Freedom of the press is one of the basics of our American democracy, and the ongoing assaults on the press by the Trump Administration should worry us all. They worry Dan Rather, the former CBS News icon, who is speaking, even speaking out, on issues of journalism, patriotism, immigration, political divisiveness and more at a special lecture in NYC next month.
For decades, we knew him as a giant of network news, which brought him face-to-face with every living president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama, and behind the scenes of every major event from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to the war in Iraq.
But since the 2016 election, Dan Rather has risen to the top of a different mediumthe social kindand nabbed more than two million Facebook followers with his writing on our national identity crisis.
Channeling the power of those posts, many of which have gone viral, Rather has crafted a collection of original essays to remind us thatas Americanswe’re ultimately united through our institutions (from public libraries to national parks), our struggles (perhaps most topically civil rights) and our shared values (yes, he contends, we do still share many).
The resulting book, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, forms the basis of this compelling conversation with the author.
Get tickets now to Dan Rather Reflects on Patriotism, at Temple Emanu-el, on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7pm.
The $18 fee includes a copy of his book. Since the book costs about the same as the ticket, you are getting either a free lecture or a free book. Either way, it’s a good deal, and you’ll learn something from a journalist who has seen it all, from the Camelot days of the Kennedy Administration, to the “s***hole countries” days of the current Trump Administration.
Dan Rather also speaks out on his Facebook page. Here’s what he said recently about the President’s alleged “s***hole countries” remark:
“This is undeniably and clearly outright racist. It simply cannot be allowed to continue by anyone who cares about the future of this country. This is sad. It is hurtful. It is dangerous. It is unpatriotic. Each elected official, each American, has a choice: where do you stand? Some may say this helps the President with his base. What about how it debases the values of our nation? This rhetoric has to be damned at every turn, at every time. That millions of hard working men, women, and children have lives that hang in the balance at the whims of this President only makes this moment all the more tragic. Make no mistake, America is diminished today in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of history. It will be up to every decent person to make sure that this is not our destiny.” – Dan Rather’s post on Facebook 1/12/2018
Full disclosure – NYC on the Cheap Editor Evelyn Kanter was a newswriter/producer for CBS Radio and an on-air reporter for WCBS Newsradio 88.