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Rather expresses his doubt in Reagan's ability as leader, says Reagan is apathetic toward the poor, and is convinced he committed ethical violations during Iran-contra. See also Iran-contra and George Bush.
Dan Rather also made his debut during the early months of the Reagan presidency, to see some video footage of the biased stories he and his colleagues produced that day, see "Rather's First Broadcast."
"New questions were raised today about President Reagan's ability, willingness and clout to help calm the shock waves still reverberating from Wall Street..."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, October 21, 1987.
"...Dan Rather, a man many in the Reagan White House saw as the Devil himself."
--CBS reporter Lesley Stahl in her 1999 book, Reporting Live.
"At his news conference Wednesday night, President Reagan said the recovery is beginning to flex its muscles. And the latest reports...indicate recovery may indeed be just around the corner. Tonight Ed Rabel looks at some people for whom just around the corner isn't close enough."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, February 15, 1983.
RATHER: President Reagan last week again fired on the favorite target of
many politicians, the press.
RONALD REAGAN: There's never a good-news economic story on the evening news that is not accompanied by or buried by finding some individuals who have not yet benefited from the economic recovery.
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, September 18, 1984.
"And, Eye On America -- a town fighting back against greed, corporate raiders,
and the hangover of the go-go '80s."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, March 19, 1992.
"We have had conversations with CBS off and on over the past three years. Most of them have been friendly and I would like to think they have all been professional. We are not asking for favorable stories. We are asking them to be fair." "This Administration has felt that of the networks CBS has more frequently than the others written stories that were thought to be slanted or unfair."
--David R. Gergen, Reagan White House communications director, in The New York Times, November 14, 1983.
"The fact that they do it [complain] regularly and in an intelligent way, and that they gauge the level of pressure has at least this effect: It is designed to have us think twice. I don't care how good you are, how tough you are, in some ways, on some days it is bound to work on your subconscious. We are better at resisting it, but we are not perfect at resisting it."
--Dan Rather in The New York Times, November 14, 1983.
President Reagan submitted a budget:
"It contains more for guns, less for butter, and it is out of balance and will add to the deficit."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, January 9, 1989.
"In spite of Sam's shenanigans, our analysis consistently showed that Sam and ABC were the fairest and straightest of the networks. We always felt that CBS had a little extra zinger against the President."
--Larry Speakes, former Reagan White House spokesman, in Speaking Out, 1988.
"It [the Iran-contra Report] talks about a President, at the very least, out of touch, neglecting his constitutional responsibilities. A President making wrong statements to the American people, and winding up in one of the worst credibility crises in U.S. history. In the end, as Bruce Morton reports, the congressional conclusion says responsibility for the fiasco lies with Ronald Reagan."
--Dan Rather on a CBS Special Report after the report was released, November 18, 1987.
"In America in the 1980s, what former President Reagan and those who support him call the Reagan Revolution put more money in the pockets of the rich. We already knew that. But a new study indicates that those who did best of all by far were the very richest of the rich."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, March 5, 1992.
"Everyone knows the rich got richer in the 1980s [Reagan and Bush]. Now a new study shows how dramatic the change was. According to the Economic Policy Institute, more than half of America's new wealth went to the richest one-half of one percent of families. The bottom 60 percent of families in income saw no gain or got poorer."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, October 29, 1992.
Dan Rather quoted a long statement by the 1987 Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis after the Iran-contra report was released by Congress; here is a segment:
"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher, for good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for law. It invites every man to become a law unto himself. It invites anarchy."
--Dan Rather on a CBS Special Report, November 18, 1987.
"Now it's up to the special prosecutor and the grand jury. Congressional investigators have put out their final official report. In secretly sending weapons to Iran and looking after taxpayer money, the report concludes that President Reagan failed to do what the Constitution requires: that he is ultimately responsible for what happened. From his secret policy of paying ransom to Iranians to swap U.S. weapons for hostages, to the secret skimming of profits to Nicaraguan rebels and others, that if he didn't know, he should have. The bipartisan majority also concluded flat out that top officials around President Reagan plotted a cover-up. From Capitol Hill, Phil Jones begins our coverage of Congress's conclusions about where the money went, who got the cash, who broke the law, and what did President Reagan know."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, November 18, 1987.
"President Reagan suddenly threw himself back into the middle of the weapons for Iran criminal case today, raising questions about potentially damaging presidential interference in the judicial process. Before Oliver North and three other key defendants have even gone on trial, Mr. Reagan declared that they are not guilty and will be found innocent of charges they defrauded the United States government and stole millions of taxpayer dollars."
--Dan Rather speaking of Reagan after the president said that all those indicted in the Iran-contra affair "are going to be found innocent because I don't think they were guilty of any law-breaking or any crime." The CBS Evening News, March 25, 1988.
Note: Rather wonders if Reagan is interfering with the judicial process because he said a few words of support for his former advisers.
Ronald Reagan had just won the election. He had not yet taken office and the hostages were still in Iran. Sam Donaldson of ABC would often get letters from people denouncing him for being biased:
"Our church is in prayer for all the hostages and President Reagan. We stand united for you and Dan Rather to take the next plane for Siberia."
--Skidmore, Texas congregation, included in Sam Donaldson's 1987 book, Hold on, Mr. President.
"The [Iran-contra Report] concludes that President Reagan failed to do what the Constitution requires: that he is ultimately responsible for what happened."
--Dan Rather on a CBS Special Report, November 18, 1987.
"This whole irresponsible press bilge about hostages and Iran has gotten totally out of hand. The media looks like it's trying to create another Watergate."
--Ronald Reagan in his diary, November 12, 1987, quoted in Bob Woodward's 1999 book, Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate.
"President Bush said last night our first obligation is to the most vulnerable: infants, poor mothers, children living in poverty. Those sentiments clash with the reality of a decade [of Reagan as president] which has found the federal government offering school children less food for thought."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, February 1989.
On March 15, 1988, the Sandinistas invaded neighboring Honduras in an attempt to destroy Contra base camps before any cease fire talks. A day later Reagan dispatched troops to defend Honduras from the assault:
Reagan's action "raised protest and questions" about whether Reagan "is trying to stampede Congress into spending more money for aid to the contras, and whether he is perhaps trying to distract attention away from the criminal indictments against some of his former top aides."
--Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, March 17, 1988.
RATHER: "[C]hildren are already suffering from cutbacks during the Reagan Administration."
SPENCER: The crisis was caused by "social apathy, in particular on Reagan era budget cuts."
--Dan Rather and Susan Spencer on the CBS Evening News, April 1989. print_file('footer'); ?>