Dan Rather Fails His Own Bias Test


“The test is not the names people call you or accusations by political activists inside or outside your own organization. The test is what goes up on the screen and what comes out of the speaker.”

–Dan Rather, responding to former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg’scharge that the networks have a liberal bias,March 6, 1996, The New York Post


Clinton is an Honest Man

Bill O’Reilly: I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clinton’s an honest man?

Dan Rather: Yes, I think he’s an honest man.

O’Reilly: Do you, really?

Rather: I do.

O’Reilly: Even though he lied to Jim Lehrer’s face about the Lewinsky case?

Rather: Who among us has not lied about something?

O’Reilly: Well, I didn’t lie to anybody’s face on national television. I don’t think you have, have you?

Rather: I don’t think I ever have. I hope I never have. But, look, it’s one thing–

O’Reilly: How can you say he’s an honest guy then?

Rather: Well, because I think he is. I think at core he’s an honest person. I know that you have a different view. I know that you consider it sort of astonishing anybody would say so, but I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.

–Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor,”
May 15, 2001

“I think the fact that someone has told a lie, even a big lie or maybe several big lies over a lifetime, does not mean that they’re an inherently dishonest person. . . . I believe in redemption and that Bill Clinton–is he an honest person? I think he is an honest person. Did he lie? Yes, he lied, and on those occasions he was dishonest.”

–Dan Rather
“Imus in the Morning,” Feb. 7, 2002,
defending his May 15, 2001 comment
on “The O’Reilly Factor”

Objectivity and Pulling for Hillary

“I do believe in what’s become an archaic word for journalists, objectivity. You know my job is to be accurate, be fair, and insofar as it’s humanly possible, to keep my feeling out of every story. . . . I do agree that one test of a reporter is how often he or she is able to keep their emotions out of what they are doing and keep their own biases and agendas out of it.”

–Dan Rather,
CNBC’s “Tim Russert,”
September 20, 1997

“If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we’d take it right now and walk away winners. . . . Tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we’re pulling for her.”

–Dan Rather
Addressing President Clinton via
satellite at a CBS affiliates meeting,
referencing new
co-anchor Connie Chung,
May 27, 1993

History-Making Lieberman vs. Two Texas Oilmen

“Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore officially introduced his history-making running mate today, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. History-making because Lieberman is of Jewish heritage and faith. The two started running right away. In their first joint appearance they gave a preview of the Gore-Lieberman fight-back, come-back strategy. Their message: They present the future, not the past, and they are the ticket of high moral standards most in tune with real mainstream America.”

–Dan Rather,
August 8, 2000

“In the presidential campaign, the official announcement and first photo-op today of Republican George Bush and his running mate Richard Cheney. Democrats were quick to portray the ticket as quote ‘two Texas oilmen’ because Cheney was chief of a big Dallas-based oil supply conglomerate. They also blast Cheney’s voting record in Congress as again, quote, ‘outside the American mainstream’ because of Cheney’s votes against the Equal Rights for Women Amendment, against a woman’s right to choose abortion–against abortion as Cheney prefers to put it–and Cheney’s votes against gun control. Republicans see it all differently, most of them hailing Bush’s choice and Cheney’s experience.”

–Dan Rather,
July 25, 2000

September 11 Conspiracy Theory About Ashcroft

“Increasingly, there are important questions that need to be asked. . . . For example, the Attorney General of the United States before, just before September 11, started inexplicably taking private aircraft places where normally the Attorney General wouldn’t take private aircraft, you know, government planes. Well, that would indicate that somebody somewhere was getting pretty worried, but if you’re going to share that with the Attorney General, you know, why wasn’t it shared with the public at large?”

–Dan Rather
“Imus in the Morning,”
May 22, 2002

“There was a personal threat assessment done by security agencies at Justice, and it was determined that since John Ashcroft is such a polarizing figure, that the threat assessment against him would be high, and that shortly after he was sworn in, he started taking government planes all the time. It was recommended for his own security. . . . It had nothing at all to do with any terrorist threat.”

–NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski
“Imus in the Morning,”
May 22, 2002

Bush and Clinton Abortion Orders

“On the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade President Clinton fulfills a promise, supporting abortion rights. . . . It was 20 years ago today, the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark abortion rights ruling, and the controversy hasn’t stopped since. Today, with the stroke of a pen, President Clinton delivered on his campaign promise to cancel several anti-abortion regulations of the Reagan-Bush years.”

–Dan Rather,
January 23, 1993

“This was President Bush’s first day at the office and he did something to quickly please the right flank in his party: He re-instituted an anti-abortion policy that had been in place during his father’s term and the Reagan presidency but was lifted during the Clinton years.”

–Dan Rather,
January 22, 2001

The Old, Young, Poor and Rich

“President Clinton will outline his version of a plan he says will balance the budget in ten years without what Mr. Clinton sees as a radical and extremist Republican plan to gut programs that help the old, the young, and the poor in order to bankroll tax giveaways to the rich. Republicans, of course, see it a different way.”

–Dan Rather,
June 13, 1995

“The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor.”

–Dan Rather,
March 16, 1995

Information and quotes compiled by the Media Research Center.