 700 journalists."

When "product" is as important as "news", what moral core remains to speak truth to power?

Rather could have saved everyone's time here by tweeting: "Bezos twumps up WaPo--Making Journalism Great Again."
0 # Brice 2017-03-05 23:46
Already over 2 months into 2017, I can confidently say that 2016 is looking better every day.

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