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Book Review - Rather Outspoken - My Life in the News - Dan Rather

This memoir lives up to its title in spades

— Los Angeles Times

book-review-rather-outspoken-my-life-in-the-news-dan-rather

"There's nobody else around. It is quiet as a tomb, and my mind begins to wander: a kaleidoscope of thoughts." Rather writes in Rather Outspoken

Dan Rather's exposé of his excommunication from CBS News after 44 years as an award winning journalist, reporter and anchor.

The last twenty four years of Dan Rather's tenure as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News was ending.

Why?

"There's nobody else around. It is quiet as a tomb, and my mind begins to wander: a kaleidoscope of thoughts." Rather writes in Rather Outspoken.

Rather chronicles the set of facts the distortion/outright-elimination of those facts. and how the two biggest news stories of his career led to the excommunication of himself, Mary Mapes and many others from CBS News.

What happened to Dan Rather? Is this punishment for telling the truth, excommunication? Or does it go much deeper than that, was CBS coerced into firing Dan Rather?

I know what you are thinking 'journalist come and go all the time, so what makes this different?'

Read on~

Alone

Come to the edge, he said.

They said: We are afraid.

Come to the edge, he said.

They came.

He pushed them. . . and they flew

— Apollinaire

CBS Eye

It was long said of me that I had the CBS Eye tattooed somewhere on my ass.

— Dan Rather

That Voice!

"Rather Outspoken"

How did I find out about this book?

Have you ever listened to someone speaking and without seeing the person, you knew who it was? But, that is the one thing about Dan Rather, he has such a distinctive voice… so when I heard him from another room, although I had not heard him in such a long time, I knew it was him and practically ran to see if it was… and sure enough it was Dan Rather. he was on the Rachel Maddow show and he was talking about Rather Outspoken, his book… I knew that is one book I have to have and so… I put that on my Christmas wish list.

When I started reading Rather Outspoken I could hear his voice in every word I read. I would have known who wrote it, even if I started reading it without knowing who wrote it, by the clarity, honesty and truth… just as if he were speaking this in one of his news reports.

Rather Outspoken is a book that does not hold back on information on individuals and circumstances; it named names and people associated with what led to his dismissal and that of coworkers Mary Mapes and Dana Robertson from CBS… the company that Rather worked for, for more than 40 years.


Dan Rather on the Rachel Maddow show

Rather Outspoken… By Dan Rather: The Review

This is a riveting memoir of events leading to Dan Rather’s exodus from CBS news… and a glimpse into the meetings and interviews of some of the Presidents during his 40 plus years as a journalist with CBS and their affiliates.

Rather described how Lynden Banes Johnson felt he should be given a pass for his crassness from Rather, because they are both Texans.

He described how the “Watergate” scandal affected him, in such a simple detailed way that it gave me a clearer understanding of the situation as a whole.

Rather Outspoken is a book about telling the truth, and how it destroyed careers, exposed cover-ups all the way to the top of our government; and the acquiescence and complicities at the very top of CBS News that led to his dismissal and that of coworkers Mary Mapes and Dana Robertson, and told this author who his true friends were/are.

Abu Ghraib

Dan’s disappearance from CBS News came in the wake of two of his biggest stories. First was his revelation of Abu Ghraib’s atrocities, with facts and pictures to back up those facts, then the stonewalling of airing the story not only by CBS News but, also the US Army.

Why?

Abu Ghraib’s atrocities.

Rather’s book tells of the discovery of the Abu Ghraib atrocities and the exposé how the stonewalling by both CBS News and the Army on airing the story, played out to cover-up and find scapegoats--until the executives at CBS discover that a competitive journalist has gotten the same information and made plans to break the story. That is when CBS executives decided to allow Rather to air the story.

Abu Ghraib aired on April 28th “in as watered down a version as possible” Rather wrote.

The Abu Ghraib story aired on CBS in such a way that it sounded almost like no big deal.

After the April 28th story of Abu Ghraib aired in its watered down a version, after the head honchos at CBS learned that a renowned journalist for the New Yorker newspaper came into possession of the Abu Ghraib story and the pictures, and planned to break the story.

CBS had to air the story before Sy Hersh humiliated CBS News in print in the New Yorker. And Sy did run the story in the May 10th issue of the New Yorker and three follow-up stories.


Rather wrote: “At CBS News, time was when getting the worldwide exclusive on an explosive story like Abu Ghraib would have been occasion for congratulations and great praise from top executives, both of the News Division and the network itself. Those times were long gone. From the days of Edward R. Murrow through civil rights, through Vietnam, through Watergate and into the 1980s reporting the truth, regardless of who was trying to cover it up—or perhaps because of who was trying to cover it up—was a virtue unto itself and needed no further justification.”

Dan Rather, anchor and editor of Dan Rather Reports on the cable network HDNet, speaks before a group of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission Afghanistan commanders in the Leadership Conference Room on Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan,

Dan Rather, anchor and editor of Dan Rather Reports on the cable network HDNet, speaks before a group of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission Afghanistan commanders in the Leadership Conference Room on Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan,

MIA - The George W. Bush controversy

Aw.. but, the story of George W. Bush being MIA from the Air National Guard for a year, was a different story. But it wasn’t enough. Rather, Mapes and Richardson had gathered facts and had lined up interviews -- with people who knew that what he had was facts.

George "W" Bush MIA the second biggest story of Dan Rather's career.

As "Mary Mapes was looking into Bush's military Career, we talked about reaching out to Ben Barnes" Rather wrote.

Ben Barnes was a longtime friend of Rather from his days when he was Texas's lieutenant governor which put him in position to say who got into the Air National Guard and who did not. Mary had gotten the okay that Barns had reluctantly agreed to the interview.

The swift boating of John Kerry, Was this another red herring i.e. smoke screen to cover up Bush's wrongful MIA.

Rather wrote in Rather Outspoken that he called Ben Barnes to firm up his consent. Barnes was a Kerry supporter, and the swift-boating smear operation was a burr under his saddle. He was very aware that it was hurting Kerry badly. Worse yet, it was based in Texas.

Rather writes that Barnes told him: "I'm not happy about doing this, but I think it is time." Rather also writes that in 1999, Barnes had already sworn under oath that he had recommended Bush for a spot in the Guard. That was in a deposition, however, saying so on national television was another matter.

My Suspicion

While on my way to work in 1999, I listened to a talk radio show and there was a radio host who began talking about George W. Bush starting a business called Arbusto Energy (arbusto is Spanish for bush) and his scam of the investors in that business. One of the investors was Salim ben Laden, brother of Osama. The host also told how he, Bush had gone AWOL after his father had secured a place for him in the Air National Guard.

Funny, not funny like ha, ha, I mean funny like strange, the following day the radio host was replaced by someone else and I never heard of him again.

Who has that kind of power to cover-up stuff?



The apology

After the airing of the George W. Bush story on his Air National Service Andrew Heyward said: "We're asking you to apologize. You need to do this for the good of CBS News, and for you own good." Rather was also told.

Rather was told that the network was going to announce the establishment of an outside commission to investigate what happened.

Two days later Rather writes that he took a call from Andrew Heyward to inform him that independent commission had been appointed. “It is going to be led by Richard Thornburgh” Heyward said. Rather slamming his fist down on the dashboard so hard he hurt his hand and told Heyward, “this is insane!”

Richard Thornburgh had been the U.S. attorney general, first under Ronald Reagan and then under George H.W. Bush. And he still had close ties to the Bush family.

Rather wrote “It now seemed absolutely clear why we had been ordered to drop any further investigation into Bush’s experience in the Texas Air National Guard.”

Rather wrote that Andrew told him that Thornburg has credibility with the Bush people and the right wing and with everyone who is giving CBS a hard time.

"Of course he has credibility with them!" Rather shouted. "He IS them!"



What happened was that we spoke truth to power. And power had bellowed back through every bullhorn it could command. At the time, it was loud enough to drown out the truth.

— Dan Rather

This is a fascinating book and I could not put it down.

Rather Outspoken

© 2016 Shyron E Shenko

Comments

C E Clark from North Texas on April 10, 2021:

Haven't seen Dan on any interviews lately. Should think he'd have a lot to say now that we're (this country) is in a new chapter. So far things seem to be better. Hope it continues.

Posting this on AH & FB.

Blessings, dear friend. Stay safe. Hopefully this pandemic will be behind us soon . . .

C E Clark from North Texas on January 08, 2021:

Have noted that Dan Rather has had lots to say about the government goings on of late. This is a great article and while it doesn't deal with the current mayhem, it's still very relevant and a good read.

Posting this on FB & AH,

Blessings, dear friend. Though it is likely to get more difficult, stay well . . .

C E Clark from North Texas on December 17, 2020:

Recently saw that Mr. Rather had made a remark regarding the guy who took issue with Jill Biden being called Dr. Rather said that Dr. Biden had earned the right to be called doctor since she did the work and earned the doctorate degree, and she didn't do it at Trump University!

No one earned degrees of any kind from Trump University, because it was a fake university 'set up' so that Trump could scam people out of their money. I know someone who spent 4 years in jail for doing less in a similar type of crime.

Excellent review/article. Posting this on FB & AH.

Hope all is well. Blessings. Stay safe!

C E Clark from North Texas on February 22, 2020:

An excellent review on an excellent book! Posting this article on AH & FB.

Blessings, dear friend. Stay well.

C E Clark from North Texas on September 10, 2019:

Haven't been able to access any of Dan Rather's remarks about the current political situation for a long time. He was making comments regularly with the Young Turks, but I guess he moved on. I always like to hear what he has to say as he usually pulls no punches and gets to the bottom of things pretty quickly.

Posting this great article on FB and AH.

Hope you are staying well. Blessings dear friend . . .

C E Clark from North Texas on September 26, 2018:

Have just now sent you "Fear" as well as House of Trump/House of Putin. Let me know if both arrive OK.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on September 26, 2018:

Cee, thank you for the comment.

I did enjoy Dan Rather's Book and I would very much like to read Bob Woodward's book, and I would appreciate an email copy.

Wishing you many Blessings and good fortune. Hope all is well with you.

C E Clark from North Texas on September 05, 2018:

This book by Dan Rather is a good one and he has a more recent one too, I think.

Another book that should be interesting is by Bob Woodward called Fear. All about the current White House situation. It will be out and available in another week from now. I'm expecting to get an online copy. If it comes through and you would like a copy, let me know and I'll email it to you.

Wishing you every blessing. Take care dear friend . . .

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on May 20, 2018:

Au fait, thank you for the comment and for telling me about the podcast, I watch it when I get the chance, Dan Rather is a special person and I enjoy listening to him no matter what he is talking about.

All is well as it should be in the circumstance.

I hope all is well with you, blessings and hugs dear friend.

C E Clark from North Texas on April 26, 2018:

Did you know that Dan Rather does a podcast as part of The Young Turks. You can find it on YouTube. It's on Monday nights I think. You can of course see previous ones on YouTube. I've watched a few of them and try to keep up.

Hope all is well with you . . . Blessings and hugs dear friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on December 19, 2017:

Au fait, thank you for the compliment and comment, I truly appreciate you.

I also hope you had a great Thanksgiving

and hope you have a great Christmas.

Blessings my dear friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on December 05, 2017:

Anita, thank you for the comments. You are right the truth will set you free and you will see lies for what they are.

Blessings and hugs my friend

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on December 02, 2017:

As they say the truth will set you free. No matter how much corruption is covered up, eventually the truth will come out.

C E Clark from North Texas on November 29, 2017:

Like this book you have excellently reviewed, Dan Rather has a new book that has just come out called, "What Unites Us." Sounds like it will be another thought generating good read.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Take care . . .

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on October 03, 2017:

Au fait, you are a dear friend, and I thank you for your comments. I too would love to hear Dan's opinion on this subject.

This is an excellent book and I treasure my copy.

Blessings and hugs dear friend

C E Clark from North Texas on September 22, 2017:

Posting this on FB. I've heard only a few of Rather's opinions on our current political situation and would like to hear more of what he thinks as Special Prosecutor Mueller digs deeper. This is an excellent book and worth reading. Glad you decided to review it.

Always wishing you both good things. Take care . . .

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on July 26, 2017:

Au fait, thank you for the compliment and comment. I love this book and I love Dan Rather, he is a genuinely honest person.

I hope all is well with you.

Blessings always my dear friend

C E Clark from North Texas on July 19, 2017:

This is how people, no matter how great their stature, are run off and often ruined, because they didn't 'play ball.' This is what happens to politicians who don't tow the party line. Even Dan Rather was not immune.

A great review.

Hope your appointments are going well this afternoon. Blessings dear friend . . .

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on February 16, 2017:

Anita, you are welcome and thank you for the comment, I hope you find the book and enjoy it as much as I did. Dan Rather is a man that I have admired for years, I know he speaks the truth, no matter what and that is one thing we need more of is truthful people.

Blessings my dear friend.

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on February 10, 2017:

Thanks for sharing Shyron. Super review, makes you want to get hold of the book straight away and read. Will see if it is available as an ebook. I so admire reporters who have the courage of their convictions. And with the internet, lies seem to surface sooner than in the past.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on July 07, 2016:

Au fait, thank you for the comments, compliments and for sharing this review. It is a great book. I just saw Dan Rather doing an interview of Willie Nelson, which was fantastic.

I hope you are also staying cool

Blessings and Hugs my friend.

C E Clark from North Texas on July 01, 2016:

This is such a great review for such a great book that I just had to come back and share it again.

Hope you are staying cool! Take care . . .

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on June 21, 2016:

Peg, thank you for the comment, I am so happy that you read the book. If only! If only the reporters of today had the courage of their convictions. "If only," these two simple words could hold our world to a higher standard.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on June 20, 2016:

This intriguing review makes me want to read the book. Mission accomplished and well done, Shyron. I loved listening to his voice and his crisp style of reporting back when the news actually held real news and not just watered-down fashion pieces and celebrities' failing marriages.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on April 17, 2016:

Paula, thank you so much I appreciate the comment and compliment.

As I said to someone else: I always liked Dan Rather, to me he was/is a Superman, i.e. the epitome of truth, justice and the American way, (at least the way America should be) and when I read his book, I wanted everyone to read it, to see what I saw.

And I love you right back

Blessings and Hugs

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on April 16, 2016:

Kathleen, thank you for the comment. I am so glad you read the book, mine is in a special place on my book shelf where I keep my favorites, for re-reading or reference.

Blessings and Hugs

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on April 16, 2016:

Paul, I am so happy to see you, and you are welcome. I always liked Dan Rather, to me he was/is a Superman, i.e. the epitome of truth, justice and the American way, (at least the way America should be) and when I read his book, I wanted everyone to read it, to see what I saw.

I really appreciate your comments, compliment and your sharing my hub.

Thank you, Blessings and Hugs

Shyron

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on April 16, 2016:

Au fait, thank you for the compliment, comment and for sharing.

I have missed you, hope all is well with you.

Blessings and hugs to you dear friend.

Suzie from Carson City on April 16, 2016:

Shyron....You have certainly encouraged me to read this fabulous book! Anyone dedicated to bringing the TRUTH to us is a Hero in my opinion! I always liked Dan Rather....and I LOVE you & your writing! Peace, Paula

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on April 16, 2016:

I just read this book and it changed my opinion of Rather, but more interesting was his take on the news he could only report and not express an opinion about. Those were the days - and thanks to "brands of news" that we have today, those days will never return.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 16, 2016:

Shyron, this is an awesome review and I thank you for sharing it. When Dan Rather ended his career with CBS, I was overseas and not following the CBS news. I remember first seeing Rather when he was under Walter Cronkite at CBS. He did an excellent job as a CBS anchor and I was always liked his reporting. From your excellent review, I must read "Rather Unspoken" and get Dan Rather's full story. I am sharing this with HP followers and on Facebook.

C E Clark from North Texas on April 15, 2016:

Came back to give this excellent review a share.

Hope all is well. Blessings and hugs, dear friend . . .

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 26, 2016:

Dear Peggy, thank you for the comment. I think you will find Dan's book Rather interesting.

Have a Blessed and happy Easter.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2016:

I always enjoyed listening to Dan Rather and did not realize that he had written a book. Thanks for your review of it. It sounds interesting.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 29, 2016:

Patricia, thank you for the comment, compliment and the Angels who I will send right back with lots of Blessings and hugs for you and your beautiful family.

Shyron

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 27, 2016:

Well done review, Shyron. I have not read his book yet but have to now that I read this. You are right..his voice was distinctive and made listening to him a positive experience.

Hoping all is well with you and yours. Angels are on the way to you once again...ps

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 23, 2016:

Thank you Mel for the compliment, and comment. I really appreciate you. I am so glad that I found the book.

Blessings and Hugs my friend.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 21, 2016:

Fascinating expose on the strings our media figures have to dance on. Freedom of the press is largely a myth, and Rather's words confirm it. Great hub!

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 19, 2016:

Kim,

My son bought the book "Rather Outspoken" for me from Amazon, I don't think it is in the regular book stores.

You are so welcome, thank you for reading this.

Smiling right back,

Shyron

ocfireflies from North Carolina on January 19, 2016:

Shyron,

I, too will track down and read this book. I always thought highly of Dan Rather and felt that he had been given a raw deal, but had no idea the extent of what had happened. Thank you for writing this hub. So glad to know that Dan Rather has chosen to not let those who destroyed him keep him from speaking out loud.

Smiles,

Kim

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 19, 2016:

Larry, thank you so very much for the comment and compliment. Yes Dan Rather is a most interesting figure in history, news and as a Genuine, compassionate human being. I really admire him. Can you tell?

Blessings my friend

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on January 17, 2016:

Dan Rather is certainly an interesting figure in history. Great review.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 10, 2016:

Flourish, thank you for the compliments and comments, I truly appreciate you.

I am glad Dan Rather is telling his story also.

Blessings and hugs dear friend

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 10, 2016:

Wow, what a book review. If you can silence Dan Rather with power no one is safe. Absolutely excellent. I am glad he is telling his story.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 09, 2016:

Au fait, thank you for the comment, compliment and for sharing.

Bush's AWOL was in the late 60s, that is when my brothers, both were in Vietnam.

1977- Bush started Arbusto Energy his oil venture with ben Laden money

1986-was Dubya's double dealing with Spectrum 7/Enron occurred.

There are the double dealings with the Savings and Loan scandals in the 1970s but I don't think Dubya was in on that he was busy with Enron.

I dare anybody to write a book review of "It's still the Economy Stupid" that would be on big long review.

I hope all is well with you.

Blessings and Hugs

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 09, 2016:

Maria, I am so happy to see you, I could jump up and down. Thank you for the compliment and comment.

I hope that you have a Blessed and wonderful 2016.

Love and hugs to you my dear friend.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 08, 2016:

So sorry it has taken me so long to get here and comment. Have had this open on my desktop for 3 days. Have been away from WiFi for several days unfortunately.

This sounds like a very interesting book and a must read for anyone who really wants to know what goes on in our society, our country, and our world. If these things happened to Dan Rather they can happen to anyone and it should make people wonder what is happening that was successfully hushed up. One thing that I think would be helpful is if the year these things took place was stated because I know my memory is so awful nowadays I really don't remember what year it was, but I do remember the reports.

I think you've done a great job here, Shyron. Going to share this of course.

Hope all is well with you and John. Seems the snow for Sunday has been cancelled, and I'm glad. Hope to get to talk to you soon. The last few days have been crazy and expect the rest of today will be too. Blessings and hugs for you dear friend.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on January 08, 2016:

I always respected and enjoyed listening to Dan Rather...

Excellent review, dear Shyron - hoping 2016 is getting off to a good start for you.

Love and hugs, Maria

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 06, 2016:

Devika, thank you for the comment, Happy New Year to you and yours.

Blessings to you my friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 06, 2016:

Shauna, thank you for the compliment and comment. I should have read you Elementary Ways to Check Your Grammar, before I published my hub. I still intend to read it as soon as time (and my hubby, lol) permits.

Blessings and hugs my dear friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 06, 2016:

Jo (Sis), thank you for the kind comments, compliments and all your words of encouragement.

I am so happy to have you back, I really missed you while you were gone, I thank God that you are better.

Blessings and ((((Hugs)))))

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 06, 2016:

Ruby, thank you for the kind comments, compliment. Every thing I have written is true. Dan Rather was/is my favorite journalist, and now author. I do hope he writes more books, he is so witty. You and I both know how we love humor.

Blessings to you my beautiful friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 06, 2016:

Bill, thank you for the read, comment and for being such a good friend and Happy New Year to you also.

I think you will enjoy this Rather Outspoken as much as I did.

Blessings to you and yours always

Shyron

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 05, 2016:

Phillis, thank you for the compliment and comment, I really appreciate you my friend.

I am so glad Dan wrote this book--I was so angry when CBS fired him and I knew it had something to do with the Bushes, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Blessings and hugs.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 05, 2016:

Nice job on the review, Shyron. It's refreshing that this expose was written while most of the offenders are still alive. I'm glad that Rather decided to reiterate the truth and stand behind his words.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 05, 2016:

Hi Shyron E Shenko you shared an interesting review. New information to me. A Happy New Year to you.

Jo_Goldsmith11 on January 04, 2016:

A really awesome job on this book review! I will be sure to add this to my reading list this new year. I am amazed at the depth and clarity of your writing sis! You are a wonderful treat to read after a long day!

Shared..and five stars for the accomplishment of writing this captivating review. :-) ***** hugs! (((((((((( Sis ))))))))))

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 04, 2016:

Shyron, this is a great book review. Dan Rather was the one I looked to for facts and the truth. He came up against POWER and it brought him down. I want to read his book and I will. Thank you...

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 04, 2016:

I read very little non-fiction but this is a book I will read...thank you so much for this great review, and Happy New Year to you and yours.

blessings always

bill

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on January 04, 2016:

My gosh, Shyron - this is a fascinating review! It flows smoothly and fast. I felt I was right in the middle of all the controversy and trickery that went on with the whole story of what happened to Rather. Dan Rather is a powerful voice in the media and I always listened to him, knowing he had his facts straight.

You have produced a great review here of the book and I want to read it. Well done, my friend, well done.

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