Dave Winer / Flickr dan rather...
Dave Winer / Flickr

Respected journalist and political commentator Dan Rather has been investigating and reporting the news for over six decades. He has seen more American history than some have written and he generously shares his experiences and views with millions of people in a plethora of media platforms. One of those platforms via social media is Facebook. His essays and opinions which he posts, sometimes daily, are widely and very well received. 

On Friday, Rather commented on the sexist, scurrilous and demeaning indecency of Donald Trump. Rarely mincing words, the journalist didn’t waiver yesterday when referring to Trump, this time comparing Trump to the “vile,”  “hateful,” “communist witch hunter” Joseph McCarthy.

In his latest post, Rather also calls Trump the ‘demeanor in chief” referring to Trump’s despicable attack against Morning Joe’s journalist, Mika Brzezinski, this past week that continues to escalate with threats of blackmail and more insulting tweets by Trump.  .

Here is Dan Rather’s Facebook Post from June 29, 2017:

“You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

These are the immortal words of army lawyer Joseph Welch in response to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the communist witch hunts of the 1950s. They are sadly just as apt today.

I do not like rising to the bait of the tweets of President Trump. But this morning’s demeaning, sexist, and scurrilous attack on Mika Brzezinski cannot go unmentioned. I have known Mika for many years. We were colleagues at CBS News and she is a fearless and fair journalist. I also knew her late father, Zbigniew, who was President Carter’s national security advisor. The fact that this attack comes while Mika is still mourning his death only adds to the outrages and disgust.

For years we heard sanctimonious and cynical attacks on President Obama by many in the GOP about how he was demeaning the office of the presidency. Really? Check your twitter feeds folks, for I fear we have a demeanor in chief in the White House now. This is not about policy or even politics. This is about a common decency.

Senator McCarthy once was powerful, and then the fever broke and much of the country saw a small, vile, hateful man. His name is now an epithet for an era of shame in our country’s history.

In that 1954 testimony, the army lawyer Welch added: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” Imagine if McCarthy had Twitter. There can be no more surprise about the level of cruelty or recklessness we are witnessing today.

Incidentally, last year The New York Times did a piece about Roy Cohn’s relationship with Donlad Trump entitled: What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy’s Right-Hand Man. Here is an excerpt:

For Mr. Cohn, who died of AIDS in 1986, weeks after being disbarred for flagrant ethical violations, Mr. Trump was something of a final project. If Fred Trump got his son’s career started, bringing him into the family business of middle-class rentals in Brooklyn and Queens, Mr. Cohn ushered him across the river and into Manhattan, introducing him to the social and political elite while ferociously defending him against a growing list of enemies.

Decades later, Mr. Cohn’s influence on Mr. Trump is unmistakable. Mr. Trump’s wrecking ball of a presidential bid — the gleeful smearing of his opponents, the embracing of bluster as brand — has been a Roy Cohn number on a grand scale. Mr. Trump’s response to the Orlando massacre, with his ominous warnings of a terrorist attack that could wipe out the country and his conspiratorial suggestions of a Muslim fifth column in the United States, seemed to have been ripped straight out of the Cohn playbook.

‘I hear Roy in the things he says quite clearly,’ said Peter Fraser, who as Mr. Cohn’s lover for the last two years of his life spent a great deal of time with Mr. Trump. ‘That bravado, and if you say it aggressively and loudly enough, it’s the truth — that’s the way Roy used to operate to a degree, and Donald was certainly his apprentice.’

For 13 years, the lawyer who had infamously whispered in McCarthy’s ear whispered in Mr. Trump’s.” 

It’s unknown whether Dan Rather was aware of the New York Times piece or the relationship between Trump and  McCarthy’s right-hand man Cohn. Three things we definitely know is that Dan Rather has lived and reported on several eras of great corruption, he’s seeing such an era now—and he knows what he’s talking about. 

Thank you to all the trusted journalists and media outlets that fearlessly speak out against the preposterous man who calls himself the president.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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