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Book Review - Rather Outspoken - My Life in the News - Dan Rather

Updated on November 30, 2016

This memoir lives up to its title in spades

— Los Angeles Times

"There's nobody else around. It is quiet as a tomb, and my mind begins to wander: a kaleidoscope of thoughts." Rather writes in Rather Outspoken

Dan Rather's exposé of his excommunication from CBS News after 44 years as an award winning journalist, reporter and anchor.

The last twenty four years of Dan Rather's tenure as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News was ending.

Why?

"There's nobody else around. It is quiet as a tomb, and my mind begins to wander: a kaleidoscope of thoughts." Rather writes in Rather Outspoken.

Rather chronicles the set of facts the distortion/outright-elimination of those facts. and how the two biggest news stories of his career led to the excommunication of himself, Mary Mapes and many others from CBS News.

What happened to Dan Rather? Is this punishment for telling the truth, excommunication? Or does it go much deeper than that, was CBS coerced into firing Dan Rather?

I know what you are thinking 'journalist come and go all the time, so what makes this different?'

Read on~

Alone

Come to the edge, he said.

They said: We are afraid.

Come to the edge, he said.

They came.

He pushed them. . . and they flew

— Apollinaire

It was long said of me that I had the CBS Eye tattooed somewhere on my ass.

— Dan Rather

That Voice!

"Rather Outspoken"

How did I find out about this book?

Have you ever listened to someone speaking and without seeing the person, you knew who it was? But, that is the one thing about Dan Rather, he has such a distinctive voice… so when I heard him from another room, although I had not heard him in such a long time, I knew it was him and practically ran to see if it was… and sure enough it was Dan Rather. he was on the Rachel Maddow show and he was talking about Rather Outspoken, his book… I knew that is one book I have to have and so… I put that on my Christmas wish list.

When I started reading Rather Outspoken I could hear his voice in every word I read. I would have known who wrote it, even if I started reading it without knowing who wrote it, by the clarity, honesty and truth… just as if he were speaking this in one of his news reports.

Rather Outspoken is a book that does not hold back on information on individuals and circumstances; it named names and people associated with what led to his dismissal and that of coworkers Mary Mapes and Dana Robertson from CBS… the company that Rather worked for, for more than 40 years.


Dan Rather on the Rachel Maddow show

Rather Outspoken… By Dan Rather: The Review

This is a riveting memoir of events leading to Dan Rather’s exodus from CBS news… and a glimpse into the meetings and interviews of some of the Presidents during his 40 plus years as a journalist with CBS and their affiliates.

Rather described how Lynden Banes Johnson felt he should be given a pass for his crassness from Rather, because they are both Texans.

He described how the “Watergate” scandal affected him, in such a simple detailed way that it gave me a clearer understanding of the situation as a whole.

Rather Outspoken is a book about telling the truth, and how it destroyed careers, exposed cover-ups all the way to the top of our government; and the acquiescence and complicities at the very top of CBS News that led to his dismissal and that of coworkers Mary Mapes and Dana Robertson, and told this author who his true friends were/are.

Abu Ghraib

Dan’s disappearance from CBS News came in the wake of two of his biggest stories. First was his revelation of Abu Ghraib’s atrocities, with facts and pictures to back up those facts, then the stonewalling of airing the story not only by CBS News but, also the US Army.

Why?

Abu Ghraib’s atrocities.

Rather’s book tells of the discovery of the Abu Ghraib atrocities and the exposé how the stonewalling by both CBS News and the Army on airing the story, played out to cover-up and find scapegoats--until the executives at CBS discover that a competitive journalist has gotten the same information and made plans to break the story. That is when CBS executives decided to allow Rather to air the story.

Abu Ghraib aired on April 28th “in as watered down a version as possible” Rather wrote.

The Abu Ghraib story aired on CBS in such a way that it sounded almost like no big deal.

After the April 28th story of Abu Ghraib aired in its watered down a version, after the head honchos at CBS learned that a renowned journalist for the New Yorker newspaper came into possession of the Abu Ghraib story and the pictures, and planned to break the story.

CBS had to air the story before Sy Hersh humiliated CBS News in print in the New Yorker. And Sy did run the story in the May 10th issue of the New Yorker and three follow-up stories.


Rather wrote: “At CBS News, time was when getting the worldwide exclusive on an explosive story like Abu Ghraib would have been occasion for congratulations and great praise from top executives, both of the News Division and the network itself. Those times were long gone. From the days of Edward R. Murrow through civil rights, through Vietnam, through Watergate and into the 1980s reporting the truth, regardless of who was trying to cover it up—or perhaps because of who was trying to cover it up—was a virtue unto itself and needed no further justification.”

Dan Rather, anchor and editor of Dan Rather Reports on the cable network HDNet, speaks before a group of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission Afghanistan commanders in the Leadership Conference Room on Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan,
Dan Rather, anchor and editor of Dan Rather Reports on the cable network HDNet, speaks before a group of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission Afghanistan commanders in the Leadership Conference Room on Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan, | Source

MIA - The George W. Bush controversy

Aw.. but, the story of George W. Bush being MIA from the Air National Guard for a year, was a different story. But it wasn’t enough. Rather, Mapes and Richardson had gathered facts and had lined up interviews -- with people who knew that what he had was facts.

George "W" Bush MIA the second biggest story of Dan Rather's career.

As "Mary Mapes was looking into Bush's military Career, we talked about reaching out to Ben Barnes" Rather wrote.

Ben Barnes was a longtime friend of Rather from his days when he was Texas's lieutenant governor which put him in position to say who got into the Air National Guard and who did not. Mary had gotten the okay that Barns had reluctantly agreed to the interview.

The swift boating of John Kerry, Was this another red herring i.e. smoke screen to cover up Bush's wrongful MIA.

Rather wrote in Rather Outspoken that he called Ben Barnes to firm up his consent. Barnes was a Kerry supporter, and the swift-boating smear operation was a burr under his saddle. He was very aware that it was hurting Kerry badly. Worse yet, it was based in Texas.

Rather writes that Barnes told him: "I'm not happy about doing this, but I think it is time." Rather also writes that in 1999, Barnes had already sworn under oath that he had recommended Bush for a spot in the Guard. That was in a deposition, however, saying so on national television was another matter.

My Suspicion

While on my way to work in 1999, I listened to a talk radio show and there was a radio host who began talking about George W. Bush starting a business called Arbusto Energy (arbusto is Spanish for bush) and his scam of the investors in that business. One of the investors was Salim ben Laden, brother of Osama. The host also told how he, Bush had gone AWOL after his father had secured a place for him in the Air National Guard.

Funny, not funny like ha, ha, I mean funny like strange, the following day the radio host was replaced by someone else and I never heard of him again.

Who has that kind of power to cover-up stuff?



The apology

After the airing of the George W. Bush story on his Air National Service Andrew Heyward said: "We're asking you to apologize. You need to do this for the good of CBS News, and for you own good." Rather was also told.

Rather was told that the network was going to announce the establishment of an outside commission to investigate what happened.

Two days later Rather writes that he took a call from Andrew Heyward to inform him that independent commission had been appointed. “It is going to be led by Richard Thornburgh” Heyward said. Rather slamming his fist down on the dashboard so hard he hurt his hand and told Heyward, “this is insane!”

Richard Thornburgh had been the U.S. attorney general, first under Ronald Reagan and then under George H.W. Bush. And he still had close ties to the Bush family.

Rather wrote “It now seemed absolutely clear why we had been ordered to drop any further investigation into Bush’s experience in the Texas Air National Guard.”

Rather wrote that Andrew told him that Thornburg has credibility with the Bush people and the right wing and with everyone who is giving CBS a hard time.

"Of course he has credibility with them!" Rather shouted. "He IS them!"



What happened was that we spoke truth to power. And power had bellowed back through every bullhorn it could command. At the time, it was loud enough to drown out the truth.

— Dan Rather

This is a fascinating book and I could not put it down.

Rather Outspoken

Will you Read this Book

See results

© 2016 Shyron E Shenko

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    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 2 months ago from Texas

      Anita, you are welcome and thank you for the comment, I hope you find the book and enjoy it as much as I did. Dan Rather is a man that I have admired for years, I know he speaks the truth, no matter what and that is one thing we need more of is truthful people.

      Blessings my dear friend.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 2 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for sharing Shyron. Super review, makes you want to get hold of the book straight away and read. Will see if it is available as an ebook. I so admire reporters who have the courage of their convictions. And with the internet, lies seem to surface sooner than in the past.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you for the comments, compliments and for sharing this review. It is a great book. I just saw Dan Rather doing an interview of Willie Nelson, which was fantastic.

      I hope you are also staying cool

      Blessings and Hugs my friend.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 9 months ago from North Texas

      This is such a great review for such a great book that I just had to come back and share it again.

      Hope you are staying cool! Take care . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 10 months ago from Texas

      Peg, thank you for the comment, I am so happy that you read the book. If only! If only the reporters of today had the courage of their convictions. "If only," these two simple words could hold our world to a higher standard.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 10 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      This intriguing review makes me want to read the book. Mission accomplished and well done, Shyron. I loved listening to his voice and his crisp style of reporting back when the news actually held real news and not just watered-down fashion pieces and celebrities' failing marriages.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 12 months ago from Texas

      Paula, thank you so much I appreciate the comment and compliment.

      As I said to someone else: I always liked Dan Rather, to me he was/is a Superman, i.e. the epitome of truth, justice and the American way, (at least the way America should be) and when I read his book, I wanted everyone to read it, to see what I saw.

      And I love you right back

      Blessings and Hugs

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 12 months ago from Texas

      Kathleen, thank you for the comment. I am so glad you read the book, mine is in a special place on my book shelf where I keep my favorites, for re-reading or reference.

      Blessings and Hugs

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 12 months ago from Texas

      Paul, I am so happy to see you, and you are welcome. I always liked Dan Rather, to me he was/is a Superman, i.e. the epitome of truth, justice and the American way, (at least the way America should be) and when I read his book, I wanted everyone to read it, to see what I saw.

      I really appreciate your comments, compliment and your sharing my hub.

      Thank you, Blessings and Hugs

      Shyron

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 12 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you for the compliment, comment and for sharing.

      I have missed you, hope all is well with you.

      Blessings and hugs to you dear friend.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 12 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Shyron....You have certainly encouraged me to read this fabulous book! Anyone dedicated to bringing the TRUTH to us is a Hero in my opinion! I always liked Dan Rather....and I LOVE you & your writing! Peace, Paula

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 12 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I just read this book and it changed my opinion of Rather, but more interesting was his take on the news he could only report and not express an opinion about. Those were the days - and thanks to "brands of news" that we have today, those days will never return.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 12 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Shyron, this is an awesome review and I thank you for sharing it. When Dan Rather ended his career with CBS, I was overseas and not following the CBS news. I remember first seeing Rather when he was under Walter Cronkite at CBS. He did an excellent job as a CBS anchor and I was always liked his reporting. From your excellent review, I must read "Rather Unspoken" and get Dan Rather's full story. I am sharing this with HP followers and on Facebook.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 12 months ago from North Texas

      Came back to give this excellent review a share.

      Hope all is well. Blessings and hugs, dear friend . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 13 months ago from Texas

      Dear Peggy, thank you for the comment. I think you will find Dan's book Rather interesting.

      Have a Blessed and happy Easter.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 13 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I always enjoyed listening to Dan Rather and did not realize that he had written a book. Thanks for your review of it. It sounds interesting.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Patricia, thank you for the comment, compliment and the Angels who I will send right back with lots of Blessings and hugs for you and your beautiful family.

      Shyron

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 15 months ago from sunny Florida

      Well done review, Shyron. I have not read his book yet but have to now that I read this. You are right..his voice was distinctive and made listening to him a positive experience.

      Hoping all is well with you and yours. Angels are on the way to you once again...ps

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Thank you Mel for the compliment, and comment. I really appreciate you. I am so glad that I found the book.

      Blessings and Hugs my friend.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 15 months ago from San Diego California

      Fascinating expose on the strings our media figures have to dance on. Freedom of the press is largely a myth, and Rather's words confirm it. Great hub!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Kim,

      My son bought the book "Rather Outspoken" for me from Amazon, I don't think it is in the regular book stores.

      You are so welcome, thank you for reading this.

      Smiling right back,

      Shyron

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 15 months ago from North Carolina

      Shyron,

      I, too will track down and read this book. I always thought highly of Dan Rather and felt that he had been given a raw deal, but had no idea the extent of what had happened. Thank you for writing this hub. So glad to know that Dan Rather has chosen to not let those who destroyed him keep him from speaking out loud.

      Smiles,

      Kim

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Larry, thank you so very much for the comment and compliment. Yes Dan Rather is a most interesting figure in history, news and as a Genuine, compassionate human being. I really admire him. Can you tell?

      Blessings my friend

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 15 months ago from Oklahoma

      Dan Rather is certainly an interesting figure in history. Great review.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Flourish, thank you for the compliments and comments, I truly appreciate you.

      I am glad Dan Rather is telling his story also.

      Blessings and hugs dear friend

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 15 months ago from USA

      Wow, what a book review. If you can silence Dan Rather with power no one is safe. Absolutely excellent. I am glad he is telling his story.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you for the comment, compliment and for sharing.

      Bush's AWOL was in the late 60s, that is when my brothers, both were in Vietnam.

      1977- Bush started Arbusto Energy his oil venture with ben Laden money

      1986-was Dubya's double dealing with Spectrum 7/Enron occurred.

      There are the double dealings with the Savings and Loan scandals in the 1970s but I don't think Dubya was in on that he was busy with Enron.

      I dare anybody to write a book review of "It's still the Economy Stupid" that would be on big long review.

      I hope all is well with you.

      Blessings and Hugs

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Maria, I am so happy to see you, I could jump up and down. Thank you for the compliment and comment.

      I hope that you have a Blessed and wonderful 2016.

      Love and hugs to you my dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      So sorry it has taken me so long to get here and comment. Have had this open on my desktop for 3 days. Have been away from WiFi for several days unfortunately.

      This sounds like a very interesting book and a must read for anyone who really wants to know what goes on in our society, our country, and our world. If these things happened to Dan Rather they can happen to anyone and it should make people wonder what is happening that was successfully hushed up. One thing that I think would be helpful is if the year these things took place was stated because I know my memory is so awful nowadays I really don't remember what year it was, but I do remember the reports.

      I think you've done a great job here, Shyron. Going to share this of course.

      Hope all is well with you and John. Seems the snow for Sunday has been cancelled, and I'm glad. Hope to get to talk to you soon. The last few days have been crazy and expect the rest of today will be too. Blessings and hugs for you dear friend.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 15 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I always respected and enjoyed listening to Dan Rather...

      Excellent review, dear Shyron - hoping 2016 is getting off to a good start for you.

      Love and hugs, Maria

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Devika, thank you for the comment, Happy New Year to you and yours.

      Blessings to you my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Shauna, thank you for the compliment and comment. I should have read you Elementary Ways to Check Your Grammar, before I published my hub. I still intend to read it as soon as time (and my hubby, lol) permits.

      Blessings and hugs my dear friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Jo (Sis), thank you for the kind comments, compliments and all your words of encouragement.

      I am so happy to have you back, I really missed you while you were gone, I thank God that you are better.

      Blessings and ((((Hugs)))))

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Ruby, thank you for the kind comments, compliment. Every thing I have written is true. Dan Rather was/is my favorite journalist, and now author. I do hope he writes more books, he is so witty. You and I both know how we love humor.

      Blessings to you my beautiful friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Bill, thank you for the read, comment and for being such a good friend and Happy New Year to you also.

      I think you will enjoy this Rather Outspoken as much as I did.

      Blessings to you and yours always

      Shyron

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      Phillis, thank you for the compliment and comment, I really appreciate you my friend.

      I am so glad Dan wrote this book--I was so angry when CBS fired him and I knew it had something to do with the Bushes, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

      Blessings and hugs.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 15 months ago from Central Florida

      Nice job on the review, Shyron. It's refreshing that this expose was written while most of the offenders are still alive. I'm glad that Rather decided to reiterate the truth and stand behind his words.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 15 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Shyron E Shenko you shared an interesting review. New information to me. A Happy New Year to you.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 15 months ago

      A really awesome job on this book review! I will be sure to add this to my reading list this new year. I am amazed at the depth and clarity of your writing sis! You are a wonderful treat to read after a long day!

      Shared..and five stars for the accomplishment of writing this captivating review. :-) ***** hugs! (((((((((( Sis ))))))))))

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Shyron, this is a great book review. Dan Rather was the one I looked to for facts and the truth. He came up against POWER and it brought him down. I want to read his book and I will. Thank you...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I read very little non-fiction but this is a book I will read...thank you so much for this great review, and Happy New Year to you and yours.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 15 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

      My gosh, Shyron - this is a fascinating review! It flows smoothly and fast. I felt I was right in the middle of all the controversy and trickery that went on with the whole story of what happened to Rather. Dan Rather is a powerful voice in the media and I always listened to him, knowing he had his facts straight.

      You have produced a great review here of the book and I want to read it. Well done, my friend, well done.

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