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DAN RATHER RETURNS

first_imgDan Rather has a new weekly gig, not on ordinary television but on a YouTube feed operated by what’s called TYT, “The Young Turks” ultra-progressive talk channel.Rather’s resume is becoming too bulky for a neat one-paragraph bio. The successor to Walter Cronkite, he was the face of CBS News for more than two decades before being ousted over his flawed reporting on President George W. Bush’s National Guard service during the Vietnam War.Circumstances of that unfortunate period can be cast many different ways, as Rather himself made clear in a book tediously detailing his side of the story. But even before that, he was a quirky journalist: a cross between Edward R. Murrow and Inspector Clouseau.At the height of his CBS career, Rather was accosted on a Manhattan street by a seemingly deranged individual demanding, “Kenneth, what’s the frequency?” The man claimed CBS was beaming signals directly into his brain. Rather was shaken; R.E.M. later made a hit song out of it.Then there was the time in 1980 when Rather did a lengthy “60 Minutes” report on the war in Afghanistan, reporting amid gunfire from a mountaintop overlooking a Soviet encampment. The Washington Post’s Tom Shales observed that Rather, dressed in peasant togs, appeared to be, “Dan Rather as Stuart Whitman playing Dan Rather. Or Dan Rather playing Stuart Whitman playing Dan Rather. Perhaps it’s all part of the New Reality.”Shales called him “Gunga Dan.”But much as Bernie Sanders has, late in life, captured the imagination of millennials in search of the reason, Rather has become a social media star. His Facebook page has over 2 million likes, his “News and Guts” page has another million, and he pops up regularly as a cable-TV commentator.Now, in his TYT show, “The News with Dan Rather,” he describes himself as “An old TV newsman, leaning on new media, to connect with our future.” He’s providing a dose of news with a dash of commentary.He warns that constant media coverage about who will get indicted and who will get elected results in “diversions that leave the powers that be free to take us back and free to take us down.”Not surprisingly Rather is a severe critic of Trump and his presidency. He told Politico, “To have this kind of chaos, bordering on havoc, with (Trump in power), that’s something new, and very, very dangerous.”He’s a champion of responsible news media, of course, reminding us of his YouTube program that the goal is to provide a Constitutional check on power. This requires what Rather calls “a shared sense of the truth.”The new show, posted on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. ET, got about 75,000 views in the first 12 hours, and 5,000 likes. It’s a small pond for a guy who once was one of TV’s biggest fish.But Dan Rather imparts a kind of calm reassurance about things. Based on the time I spent talking with him back in his CBS heyday, I can assure you he’s the same folksy, dedicated gentleman that you see on the screen.He once observed, “What I say or do here won’t matter much, nor should it.” Still, it’s good to have Dan Rather back, especially right now, when the world seems upside down.FOOTNOTE: Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at Amazon.com and CandidCamera.com. © 2018 Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. by Peter Funt, January 23, 2018He looked pretty good sitting behind the antique partner’s desk in his home-office. In fact, darn good for a newsman of 86. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Cuban migrants continue arriving as Costa Rica declares mission accomplished

first_imgRelated posts:Crisis at the border: Costa Rica weighs its options after Nicaragua violently turns back Cuban migrants Costa Rica considers flights for Cuban migrants as options shrink  Cuban migrants with children to be among first out in Costa Rica airlift  Panama to send 3,800 US-bound Cubans to Mexico A week after President Luis Guillermo Solís saw offone of the last flights of the airlift that carried thousands of stranded Cuban migrants to the U.S. border, hundreds more Cubans are amassing again at Costa Rica’s southern border with Panama.Still, Solís said Thursday that Costa Rica had “accomplished” its four-month humanitarian mission caring for the Cubans migrants and that the country would not receive more migrants. The president addressed potential arrivals at a news conference, saying, “We’re not going to be able to attend to you as we would like and as they deserve.”The president said that if migrants enter Costa Rica illegally they will be deported. Cubans are part of a small group of nationalities that require restricted visas to enter Costa Rica.The president placed unequivocal blame for the continuing migrant crisis on the U.S. Cuban Adjustment Act.Recommended: ‘Dusty-foot’ Cubans forgo rafts, choose land route through Costa Rica“Cuban immigration will continue because it’s a structural phenomenon,” Solís said, “until the government of the United States puts an end to the laws that attract this migration. There’s a responsibility to call attention to these laws. …“Until these laws change we will continue to see this situation that, from a humanitarian point of view, creates so much pain and risk for these thousands of Cuban migrants,” he said.As migrants continue to build up where the crisis started last November, Barack Obama is set to be the first U.S. president to travel to Cuba in 88 years on March 20.Solís asked police to increase their presence in the Southern Zone and called for the International Organization for Migration to hold a regional meeting of foreign ministers and immigration administrators in the coming weeks to address this new wave of Cuban migrants.Costa Rica granted more than 7,800 Cuban migrants temporary transit visas between Nov. 1 and Dec. 18, 2015. A conflict between Costa Rica and Nicaragua closed the northern border to Cubans migrants, leaving them stranded here. Eventually a plan was reached to fly out 4,800 of the migrants. The remaining thousands left the country through their own means, including smugglers.Solís said that the government was following the situation and was “heartbroken” by the continued migration flow. He added: “We know what the cost is of these movements.”Recommended: Reforms by Castro, Obama set stage for Cuban migration spike Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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