Brian Williams has his back.
Dan Rather, who famously lost his job after he was caught spreading a made-up story about former President George W. Bush, is making the rounds again to discuss accuracy in media and the proper role of the press in our republic.
Because this is real life and the producers of NBC’s “Today” show lack any sense of self-awareness.
“[A] recent poll that said nearly half of people think the media make up stories!” co-host Savannah Guthrie said as she kicked off the morning segment.
Referring to a Politico survey released in October, she then turned to Rather and said, “The media itself is under fire. And what do you think the media needs to do better to enhance its own credibility? And what do people need to understand about the value of the press?”
Rather, who lost his job because he tried to pass off forged documents alleging Bush went AWOL during his time serving in the Texas Air National Guard, responded with some very sage advice about how the press can do better to maintain trust.
Because this is real life.
“Well, first, those of us who are in the media … we need to do a better job, we need to do our job. Our job is to bear witness, to be honest brokers of information. To be as accurate and fair as we possibly can. So we need to do a better job,” Rather said.
He added, “I think most of the public understands that we’re under attack by very powerful people, including the president, for their own partisan, political, and ideological reasons. They want people — they’re basically saying, ‘Believe us, believe only your president and believe only the people who are in power. Don’t believe these people out in the press.’”
This isn’t Rather’s first crack at playing the wise media sage, doling out advice on truth-telling. Again, just so we’re clear here, this is the same guy who famously lost his job for spreading misinformation.