Thursday, May 17, 2012, 7:30 pm: Dan Rather in conversation with Marty Kaplan









Dan Rather, one of the titans of broadcast journalism, is one of the most distinguished news journalists in American media history. Before serving as anchor for “CBS Evening News” for 24 years, Rather was White House Correspondent during the LBJ administration, and also during Nixon’s tenure. Dan Rather happened to be Southwestern Bureau Chief for CBS News, based in Dallas, in 1963, and was one of the first to report on the assassination of President Kennedy.  CBS sent him to Vietnam as Foreign Correspondent, where he reported from the front.  Dan Rather’s career in broadcast journalism is decorated with glory and controversy—and guts.  In his new book, Rather Outspoken: My Life in News, he addresses those moments—from being criticized by President Nixon and Vice President George H.W. Bush as being biased against them, to the scandal of revealing documents critical of President George W. Bush’s Texas National Guard service, documents which had not been properly authenticated.  Dan Rather’s legacy in the Watergate reporting is legendary, cornering President Nixon and not letting go.  His early international reporting from Afghanistan eventually led to the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and his interviews with Saddam Hussein prior to the Gulf War just reinforced his position as a most influential figure.

Dan Rather’s broadcasts were folksy, eloquent and often poignant.  His parting words as anchor of CBS Evening News speak for themselves:

Not long after I took up the anchor chair, I briefly signed off using the word Courage. I want to return to it now, in a different way: to a nation still nursing a broken heart, and for what happened here in 2001, and especially to those who found themselves closest to the events of September 11; to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, in dangerous places; …to the oppressed and to those whose lot it is to struggle in financial hardship or in failing health; to my fellow journalists in places where reporting the truth means risking all, and to each of you, Courage.

Marty Kaplan is our go-to guy for the Big Three network journalists. He has interviewed, for Writers Bloc, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw, and with courage and eloquence, will chat with Dan Rather about Dan’s life in and around the news. He’s worked in politics, in government, in entertainment and in education.  While writing speeches for Vice President Mondale on Pennsylvania Avenue, Marty paid close attention to Dan Rather on CBS.  Marty is a scholar and a journalist and currently serves as the Norman Lear Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC. He contributes regularly to The Jewish Journal, and is an expert on political coverage in television news.

At the Writers Guild Theater, 135 South Doheny Drive.  Tickets, $20.  For reservations, click here or email