Politics

Dan Rather Urges Journalists To ‘Not Distort’ The Truth After Telling Them Not To Quote Trump Speeches In Headlines

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

After tweeting Monday that journalists should “refrain from quoting the president’s words from prepared speeches into headlines,” former CBS anchor Dan Rather advised in a tweet Tuesday, “It is the job of journalists to not distort or hide that truth.”

Rather was commenting on media coverage of Trump’s speech Monday in the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton shootings that left over 30 dead. He suggested that journalists shouldn’t merely report what the president says in “prepared” speeches because they need to answer the “real questions.”

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: U.S. President Donald Trump makes remarks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks on August 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump delivered remarks on the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump makes remarks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks on August 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump delivered remarks on the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“To my fellow members of the press, I suggest we refrain from quoting the president’s words from prepared speeches into headlines and tweets without context. He sometimes says the right thing. The real questions are what he does and what he really believes.” (RELATED: Trump Condemns White Supremacy After Shootings In El Paso, Texas And Dayton, Ohio)

Rather resigned from CBS after reporting a hit piece on George W. Bush’s service in the Texas National Guard. The story was largely fabricated and retracted by the network. Since Trump’s election, Rather has been a consistent critic of the Trump.

Just hours later, after suggesting that journalists should know what Trump “really believes,” Rather offered more journalistic advice. “This moment in our history reminds me of covering the Civil Rights movement. Sometimes there is a right and wrong. It is the job of the journalist to not distort or hide that truth,” Rather tweeted. (RELATED: Booker Demanded That Trump Condemn White Supremacists, Then Got Angry When He Did)

Rather, among others, was provoked into action by the headlines of the first New York Times print edition that stated: “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism.”

People hold up their phones during a prayer and candle vigil organized by the city, after a shooting left 20 people dead at the Cielo Vista Mall Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, on August 4, 2019. - The United States mourned Sunday for victims of two mass shootings that killed 29 people in less than 24 hours as debate raged over whether President Donald Trump's rhetoric was partly to blame for surging gun violence. The rampages turned innocent snippets of everyday life into nightmares of bloodshed: 20 people were shot dead while shopping at a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Saturday morning, and nine more outside a bar in a popular nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio just 13 hours later. (Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

People hold up their phones during a prayer and candle vigil organized by the city, after a shooting left 20 people dead at the Cielo Vista Mall Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 4, 2019. – . (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Apparently, the Times heard their readers’ voices, for the headline was amended in time for the second print edition, now suggesting that Trump did not say enough about gun control in his address to the nation. This time the headline read: “Assailing Hatred But Not Guns.”

Several candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination blamed Trump for the shootings.