Dan Rather defended the movie “Truth” and his story on President George W. Bush’s military service on Sunday, railing against the “propaganda machine” that fudged the facts surrounding the story that ultimately got him fired from CBS.
“We reported the truth,” Rather told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” on Sunday.
Rather admitted his team wasn’t perfect in its reporting on the story, which contends that Bush received preferential political treatment to gain acceptance into a special unit of the Air National Guard as a way of avoiding serving in Vietnam. But they were right on the core facts, the legendary newsman said.
“They couldn’t attack us on the facts so they changed the subject very successfully from the truth of the story to how we got to the story,” he said.
Rather went on to acknowledge that he and his team were vulnerable for some of the documents used as support for the report because “a source changed his story.” This detail of the reporting merited an apology, Rather said, but he insisted, “we never apologized for the story.”
He went on to say that the “propaganda machine” has made it appear a foregone conclusion that the documents were fraudulent, but that is “untrue.”
Rather said it’s “amazing” that, to this day, we still don’t know where Bush was during that “lost” year from 1972-1973, when Bush was accused of going AWOL from the Air National Guard.