Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dan Rather responds to the watermelon comment

From Politico: In any event, Rather explains what he meant today on Huffington Post:
I was talking about Obama and health care and I used the analogy of selling watermelons by the side of the road. It's an expression that stretches to my boyhood roots in Southeast Texas, when country highways were lined with stands manned by sellers of all races. Now of course watermelons have become a stereotype for African Americans and so my analogy entered a charged environment. I'm sorry people took offense.
But anyone who knows me personally or knows my professional career would know that race was not on my mind. Reporting on the injustices of race was part of the reason I became a reporter. I grew up in segregated Texas on the same side of the tracks as the African American community. At the time, enlightened people called them Negros. Many people called them much worse. When I covered the Civil Rights movement, I saw sheer hatred in ways that still haunt and shock me. For doing my small part in reporting on the South in the 1960s, I was called a traitor to my roots and other names not fit for print. I was threatened with death by people who would have welcomed me to their church on Sunday on account of my white skin if they didn't know what I was there to do. I do not take this issue lightly.
Rather, who said he doesn’t really understand Twitter—where this mini-controversy gained more steam—found this to be a good time to comment on the state of the media.
“What saddens me is what this experience has made all too clear,” Rather wrote. “Much of what we call news, isn't. Much of what we Tweet, or post, or chat away at under the guise of news, are distractions.”
Rather’s comment doesn’t quite pass the smell test for me. What he was doing was trying to create an analogy that painted Republicans as racists and the statement totally backfired on him.  There is a very good reason why our parents tell us not to play with matches, Dan.

Now knowing what Dan was up to, you have to wonder what kind of things are going on inside that head of his, that he can come up with such an image of  Obama selling watermelons. Perhaps, this is a Keith Olbermann moment and Rather was simply getting in touch with his inner racist.

One thing I do agree with Rather on, much of what passes for news today simply isn’t news. That is because much of the media is so into promoting narratives that proves their worldview. If the media would get back to simply reporting the facts and letting us do the analysis and the opining ourselves, they would once again have value to the public.

See Left Coast Rebel and Althouse for more reactions.


trinity said...

After that catastrophe that Dan created for himself at 60 Minutes, he should have just gone off into the sunset never to be seen again. On a side note, some of the most racist and homophobic people I've ever met were also uber liberal.

Liz said...

Blah, Blah, Blah Dan. Rather said, "Reporting on the injustices of race was part of the reason I became a reporter". And he knew watermelons have become a stereotype for African Americans, but he said it anyways.Would he have said it if he was complementing Obama? No.

LL said...

Rather and the state-sponsored media criticize bloggers for "not reporting the news", but I guarantee there wouldn't be bloggers if the media reported the news fairly.

Dan is reverting to the sixties and his old prejudice comes out in this comment. He needs to retire to the home where he can eat oatmeal and play checkers with the other old Klansmen.

McJenny said...

Why is it that anything a Dem says or does that is out of the normal is labeled as nothing but a distraction?

JMK said...

Dan Rather insists on proving CBS right in having truth, they sh*t-canned him well past his freshness date....he'd already long ago spoiled.

Whadda Marone!

Clifton B said...


Rather's problem is that he thinks he is too cute by half. I know what you mean about uber liberal racists. Take a trip to the upper east side. Biggest bigots you will ever meet.

Clifton B said...


Great catch there Liz. You are right, he knew exactly what he was saying. He tried to make it sound like it was something that Republicans might say and it wound up sticking to him instead.

From dark minds come dark thoughts.

Clifton B said...


" He needs to retire to the home where he can eat oatmeal and play checkers with the other old Klansmen."

I can see Dan now with his 600 thread count white sheet!

Clifton B said...


That is because they cannot afford to lose their veneer of compassion. Without it, we see them for what they truly are, stupid control freaks pushing evil policies.

Clifton B said...


Oh yeah, Dan is way beyond his freshness date. It would not surprise me if the man was guzzling Aricept to keep the Alzheimer away.

Anonymous said...

Cliff & all other posters:

Ditto. All this started with CBS's attempt to "keep" Dan "relevant". Remember that STUPID haircut?

*shakes head* Just...NO!!

Southern Wolf said...

I am not surprised by Rather's use of a stereotype nor by the race hustling of Democrats. It comes from their olden days.
Lynching Republicans

"... history of the Democrat party: following the Civil War, 1300 white Republicans and 3500 black Republicans were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan."

Good blog ABC.

Janelle said...

Lemonade stand, Dan?

Related Posts with Thumbnails