Dan Rather Is Telling Us How to do WHAT?

I suppose the old saying of “it takes a thief to catch a thief” has a certain “truthiness” to it after all.

Dan Freakin Rather was a guest on the Young Turks (I’m not familiar with the show but it really big on YouTube because it apparently takes place inside a gay bar [NTTAWWT] in Istanbul where, naturally, they discuss progressive politics). And that’s where this happened.

In identifying fake news and figuring out what to believe, if you are truly invested in the work of being a good informed citizen, may I respectfully offer a short primer.

Number One. Understand that trusting a news outlet doesn’t mean they’re perfect, no one is perfect. It means they tell you when they screw up.

Number Two. Don’t rely on just one news outlet.

Number Three. Don’t rely on just the news to understand an issue. Read books. Find the experts. Find out how issues are discussed outside news.

Number Four. If you find yourself agreeing with everything your news outlet says, you’re doing it wrong. If your news doesn’t challenge you, challenge your news.

Number Five. Find a commentator whose politics differ from yours. Intellectually honest even though their values differ from yours. If you can’t find such a person, maybe the media is not the problem.

And Number Six. Remember that what the news tells you is far less important than what they decide to talk about in the first place. If they focus on personal, speculative and salacious stories, find a new outlet; one that drills in on issues that actually affect real lives *[like Stormy Daniels, I suppose], your wallet or pocketbook, health or education, schools, social justice, the environment. The true test of trustworthy journalism isn’t that they never make mistakes, it’s whether they are willing to challenge the powers that be on behalf of those without power.

Just a couple of thoughts on this.

First and foremost, Dan Rather has never apologized to George Bush for pushing bogus documents into the public domain that were calculated to slander Bush and cost him the presidential race. In fact, I don’t think Rather has ever admitted the documents were fake. Where this clown gets off on lecturing us about #FakeNews is beyond me.

If there were justice in the universe, he’d have spent the years since 2004 making fake documents for a cruel band of wild orangutans.

Secondly, journalism isn’t activism. Point number six is in irreconcilable conflict with being an informed citizen. That goes a long way towards explaining the public’s loss of faith in the media.

Dan Rather is still pushing fake but true. It doesn’t matter if it’s fake if it really gets your social justice juices going. That’s not just his message, it’s the theme of the whole damn industry.