Dan Rather, the former CBS News anchor turned media critic, says that he’ll lead the charge against “fake news” Rather, who has amassed a huge social media following becoming a harsh critic of Donald Trump’s campaign and, now, administration, says he will try to translate that grassroots upswell into a real life fight against “alternative facts.” The project is called “News & Guts” and Rather says it will provide an important check on media, and “demand better” from news outlets. “In an era of fake news, false equivalence, and too much fluff, let’s take a stand together to demand better, and bring attention to all those doing great work,” Rather noted in his post announcing the project. Rather says News and Guts will also feature original reporting, from a trustworthy, respectable group of reporters, led by the news man himself. Of course, Rather has plenty of experience with fake news. Perhaps he’s counting on his own unique familiarity with the phenomenon to help him better identify when the media commits fatal errors.
As George W. Bush was gearing up for his second Presidential campaign, Rather and his team at CBS reported on a series of memos that claimed to show Bush receiving special treatment during his stint serving in the Texas Air National Guard. The documents were revealed to be fakes but not until after Rather and his team had reported extensively on Bush’s military failures, and the story had spread to other reputable outlets. CBS was forced to retract their reporting, but only after a host of excuses had been made, including that the documents were “fake but accurate.” Rather retired from his job as CBS’s lead anchor a year earlier than expected, and the incident came to be known as “Rathergate.” News and Guts has around half a million followers so far, but has not yet released its first in-depth investigation. They say that they plan to begin their reporting on President Trump very soon.