Former CBS anchor Dan Rather, a vocal critic of President Trump, argued on Monday on CNN that the media should go beyond simply quoting President Trump’s remarks and report the “truth,” reported NewsBusters.
Rather’s appearance on CNN follows a tweet in which he offered similar advice to journalists.
To my fellow members of the press, I suggest we refrain from quoting the presiden’ts words from prepared speeches into headlines and tweets without context. He sometimes says the right thing. The real questions are what he does and what he really believes.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 5, 2019
After reading out the tweet, CNN’s Don Lemon asked Rather: “What does he really believe?” referring to President Trump.
“He believes that fears conquer. That’s his basic belief,” responded Rather. “This moment in history reminds me a great deal of when I was covering the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the early 1960s. It was clearly definitively right and wrong. That was the truth of the situation. Then and now it’s the job of journalists not to try to hide or obscure but to speak the truth, and that’s where we are now. People say, well, I’m not sure President Trump is racist, but racist is as racist does.”
Rather then added that “any time he tries to speak about hope or compassion, it’s about as authentic as a Times Square Rolex.”
CNN’s Lemon noted that “It did not come lightly or easily for me to say, ‘The President of the United States is a racist. [B]ut in journalism, journalists work with facts and with evidence. And all one has to do is look at the evidence.”