Dan Rather has a strange addiction. The onetime CBS news anchor whose career crashed and burned after he invented a story intended to smear President George W. Bush in the run-up to the 2004 election seems unable to avoid seeking the limelight. Earlier this month he began teaching an online course titled Journalism & Finding the Truth in the News — and immediately became the butt of ten thousand jokes.
Last night, Rather was at it again. This time he was guest on MSNBC’s “Hardball” — which is the journalistic equivalent of an alcoholic drinking radiator fluid — where he attempted to school Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway on her admittedly odd use of the phrase alternate facts.
In the video that follows courtesy of MRCTV, Rather assumes the ill-fitting role of arbiter of the truth:
Well, to say it was unfortunate is, to put it mildly. This was a big mistake.None of us can go into this world alternative facts.
Listen, two plus two equals four, that’s a fact there’s no alternative to it. Water runs downhill, that’s a fact. It snows in Alaska. There’s sand dunes in Saudi Arabia. These are facts.This idea of alternative facts, this is a propaganda tool.
And look, you and I both know Ms. Conway is a very smart lady and she didn’t offhandedly say this. …
Facts and the truth, or as close as humanly possible to get to the truth, are at the very foundation of our democracy and dealing with an informed citizenry. We all know this.
“Facts and the truth are at the very foundation of our democracy and dealing with an informed citizenry.” It’s a little breathy, but it would be hard to conceive a more fitting epitaph for Rather when it he shuffles off this mortal coil.