Hello, Redditors, this is Dan Rather, and I’m looking forward to answering your questions on everything from my Watergate coverage to what it was like having my own character on The Simpsons...ask me anything!

VIDEO PROOF this is me

UPDATE: Thank you for your questions. Many of them I answered in video which will be constantly updated as I respond to more of your questions.

Here are my video responses:

Most Important Issue of Our Time

Public Opinion on War

Violence in the Media

"Fondest" College Memory


Saddam Interview

Julian Assange and Mass Media

Writing & Curiosity

JFK's Death

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Will return to start responding to your questions at 4pm ET! Sorry for the delay!

UPDATE: Sorry for the delay...got stuck in NYC traffic! Getting ready to start answering your questions...

Comments: 3153 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

Knuckledustr2266 karma

In light of the recent school shootings, what is your professional opinion on the way major news sources (shocker, not just fox does it) tend to glorify violence in the media for ratings while turning around and pointing fingers at everything else (video games, books, movies/tv) and screaming bloody murder?

While you're at it, why are so many journalists insensitive to the tragedies others go through? I realize it's for money, but is it really worth them "...making money on the backs of dead children"? (<quote from TotalBiscuit)

Thanks for your time Dan.

danratherreport1152 karma

this is a great question...i'm going to answer in video which i'll post very shortly. EDIT: I've posted video which you can watch here

danratherreport923 karma

tommytweeter1648 karma

What was doing heroin like?

Edit: I'm getting down-voted a lot, I assume people dont know that one of the first stories Dan Rather covered was about heroin. He tried the drug for the story.

danratherreport1494 karma

I did it a long time ago, in the early 1950s, in the police station in Houston, Texas with policemen looking on as I did a radio story about what heroin is and what effects it had. I never touched it again. It might not have been the smartest thing I ever did but I do think it did a public service because it demonstrated to the public what it was in a time when people didn't know. But make no mistake - it's a very dangerous drug.

SrJulioSchlongenburg1221 karma

Were you ever censored by the network from asking certain questions?

danratherreport346 karma

Great question - here's my video response

EIros229 karma

Or answering certain questions?

danratherreport78 karma

I answered this question in text below and this video here

tobyhervey543 karma

What was your favorite interview of all-time?

danratherreport703 karma

Tie: Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa

ItsDJ493 karma

If I scrolled through Dan Rather's iPod, I would find...

danratherreport1186 karma

a lot of willie nelson, johnny cash, and merle haggard

Salacious-466 karma

What is your honest opinion of Fox News?

danratherreport670 karma

I respect Roger Ailes who founded Fox News as we know it, although while I respect him I don't always agree with what they do. However, when they're covering news, especially breaking news, I think they're at their best. Although I reserve the right to differ with them in any situation.

Romans_837458 karma

Who do you watch for evening news?

danratherreport470 karma

I skip around...I watch them all. I'm still loyal to CBS in some ways but I think they all do a pretty good job.

skepticofskeptics429 karma


danratherreport934 karma

the short answer is no - freedom requires constant vigilance and one needs to be constantly skeptical about reassurances on freedom. Stay skeptical and ever-vigilant.

Tk14388335 karma

Who was the one person during your career you wished you could have interviewed that you never got the chance

danratherreport481 karma

any one of the popes of Rome and the recently deceased leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il

Perl_pro303 karma

What is your opinion on the "Liberal Media Bias"?

danratherreport740 karma

vastly overstated and usually used as part of partisan political propaganda campaigns. It usually reflects the bias of the person making the accusation.

djav1990302 karma

What was it like interviewing Saddam Hussein?

danratherreport162 karma

AnsweredPrayers270 karma

What issue do you think the Media fails to cover the most?

danratherreport663 karma

that's a long list...but starting with how the world deals with the hungry, the homeless, the helpless and those who believe they have no hope. Also on the list, the real and present danger of a nuclear or otherwise worldwide catastrophe.

kweenofeverything157 karma

Mr. Rather you compelled me to become a journalist as I grew up watching you and training to a field reporter. What is one skill that you believe a journalist should possess today that still rings true despite the changes within the industry. Its more about ratings, scandal and getcha reporting - what really at the core makes a reporter - A REPORTER? I've seen a lot of sloppy journalism and advent of technology encourages it - what can we do to save it as it transforms in the digital age?

danratherreport69 karma

Thanks for your question! Here's my video response

mokti142 karma

Any advice for maintaining integrity against the pressure of reporting fast and accurately in a world where the 24 cycle, the internet, and sensationalism seem to rule all?

danratherreport276 karma

It's not a cure-all, but it starts with knowing who are and what you stand for. If you don't know where you stand, you'll fall for anything and you have to be prepared to take a stand even when the price for it may be high.

irishmac3123 karma

Where do you come up with your great folksy sayings? Do you think them up before hand or are the ad libbed?

danratherreport233 karma

most of them are ad libbed, coming from growing in Texas and working in the oil fields since I was 14 years old. But sometimes when I hear colorful language I'll jot it down, file it away for maybe some future use.

sometimes_silly119 karma

Hello Mr. Rather - pretty great that you're on Reddit. You were a fixture for generations and a trusted voice for many. I have a few questions if you don't mind:

  1. Vietnam. Aside from the Tet offensive, what event do you feel was key to turning public opinion against the war and why? Generally speaking, how would you compare that era to our current conflicts and the role of journalists in reporting the news?

  2. If you could change anything (or nothing) about the circumstances of your reporting on G. Bush's service in the Texas ANG, what would it be?

  3. Your legacy. What is your single most important contribution to journalism / 4th estate?

danratherreport77 karma

Here's my video response to the first part of your first question and I will post responses to others shortly.

indianthane9521 karma

Thanks for these video responses Mr. Rather, they do a good job of answering some of the more complex questions.

danratherreport38 karma

thanks - posting more videos shortly

edx77105 karma

What do you do for fun? And how do you compare yourself to other reporters?

danratherreport286 karma

I love to fly fish, take long walks with my wife, and read. And to answer your second question, I try not to compare myself with others. I try hard to run my own race and do my own thing.

dangerousminority103 karma

Hi Dan Rather! I was just wondering what you think about this parody of you that was on Family Guy several years ago?


nick04175 karma

Will you come out and say that mass media in the United States is more entertainment than actual journalism?

Also, I'd like your opinion on Julian Assange.

danratherreport103 karma

thank you for your questions - here is my video response

bangbang1bangbang73 karma

What do you consider is the most important issue of our time?

danratherreport80 karma

thank you for your question. Here is my video response

[deleted]44 karma


danratherreport41 karma

Thanks for your question - I hope you enjoy my video response