Dan Rather has been in the news business longer than some of us have been breathing.  In that time he has covered more stories than I suspect he would care to count and taken more than his share of flack for offending those whose common trait is likely to be a skin thickness which could be measured in angstroms.  Now that Kellyanne ConJob has decided that "alternative facts" are suitable for distribution via White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, Mr. Rather has decided that it's time to return fire ... and he has:

These are not normal times. These are extraordinary times. And extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

When you have a spokesperson for the president of the United States wrap up a lie in the Orwellian phrase "alternative facts”…

When you have a press secretary in his first appearance before the White House reporters threaten, bully, lie, and then walk out of the briefing room without the cajones to answer a single question…

When you have a President stand before the stars of the fallen CIA agents and boast about the size of his crowds (lies) and how great his authoritarian inaugural speech was….

These are not normal times.

The press has never seen anything like this before. The public has never seen anything like this before. And the political leaders of both parties have never seen anything like this before.

What can we do? We can all step up and say simply and without equivocation. "A lie, is a lie, is a lie!" And if someone won't say it, those of us who know that there is such a thing as the truth must do whatever is in our power to diminish the liar's malignant reach into our society.

There is one group of people who can do a lot - very quickly. And that is Republicans in Congress. Without their support, Donald Trump's presidency will falter. So here is what I think everyone in the press must do. If you are interviewing a Paul Ryan, a Mitch McConnell, or any other GOP elected official, the first question must be "what will you do to combat the lying from the White House?" If they dodge and weave, keep with the follow ups. And if they refuse to give a satisfactory answer, end the interview.

Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy. And you are either with them, with us, with our Constitution, our history, and the future of our nation, or you are against it. Everyone must answer that question.

Thank you, Mr. Rather. Thank you a lot.

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Replies to This Discussion

Keith Olberman isn't too fond of the "Amoral flying monkeys like Conway and Spicer" and has some things to say about their mendaciocracy (I made up that term.  Government of lies).

I watch Olbermann regularly.  Man knows whereof he speaks, and I am glad of it.

Loren, do you know where I can find Olbermann? He was moved from the channel I did watch him on now I don't have a clue.

Kathy, Keith has been doing his thing on GQ's page on YouTube lately.  Frankly, I think he deserves more major media exposure, but for now, that's where you'll find him.

He's brilliant, always right on point.

"Do not play the Trump game!"

I like Keith Olbermann's response to the lies spewed out by the Treacherous Trump Team:

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee also shows the repubs no mercy. She reminds me of Olberman.

excellent!

I may have posted this already, from Politico.  Trumps lies vs. your brain.  It's a losing battle and kind of depressing.  Maybe this period has to run its course.   Maybe we are in the death throws of the modern liberal democratic (small d) experiment.  Maybe the supposed swing states will swing back again, but what to do about those heartland places?  Seems to me that heart has a need for some Lipitor or something.  Maybe in the midwest, it's all those Germans - authoritarians - but I don't know who it is in the Southeast and Texas.  If my family was alive, they would have loved Herr Trump. 

Actually Trump's ancestral homeland of Kallstadt, is disturbingly very close to my own ancestral origins.  (Make the linked map one-step smaller and it's the two villages south.  Ouch). 

Enough rambling.  I wish I liked intoxicants.  I need one.  But I don't.  So I won't.  Stuck with reality.

My own personal opinion — again, not being a lawyer — is that Trump is much more likely in the next four years to be removed from office under the 25th Amendment, whereby the president is deemed to be incapacitated. I think if he persists in using, as they have called it, “alternative facts,” when the evidence does not support what he is saying, and he nevertheless tries to shape policy on that basis, there’s going to be a point at which there will be a judgment that he is not mentally stable.

Bueno de Mesquita

Dan has a new project, the Facebook page News & Guts, excellent page.

News & Guts

"Friends don't let friends share fake news."

-Thomas Bear Jan. 2017

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