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Dan Rather: In the tradition of the left establishment CBS

By Charles A. Morse
web posted July 23, 2001

Dan Rather

Even some liberals, at least those with a modicum of scruples remaining in their souls, must have cringed with embarrassment at the preposterous spectacle of Dan Rather, CBS Evening News anchor, reporting on the Gary Condit (D-CA) story 80 days after the fact. In "Rather Reporting," earlier this month, Rather thundered "why isn't there at least equal attention being paid to what's happening to the world economy?"

Point well taken, but not reflective of any fundamental values on the part of Rather, who provided extensive airtime to scandals involving "conservative Republicans" Bob Packwood, Newt Gingrich et al. Of course, the left, and apparatchiks like Rather, have no fundamental values, only dialectical ones. The dialectic works like this; report on that which is most trivial and un-newsworthy if the report hurts an "enemy of the people," sanctimoniously thunder with indignation if a report of a like nature adversely affects a person who is on the "progressive" side.

Dan Rather's employer, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), is a company that reflects the classic pedigree of an establishment left media organ. The late William S. Paley, chairman, insured a "liberal" intellectual imprint on a company he largely created, an imprint that continues to reverberate. In 1928, Paley's father, wealthy cigar manufacturer Sam Paley, purchased 50% of CBS from Paramount for $5 million. Paley, 21, who viewed radio as a vehicle to further social causes, was made chairman.

William S. Paley

During World War II, Paley honed his propaganda skills as Deputy Chief of the Psychological Warfare Division at the Headquarters Staff of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. After V-E day, he became Deputy Chief of Information Control in Germany. At that time he received the order of Polonia Restituta, a high honor, from Communist Poland.

Paley, the classic limousine leftist, maintained deep ties to many centers of establishment left influence including the Council on Foreign Relations, the US Committee for U.N. Day, the Ford Foundation's Fund for Resources for the Future, and, most troubling, the Institute for Pacific Relations. The IPR was sited by the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee as the primary author of an American policy that assisted the Communists in their 1949 takeover of China. The committee stated the following:

"The Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR) has been considered by the American Communist Party and by Soviet officials as an instrument of Communist policy, propaganda, and military intelligence. The IPR disseminated and sought to popularize false information originating from Soviet and Communist sources. Members of the small core of officials and staff members who controlled IPR were either Communists or pro Communist. The IPR was a vehicle used by the Communists to orientate American far eastern policies toward Communist objectives."

Paley would appoint Dr. Frank Stanton, also a classic limousine leftist, as president of CBS in the 1960's. Zygmund Dobbs, an expert of Fabian Socialism stated, "Frank Stanton has been a Fabian Socialist all of his adult life." In 1964, Stanton addressed the National Broadcast Editorial Conference where he declared that TV networks should take political sides. He insisted on an editorial crusade in favor of the Civil Rights Act and suggested that CBS formally endorse Congressional and Gubernatorial candidates. So much for objective reporting.

Most reporters no longer even ascribe to the pretense of striving toward objectivity. Journalism schools no longer instruct reporters to report the facts and leave the opinions to the editorial writers. Instead, "interpretive reporting" is in vogue, which means that the reporter is taught to explain the meaning of a story or of comments being reported upon. This is known as "spin." With these new "interpretive" standards being taught, along with the obvious bias of media monoliths such as CBS, the young journalist realizes pretty quickly how to correctly "spin," or "interpret" the news.

Chuck Morse is the author of "Why I'm a Right Wing Extremist" due to be released in August.

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