The Legacy of Dan Rather: A Reflection on his Storied Career

The Legacy of Dan Rather: A Reflection on his Storied Career

Dan Rather made a triumphant return to CBS for an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, marking his first appearance since his departure from the network. This interview comes just days before the release of a Netflix documentary chronicling his life and career. Rather, who spent 44 years at CBS and served as anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, left under a cloud of controversy after questions were raised about his journalistic methodology in a report on then-President George W. Bush’s military record.

Despite the tumultuous nature of his departure, Rather expressed his deep connection to CBS in the interview, stating, “Without apology or explanation, I miss CBS. I’ve missed it since the day I left.” When asked about his motivation to become a reporter, Rather reflected on his lifelong passion for the profession, stating, “All I know is, it’s the only thing I ever wanted to be, was a reporter. I get up every morning and as soon as my feet hit the ground, I say, where’s the story?”

Throughout his career, Rather has been known for his commitment to uncovering the truth and reporting on stories that those in power may want to keep hidden. He emphasized the importance of real news, stating, “In the heart of every reporter worthy of their name, there’s a message that news, real news is what somebody somewhere – particularly somebody in power – doesn’t want you to know. That’s news.” Rather’s dedication to investigative journalism and major interviews continued after his time at CBS, as he worked for HDNet, a digital cable and satellite television network.

Rather’s ability to adapt to changing venues and methods in the media industry has been a key factor in his longevity as a reporter. Reflecting on his career, he stated, “You either get engaged and you get engaged in the new terms … or you’re out of the game. And I wanted to stay in the game.” Despite the challenges he faced, Rather remained focused on his desire to report the news and deliver impactful stories to his audience.

As he looks back on his career, Rather acknowledges that his legacy will not be defined by his professional accomplishments, but rather by the relationships he has built and the impact he has had on those around him. He emphasized the importance of family and friends, stating, “In the end, whatever remains of one’s life – family, friends – those are going to be the things for which you’re remembered.” Dan Rather’s legacy as a reporter and journalist will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come, not only for his groundbreaking reporting but also for the lasting impact he has had on the field of journalism as a whole.


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