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Dan 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 LinkEmail
Press Association Woods has not won a major since the US Open in 2008, with injury problems and a sex scandal which cost him his marriage to Swede Elin Nordegren prompting many to write off his chances of overhauling the 18 major titles of Jack Nicklaus. Unsurprisingly, Woods does not share those views, with his close friend Notah Begay telling Sports Illustrated the 14-time major winner wants to win at least six more. “He is focused on 20,” Begay said. “That may be a little hard to believe given what’s transpired in the last three years, but that’s where his focus is. He thinks he is capable of winning 20 majors.” At the age of 37, Woods has won 14 majors from 60 starts as a professional, exactly the same as Nicklaus at 37. For his part, McIlroy has two major championships under his belt, winning the 2011 US Open and 2012 US PGA Championship by eight shots, and stated last week he would not care if he missed 10 cuts in a row as long as he won a major every year. In four previous Masters appearances he has missed the cut once and finished 20th, 15th and 40th, but his performance in Texas suggests he is finding form at the right time after a poor start to the season. Rory McIlroy can return to world number one with a third major title in the Masters this week, providing Tiger Woods does not finish second on his own. McIlroy closed the gap to Woods slightly by finishing second in the Valero Texas Open on Sunday, carding a closing 66 in San Antonio to finish two shots behind Scotland’s Martin Laird. And the 23-year-old can reclaim the top spot he lost last month by claiming his first Green Jacket at Augusta National, scene of his final-round meltdown in 2011 when he led by four shots before collapsing to a closing 80. The Northern Irishman has to finish inside the top three to have any chance of passing Woods, who has won three times already this season and is seeking a fifth Masters title.
PORTLAND — Monta Ellis’ one-legged jumper at the buzzer spoiled a late-game comeback by the Portland Trail Blazers to give the Dallas Mavericks a 108-106 win at the Moda Center on Saturday. After a 32-point snoozer Friday against the Utah Jazz, the Blazers were locked in a battle of offensive firepower with the Mavericks. The Blazers struggled to shoot for most of the game after setting an NBA record for three-point percentage Friday against the Jazz. The Blazers shot 9-of-30 from three, good for 30 percent. Making matters worse for the home team was that the Mavericks feasted in the paint, scoring 54 points. “We tried some different coverages just to try to slow down Dirk (Nowitzki),” Damian Lillard said. “There was a few miscommunications out there but we stuck with it and we had a chance to win the game at the end.“They just hit a good shot.”Ellis’ shot ruined what would have been a spectacular Blazers comeback in the final 45 seconds of the game. The Blazers were down by six but were able to get a stop and force a turnover to give themselves a chance. The Mavericks led for most of the game and the Blazers had to dig deep many times but it seemed each time the veteran Mavs had an answer.