Dan Rather, who famously quit his post as the anchor for “CBS Evening News” in 2004 after airing “fake news” about President George W. Bush, has been caught up in another episode.
This time it’s about his 2012 book, “Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News,” which features an image of Rather as a Marine.
Rather apparently supplied the image to the publisher, which shows him in Marine dress blues and the famous white saucer cap, with the caption, “As a young Marine.”
Only he wasn’t.
He washed out of boot camp while trying to become a Marine.
The story is explained in a document posted online by the blog MilitaryCorruption.com.
In the book, the blog explains, “the then 81-year-old liberal icon and disgraced former CBS anchorman didn’t say word one about the Corps in the text, but shockingly in the photos section, there was a headshot of a smiling, young Dan wearing Marine dress blues, including the famed white saucer camp, with the caption, ‘As a young Marine.’
The blog said it “was the first time the Texan climbed out on a limb and portrayed himself in print as a onetime member of the Corps.”
“It was a risky move, as Dan knows he didn’t graduate from boot camp. …. We quoted a Marine Corps League officer as stating one must actually graduate from training to earn the coveted USMC emblem, the globe and anchor.
“Only then, can one be rightfully called a ‘Marine,’” it said.
In the book “Stolen Valor,” author J.B. Burkett reveals records indicate Rather didn’t finish boot camp and instead was “medically discharged.”
So how did the “Marine” Rather image come about?
Said MilitaryCorruption.com: “A certain very senior Marine NCO, long retired, suggested, ‘It was probably posed for the yearbook we all got when we became Marines and went on to further training at Camp Lejuene or elsewhere. All of us had our heads shots taken. They’d put a blues blouse on you and a white cover on your head, then snap the photo. Whoever failed to graduate, had their photo s***-canned.’
“Obviously, somehow Dan got possession of the pix and waited nearly 60 years to dare publish it in ‘Rather Outspoken,’” the blog explained.
WND reported only weeks ago when Rather erupted on the Trump administration, claiming the allegations the team now in the White House has ties to Russia could be a bigger scandal than Watergate.
In a scathing post on his Facebook page at the time, Rather wrote:
The White House has no credibility on this issue. Their spigot of lies – can’t we finally all agree to call them lies – long ago lost them any semblance of credibility. I would also extend that to the Republican Congress, who has excused away the Trump administration’s assertions for far too long.
We need an independent investigation. Damn the lies, full throttle forward on the truth. If a scriptwriter had approached Hollywood with what we are witnessing, he or she would probably have been told it was way too far-fetched for even a summer blockbuster. But this is not fiction. It is real and it is serious. Deadly serious. We deserve answers and those who are complicit in this scandal need to feel the full force of justice.
The veteran newsman was responding to the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. There also were claims by the New York Times that President Trump’s aides communicated with Russian officials during the presidential campaign.
Those allegations largely have been made without evidence to back them.
It was after his 2004 report on President George W. Bush that Rather quit CBS. He reported there were memos that showed Bush was given preferential treatment while serving in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.
The documents were quickly found to be forgeries. CBS retracted the story and fired Mary Mapes, the story’s producer. Rather subsequently retired from his broadcast position in 2005. The scandal has become known as “Memogate” and “Rathergate.”
As that scandal, which today would be called “fake news,” was at its peak, Rather admitted, “If I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.”
Since then, however, he’s reversed course and claimed that the report was a good one.
In 2007 on “Larry King Live,” he said, “Nobody has proved that they (the documents) were fraudulent, much less a forgery. … The truth of this story stands up to this day.”
A WND request to Hachette for comment about the image and whether the caption was corrected did not generate a response.
On Wednesday, Rather’s book on Amazon was ranked No. 654 in books about journalists, 1,072 among books about television performers, 11,526 among memoirs and 352,424 among all books.
The image of the “Marine” Rather has been posted a number of places online. At the Academy of Achievement, it appears with a credit line saying it was provided by Rather.
In an Amazon review there was yet another defense of Rather’s claims about the Bush story.
“He painstakingly details the cloak-and-dagger operations that Bush proponents resorted to in an attempt to hide the truth and discredit Rather’s source materials,” the sympathetic reviewer writes.