Dan Rather: Watermelons, Washington, and What We Call News Today

Dan Rather reporting from Vietnam in 1966

Dan Rather reporting from Vietnam in 1966

Dan Rather writes on the Huffington Post:

I must confess that until recently I had no idea what Twitter was. Even now, I’m not completely sure how it’s best used. When I want to post something, the younger, more tech-savvy people in my office help me out. But I do know this: if you searched Twitter for “Dan Rather” over the past few days, you probably could guess why I feel the need to write this column.

It started this past Sunday when I appeared on Chris Matthews’ syndicated talk show. I’ve known and respected Chris for many years and I enjoy doing his show. I take the train down from my home in New York to Washington D.C. and as I approach Union Station my thoughts often turn to the years I spent covering the Johnson and Nixon White Houses. It was a turbulent time for the country and a formative period for me as a reporter and a young father.

The Washington of that time was a far different place. In some ways it was better: less politically rancorous, more collegial. In many ways it, and the country it represented, was much worse. African Americans were still very much second-class citizens. Women held few positions of power. We smoked more, polluted our environment more, and accepted social mores that anyone who has seen Mad Men knows are embarrassingly outdated.

Read More of Dan Rather’s article in the Huffington Post