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Bush and Rather Squabble on the Evening News

January 30, 1988

As I dashed home Monday between volunteer activities (I am retired), I flipped on the news. My daughter and I watched amazed at the Rather interview with Bush. At first we were surprised, then horrified, then outraged at the rude, arrogant, strident tenor of Rather's performance. That was no interview, that was Rather and CBS doing a hatchet job on an elected official who holds the second-highest position in American government.

Whatever questions the American public may have regarding the Iran-Contra affair, I think that most people realize that a vice president is expected to be a team player, a second banana, not the point man for opinions contrary to those of the President. The fact that Bush never publicly spoke out in favor of the Administration's policy spoke volumes to me and to many others.

I am certain that Rather and CBS are fully aware of this reality. What do they want Bush to do, publicly repudiate his President? This incredibly high-handed, biased behavior nullifies any claims Rather has to being regarded as an objective, professional journalist. It would have been better if Rather had opted for 20 minutes of silence!

BARBARA SILLESEN

Irvine

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