Dan Rather Quotes

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Dan Rather

Rather at the 2005 Peabody Awards
Born Daniel Irvin Rather, Jr.
(1931-10-31) October 31, 1931 (age 85)
Wharton, Texas, U.S.
Education Sam Houston State University
Occupation

Journalist
Anchor

Years active 1950–present
Notable credit(s)

CBS Evening News anchor (1981–2005)
60 Minutes correspondent (1968–1981; 1999–2006)

Spouse(s) Jean Goebel (m. 1957)
Children

Robin (daughter)
Danjack (son)

Website www.danrather.com

There is no doubt that the way journalism worked when I was growing up and getting started has changed forever.
Dan Rather
Don't taunt the alligator until after you've crossed the creek.
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'.
Dan Rather
This race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex.
Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic.
Covering the civil-rights movement was a mind- and eye-opener for me. Houston was a segregated society, as was Texas as a whole – some of it by law, a lot of it by fear and tradition. But there was no violence where I lived, and if there was hate, it was either concealed from me or I just didn't recognize it.
Dan Rather
A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.
Dan Rather
What I say or do here won't matter much, nor should it.
I had just turned 10-years-old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and plunged America into World War II.
Dan Rather
Always marry a woman from Texas. No matter how tough things get, she's seen tougher.
Dan Rather
An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.
Dan Rather
I respect and empathize with reporters and editors who must compete in today's environment. And I know full well that when I've been covering campaigns, which I still do, I've made my mistakes and have been far from perfect.
Dan Rather
I think it's important for the public to know, great reporting starts with a publisher who has guts and an editor who has guts.
Dan Rather
Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.
I still love following and thinking about politics. I enjoy recommending important journalism I read or see from other sources.
Dan Rather
Only votes talk, everything else walks.
Are the Democrats going to dance the mandate Macarena?
And for whatever reason I've loved the news since I can remember. I loved it when I was in elementary school.
Dan Rather
From the streets of Cairo and the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall Street, from the busy political calendar to the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, social media was not only sharing the news but driving it.
Dan Rather
A free and truly independent press – fiercely independent when necessary – is the red beating heart of freedom and democracy.
Dan Rather
And now the sequence of events in no particular order.
I'm proud to say I've never been anybody's lapdog.
What separated Ed Murrow from the rest of the pack was courage.
But we cannot rely on memorials and museums alone. We can tell ourselves we will never forget and we likely won't. But we need to make sure that we teach history to those who never had the opportunity to remember in the first place.
Dan Rather
The great lesson my mother and father gave me was almost invisible. It was a strong sense of being rooted.
Dan Rather
I'd much rather wear out than rust out.
Start-ups like UniversityNow, a network of low-cost, online colleges, allows students to work at their own pace and pay a few hundred dollars a month for a degree.
Dan Rather
I've always tried to be fair, even-handed, not an advocate for any group.
Dan Rather
A college degree is the key to realizing the American dream, well worth the financial sacrifice because it is supposed to open the door to a world of opportunity.
Dan Rather
Fear rules almost every newsroom in the country.
If I didn't have a front-row seat on history, it was at least a seat on the aisle.
Dan Rather
I don't back down. I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political ideological forces.
Dan Rather
As long as I have my health, I want to be reporting somewhere.
I'm a believer in what your record is. I am what my record is – some of it good, some of it bad, some of it hard to tell.
Dan Rather
I don't pretend to be a digital savant or even a digital apprentice.
Those market researchers… are playing games with you and me and with this entire country. Their so-called samples of opinion are no more accurate or reliable than my grandmother's big toe was when it came to predicting the weather.
Dan Rather
They may have turned this up, whether you had the Paula Jones case or not. But again maybe not, but again that's like if a frog had side pockets he'd probably wear a handgun.
Dan Rather
Now, I know you expected me to say that, well, I just kick back in the rocking chair, fished a little bit, listened to Willie Nelson tapes and watched old baseball games on the Classic Sports network. And, tell you the truth, I have done that for maybe about five total minutes.
Dan Rather
Ratings don't last. Good journalism does.
Never eat spinach just before going on the air.
The press is a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.
Dan Rather
As someone who's been covering presidential campaigns since the 1950s, I have no delusions about political reporting. Candidates bargaining access to get the kind of news coverage they want is nothing new.
Dan Rather
Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy.
Dan Rather
Well, first of all, I don't want to debate the word conservative, but by my definition, a conservative is someone who wants to conserve the Constitution of the United States and the American tradition and law that no one is above the law.
Dan Rather
Performing doesn't turn me on. It's an egomaniac business, filled with prima donnas – including this one.
Dan Rather
Journalists should denounce government by public opinion polls.
Once the herd starts moving in one direction, it's very hard to turn it, even slightly.
Dan Rather
One of the most important roles of our journalists is to be watchdogs.
For years Don Imus was just – boy, he was merciless in his criticism of me. Maybe it was justified, but that didn't mean it didn't hurt.
Dan Rather
If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.
Dan Rather
I was really lucky to work at CBS news. I was blessed to be able to live my dream in many ways at CBS news.
Dan Rather
This much we know: Journalism is not a precise science. It's, on its best day, is a crude art. We make mistakes; I make mistakes. With more than 50 years as a journalist, I have at least had the opportunity to blow more stories, make more mistakes than maybe anybody in television.
Dan Rather