- Category : Journalist
- Type : PEG
- Profile : 6/3 - Role Model / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (7,8,13)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Alignment 2
American news broadcaster, one of the top in his competitive field, making some $3 million a year. Rather prefers to cover the news where the action is taking place. His globetrotting to the world's hot spots has led to jealousies and criticisms from the news print media and from his competitive rivals Tom Brokaw of NBC news and Peter Jennings of ABC news. A newspaperman at heart, Rather gave up on his dream in print journalism to dedicate himself to covering the news for television. He has written books about his experiences in TV journalism with "The Camera Never Blinks," 1977, "Memoirs; I Remember," 1991, "The Camera Never Blinks Twice: The Further Adventures of a Television Journalist," 1994 and "Deadlines and Datelines," in 1999.
As a kid in Texas, Rather dreamed of becoming a reporter. At 14, he worked as a gofer fetching coffee for the local newspaper office. Because of the expense Rather once dropped out of college. He tried to pursue a football scholarship but found out he lacked the skills and brute strength. A journalism professor named Hugh Cunningham at Sam Houston State Teachers College encouraged Rather to develop his spelling and writing craft in the pursuit of a journalism degree. The tall, dark and handsome Texan earned his B.A. in 1953. He wrote for the Houston Chronicle in 1954 and moved into broadcasting on the local radio as news reporter and director at KTRH from 1954 to 1960.
Rather developed his professional career as a reporter for the CBS Evening News from 1962-1980. He reported on Vietnam and Watergate for the network. He became the co-editor and reporter for "60 Minutes" from 1975-1981. His leap into Walter Cronkite's seat as the anchor for the "CBS Evening News" occurred in 1981. CBS gave Rather another news program with "48 Hours" starting in 1986. He joined the staff of "60 Minutes II" as a correspondent when the show began in 1999.
In 1957 Rather married his former secretary, Jean Goebel; they had two kids, Dawn and Daniel. After 42 years together, the bloom still isn't off their romance. Rather regularly sends Jean flowers, and they always make sure that they take time out of the day for each other.
Rather has made a name for himself in journalism for his refusal to play "nice" with political leaders during his hard-hitting interviews. He angered presidential candidate George Bush over questions about his role in the Iran-Contra scandal in the Reagan administration. Rather has a furious temper and has been known to unleash his anger on people who misjudge his character. In 1990, he went after the Bush administration over insinuations that Rather was unpatriotic while covering the Gulf War. While covering the Gulf War, he worked his usual long days catching two hours sleep out of 24 hours. His assistants gave him cup after cup of coffee to remain alert while he chased all over the city of Jordan to interview the "man-in-the-street." Rather has always been an extremely hard worker says his boss: "I'm sure there are days when he must say to himself, 'I'm crazy. Why am I working this hard?' But he loves it." Rather is a very intense man.
Teamed with Connie Chung from 1993, they separated the end of May, 1995 with some reported bitter feelings. Rather believes as a journalist he must be an honest broker of information and report it fairly and accurately to the public even if he disagrees with the point of view. His most depressing stories were covering Vietnam and Watergate. He has been upset with the rapid deterioration of journalistic standards in the late '90s with past news stories such as the Monica Lewinsky scandal with President Bill Clinton.
Rather keeps a private journal and writes daily about his own thoughts and observations.
On September 20, 2004, Rather apologized to the public, for a "mistake in judgment" in airing documents about President Bush's time in the National Guard that could not, upon investigation, be authenticated. The network later appointed an independent investigation into the facts of the story. The questionable documents described preferential treatment of Bush when he was in the National Guard.
The newsman announced on November 23, 2004 that he would resign his post at "CBS Evening News" on March 9, 2005.
Leaving his viewers with a message of “Courage,” Rather signed off from the anchor desk of “CBS Evening News” at the end of the broadcast on March 9, 2005. The show was followed by a retrospective of his career including some of his most noteworthy interviews and reporting. At age 73, Rather will continue his career as a journalist for the “Sixty Minutes” news shows.
After 44 years of service to CBS and five months before the end of his contract, Rather and the network announced on June 20, 2006 that they had agreed to part ways effective immediately. A somewhat bitter Rather said, "My departure before the term of my contract represents CBS's final acknowledgment after a protracted struggle, that they had not lived up to their obligation to allow me to do substantive work there." On September 19, 2007, the journalist filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court against CBS and some of its executives for $70 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Rather’s lawsuit claims he was made a scapegoat and fired over a discredited story about President Bush’s National Guard service.