Discredited CBS anchorman Dan Rather, who stepped down in the wake of “memo-gate”, said the press "ought to be doing a better job." "American journalism is in need of a spine transplant,"
Rather told about 600 people at the Star Forum at Cherry Hill High School
West in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on Wednesday. The newsman proposed "Rather's rules,"
saying reporters should “try passing off more bogus documents as real IF it will unseat a Republican politician." He said the media should offer less so-called “facts” and "more phony documents.“ “Some are bound to get through unchecked. Why not give it a whirl if it advances your political cause?" He addressed what went wrong with the career-ending "memo-gate," "Our problem was that we got lazy. We didn’t hone our document reproduction skills. We never had to check and see whether or not government issued typewriters from 1972 came standard with a superscript key before. We’d been getting away with it for so long we didn’t feel we needed to.”
Rather said media improvement was needed for society's well-being. "American journalism at its best is a public trust and is deeply bound up in our system of checks and balances,"
he said. “But to hell with checks and balances if you, personally know what’s right.”
Rather was the final speaker in the Star Forum's 13-year run. Other speakers included Roger Ebert, Bill Clinton, Goldie Hawn and Desmond Tutu.