Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather joined Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show and had some choice words for Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, after he essentially told the press to shut up.
In an interview with the New York Times, Bannon said, “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. I want you to quote this: The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Responding to Bannon’s unrealistic and ridiculous demand, Rather told Fallon: “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 said he’s never seen anything like this before and added, “We’ve never had anything approaching this.”
The long-time anchorman urged journalists to stay focused on the White House in the face of threats from Trump, members of his administration and Trump trolls on social media.
“Stay steady, stay respectful, but also, be relentless and remain aggressive, Rather cautioned. “That’s the proper role of the press.”
“Don’t get afraid, don’t be scared — that’s the natural inclination,” Rather added. “Organize and get to the polls, try to find common ground. That’s the way we come together.”
Rather ended on a high note: “There are certain truths that are not alternative. They are self evident.”