Dan Rather Runs Smack into James Woods on Collusion & the Exchange Is Priceless


Donald Trump has been a godsend to many liberals looking to reinvigorate their careers. One of them most certainly has been Dan Rather.

Rather had long packed up his folksy phrases and left the news desk at CBS, spurred along in part because of a scandal involving fact-checking and George W. Bush’s National Guard service.

However, in the social media age, Rather has become a source of righteous indignation for the left via social media rants directed at the perfidy of one Donald J. Trump. If you have liberals on your Facebook feed, you’ve probably seen one of these po-faced, 20-paragraph lectures about how this is the Worst Presidency Ever™ and anyone who doesn’t believe Trump should be impeached immediately is just as guilty as he is.

Rather seems awfully sure about all of this in his rants — which is funny, because he wasn’t sure about much on Saturday, when the news broke that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

And James Woods called Rather out on it in a major way.

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“I’ve covered enough big news stories to know that sometimes the headlines from the first day can evolve considerably as more information comes to light,” Rather wrote  in a tweet.

He was equally equivocal — if more verbose — on Facebook.

Do you think James Woods was right about Dan Rather?

“There was a hope with many that the Mueller report would be the knock-out punch to a corrupt administration. There was a feeling that the straight shooting former FBI director had his sights set on a narrative so powerful that it would sweep away much of the President’s vestiges of power and support,” he wrote.

“We do not know what’s in the report, but already I can feel a sense of deflation and worry among some. I offer the following words born from whatever wisdom, if any, a lifetime of experience has provided …”

In the paragraphs that followed, Rather did pay some lip service to not being afraid of the truth, no matter what it would be — and then brought up the “multiple indictments” (mostly on process crimes), the fact that there are more investigations of the Trump administration that are still active, that there are still other disturbing things about Trump, and that “in judging this administration, the probe into Russian meddling in the election is but one criteria.”

“I have found in politics that there are rarely clean judgements (sic),” he wrote. “We may see one here — in either direction of exoneration or incrimination. But more likely, we will get a murky picture and the tides will shift, like an ocean ebbing and flowing. We will learn something from Mueller, maybe much more than we realize. But it will still be up to us to determine what to do with that knowledge. And all the other knowledge we have already accumulated.”

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Yes, that evolving became “an ocean ebbing and flowing.” Say what you will about Rather, the man can come up with empurpled language with the best of them.

Also, say what you will about Rather, he’s not a man who should be talking about how stories “evolve,” as conservative actor James Woods demonstrated.

Indeed, let’s remember — along with Woods — the scandal that best defined Rather’s career.

Back during the 2004 election, how much time George W. Bush had spent with his National Guard unit was a source of much controversy, particularly since Democratic challenger John Kerry was a Purple Heart recipient in the Vietnam War.

The theory was that Bush had dodged Vietnam by going into the getting into the Texas National Guard and then didn’t show up.

In a “60 Minutes” report, Rather and Co. presented documents they said proved Bush was absent from his duties. The documents were purportedly written by Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, Bush’s late squadron leader.

As The Associated Press reported at the time, it didn’t take long for experts to realize the documents were fakes, “saying they appeared to have been created on a computer and not on the kind of typewriter in use during the 1970s.”

The document also had acronyms not in use by the military, as was pointed out in a convincing commentary piece at The Daily Signal, written by William Campenni, a veteran Air Force/Air National Guard fighter pilot who was part of Bush’s unit.

CBS stuck by the story until even Killian’s secretary said she thought the memos were forged, then the network apologized.

Rather continues to stick by the story, strangely, even though the documents were clear forgeries.

“The pressure got on from powerful people, including the White House, and the corporation disowned the story,” Rather said in 2015, according to the Los Angeles Times.

I guess Rather didn’t evolve along with the story.

Whatever the case, the Mueller investigation is over, and with it, one of the major Democrat weapons against the Trump administration has been spiked.

Hope may spring eternal, but delusion eventually runs dry — something Rather is going to find out quickly if he sticks with this line of thinking, as James Woods pointed out in this priceless exchange.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture