Peggy Noonan looks back at Dan Rather’s career:
If you were a young Dan Rather you knew which side was the side to be on. You knew which side your bosses were on. You knew which side would lead to your rise. And you knew which side would win.
It wasn’t exactly complicated. Every conservative in America in the last century, especially in the media and in the colleges, knew they would be dinged and damaged if they held to their beliefs. Every liberal in the media and the academy knew they could rise if they espoused liberal views. Dan wanted to rise.
Probably the worst moment in his career, because it was arguably the one most obvious in showing bias and a political agenda, was the time Dan tried to beat up George H.W. Bush live, on the “CBS Evening News,” over Iran-contra. Mr. Bush decked him instead, and with a question that reverberates: How would you like your whole career to be judged by one mistake? I do not doubt that CBS News that night thought it was going to take down a vice president, and wanted to. And was embittered by its failure. Which may have contributed to the years long, Ahab-like quest of producer Mary Mapes to bring down George W. Bush with documents it took bloggers less than 24 hours to reveal as fabrications.