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Dan Rather on Trump and the Press: 'With Respect, Sir, No, We're Not Going to Shut Up'

Mark Judge
By Mark Judge | February 3, 2017 | 8:59 AM EST

Dan Rather (AP Photo)

Journalist Dan Rather appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" on Thursday. During the interview, Rather had this exchange with Fallon:

Jimmy Fallon

Trump’s relationship with the press, have you seen anything like this in 60 years?

Rather:

No, I haven't seen anything like it, and neither has anybody else. We've never had anything approaching this. The closest we’ve had was during the presidency of Richard Nixon. But even then the president himself did not so often, so openly and so personally assault and attack not just the press as an institution but individual members as well. We’ve never had anything even approaching this at any time that I can remember. You look through history it just hasn’t happened.

When asked to share his advice to the media covering Trump, Rather said, "Stay steady, stay respectful. But also, be relentless and remain aggressive. That's the proper role of the press." 

Rather added, "Steve Bannon recently said, almost directly, 'the press needs to shut up.' Well, our answer to that has to be, 'With respect, sir, no, we're not going to shut up. Now answer the damn question.'" 

Rather also gave a message to the public: "Don't get afraid, don't be scared, that's the natural inclination. Organize and get to the polls," he said. "Try to find common ground. That's the way we come together."