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Journalist Dan Rather Has Hope in the Common Sense of the American People

Photo of Journalist Dan Rather
Veteran journalist Dan Rather anchored the CBS Evening News for 25 years, and reported on historic events from the civil rights era to the war in Afghanistan. He appeared Friday at Kent State University.

Veteran journalist Dan Rather speaks as part of Kent State University’s 2018 commemoration of the shootings of May 4, 1970, and shares his experiences as one of America's premier broadcasters.

In comments ahead of his appearance at the Presidential Speaker Series, Rather said that dissent has a place in American democracy.

In reflecting on what happened 48 years ago, he said the Vietnam War probably would have lasted longer had not the killing of four students shaken the nation.

"This was an emotional earthquake for the country," says Rather.

When asked to reflect on today’s politics, Rather says he's concerned that the United States is entering a "post-truth" era, and that people in power are promoting divisions among groups in the nation.

But, he said, he’s not too worried about the future.

“Look I’m almost 87 years old, and I've pretty much been where I’m going," said Rather. "But my experience is that the American people have a great depth of common sense."

"Overall," he said, "we are a people that can separate ‘bull-shine’ from brass tacks, and that gives me hope.”

Rather anchored the CBS evening news for 25 years before his controversial departure from the network in 2005. He’s currently host of Dan Rather’s Big Interview on AXS-TV.