Dan Rather To Teach ‘Finding Truth In the News’

Irony Trigger Warning: Career ruined for broadcasting 'Fake New' about George W. Bush leading up to the 2004 election, Dan Rather is teaching a class on how to 'Find the truth in news'.

Former long-time CBS News anchor and host for 60 Minutes Dan Rather is heading into the classroom to teach a journalism course at UDemy, an online education platform. The course will be called “finding the truth in the news” (via Joe Concha/The Hill):

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has been tapped to teach an online journalism course called “Finding the truth in the news.”

The course is being offered by the e-learning platform UDemy, which hosts more than 42,000 online courses.

“Whether you’re an avid consumer of the news or just beginning your journalism career, renowned news anchor Dan Rather shares his first-hand experiences to guide you through the 21st century state of journalism,” the course description reads.

“Dan’s rich history and extensive knowledge of journalism, paired with practical, hands-on exercises, creates a unique learning opportunity and rare insight from an American legend.”

Oh the irony… In 2004, Rather’s own “fake news” plunged his former network into a scandal surrounding the authenticity of memos written by former President George W. Bush’s squad commander in the Texas Air National Guard.  These documents reportedly put Bush’s service in a negative light, though experts disregarded them as fakes.  CBS ended up apologizing for using them, but the fallout from the scandal was fierce.

Via NBC:

CBS News apologized Monday for a “mistake in judgment” in its story questioning President Bush’s National Guard service, claiming it was misled by the source of documents that several experts have dismissed as fakes.[…]

It also has become an issue in the presidential campaign. The White House said the affair raises questions about the connections between CBS’s source, retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, and Democrat John Kerry’s campaign.


Rather joined CBS News President Andrew Heyward in issuing an apology Monday.

“We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry,” Rather said. “It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.”

Almost immediately after the story aired Sept. 8, document experts questioned memos purportedly written by Bush’s late squadron leader, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, saying they appeared to have been created on a computer and not on the kind of typewriter in use during the 1970s.


CBS strongly defended its story. It wasn’t until a week later — after Killian’s former secretary said she believed the memos were fake — that the news division admitted they were questionable.

Burkett admitted this weekend to CBS that he lied about obtaining the documents from another former National Guard member, the network said. CBS hasn’t been able to conclusively tell how he got them, or even definitely tell whether they’re fakes or not. But the network has given up trying to defend them.

The fallout was a disaster for CBS.  Mary Mapes, the producer, was fired and the blunder was a severe blow to Rather’s career and eventually led his early retirement and departure from the network shortly afterwards.

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