Dan Rather: 'I Wish Every American Could See' Sunday's Tea Party-Bashing 'Newsroom' on HBO

July 9th, 2012 5:42 PM

As NewsBusters reported earlier, Sunday's episode of HBO's The Newsroom was an absolute disgrace that included numerous attacks on elected members of the Tea Party including a disparaging comparison of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to the late Joe McCarthy.

Much to my astonishment, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather actually loved the show writing at Gawker, "This whole episode is something I wish every American could see and ponder" (photo courtesy Gawker):

[I]t reveals the danger of big business being in bed with big government, whether the government is led by Republicans or Democrats. This is especially dangerous when it comes to big businesses that own, as a small part of their overall operations, a national-distribution news organization.

In this episode, the most important, most interesting, most revealing scene is where the owner of the corporation (played superbly by Jane Fonda) tells the head of her news division, "I have business in front of this Congress!" She's complaining about her anchorman and his newscast covering news in ways she knows will displease Congressional leaders whom she needs for business advantage.

Actually, she was complaining about far more than that.

Fonda told the head of her news division that he had rebranded the network "as MSNBC’s more combative brother" doing news exclusively "for the Left."

I guess Rather either missed that part or just didn't think it was important to mention in his review.

Far more important is that this episode mixed real politicians with fake ones depicting Tea Party candidates as something they're not, but why should we think Rather - who had no problem presenting false documents about a sitting president weeks before he was up for reelection - would be worried about manufactured characters?

And why should we think Rather would be at all concerned that likely 50 percent of the country would be offended by the content in this episode?

Instead, he gushed:

This whole episode is something I wish every American could see and ponder, especially in the context of the two preceding installments. They would then understand how a combination of big business and big government, working for their mutual benefit — not the public interest but rather their own interests — affects the news we see and hear.

And what about anchors and their staffs "working for their mutual benefit - not the public interest but rather their own interests" - and how that "affects the news we see and hear?"

That's what was far more visible in this episode and far more disturbing. But not to Rather:

Give it five stars so far. If they keep this up — if they can maintain the quality — they will have produced a classic.

It makes you sick thinking this man used to be one of the most powerful newsmen in the country, doesn't it?

Imagine praising something that would totally offend about half the nation.

But maybe I shouldn't be so shocked. He did compare the first episode to one of the greatest films of all time, "Citizen Kane."