by Robert Stewart, Ph.D., Director; Professor
If learning his version of the back story on these and other Dan Rather stories interests you, look no further than Rather Outspoken, My Life in the News. As the title promises, these 250+ pages provide Rather the opportunity to reflect on his career in the news business, while also delving into the many publicized instances when Rather became the news.
Which became a bigger story than the fact that the sitting president may have gone AWOL during the Vietnam War. Only Rather could generate that kind of firestorm.
Even more perplexing was his widespread use of direct quotes sprinkled all through the book, quotes purportedly from conversations that had occurred as far back as his childhood days in Houston. To most journalists, a quotation is reserved for exact phrases, perhaps cleaned up to eliminate extraneous ums and other awkward pauses. Unless you have the notes or a recording, just paraphrase the source and leave off the quotes.
NOTE: Back in April I was approached by Dan Rather’s publicist about his forthcoming book. She wanted to see if I would be interested in writing a review of Rather Outspoken in this space. With all of the end-of-school-year craziness and a trip out of the country at the beginning of summer, the review had to wait. I finally was able to read Rather Outspoken on the flight to and from Germany. Sorry it took so long, Dan.