By Andrew LimbergBy Larry Richert

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Dan Rather is a legend in the broadcast industry. He was the anchor of the “CBS Evening News” for more than two decades. He also contributed to TV magazine shows, “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours.”

He joined KDKA Radio’s Larry Richert and John Shumway for an extended interview ahead of his speaking appearance at the Robert Morris Pittsburgh Speaker Series on March 26.

Many critics of network news claim there is a liberal leaning bias.

“I have never thought it was a fair depiction of network news,” says Rather. He adds that there are people that want stories reported their own way or else they are not happy.

Rather says he has been called a liberal many times. What does he say his political affiliation is?

“I’m for clean air and water, tight money, and a strong defense; whatever that makes me politically that’s what I am,” he says.

He says when he is reporting he does his best to “play no favorites.”

Having spent decades in journalism, how does Rather see the current state of news with so much changing since he got into the business?

He says the way people get the news is going through, “a sea change.”

“The Internet is becoming the dominant way that most of the people get most of their news,” he says.

With the pressure to get news stories out right way Rather says, “What this does is shorten the time frame for reporters to do actual reporting.”

Rather has interviewed world leaders and major news makers of his career. Does one jump out more than any other? He says Martin Luther King Jr. is one that stands out.

“It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience for me. It changed me as a person and as a pro,” he says.

Rather is now the host of a show called “Dan Rather Reports” on AXS TV. It gives him a chance to do what he wants to do. He says Mark Cuban, the owner of AXS TV, gave him complete creative and editorial control.

“That’s unheard of in our business and what that has allowed me to do is do the kind of stories I want to do,” says Rather.

Rather has been out front on many stories and one of them is Afghanistan where he went undercover long before the United States got involved. Did the U.S. accomplish its mission there in his opinion?

“Did we accomplish everything we intended to and hoped to? No, [but] I think we had to go in after 9/11,” Rather says.

He reminds that the U.S. still has forces in Afghanistan.

“As long as we have those young people in there, we need to think about it. We need to think about what we want to do about it and we need most of all not to forget [the troops],” says Rather.

Rather will be speaking on March 26th at Heinz Hall as part of Robert Morris University’s Pittsburgh Speaker Series.

Listen to the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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