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Dan Rather Quotes

Daniel Irvin Rather Jr

Dan Rather quotes: the super successful journalist’s best stuff.

“You’d better do what you feel good about doing.”

“The American Dream is one of the greatest ideas in the history of human achievement.  It thrives today in an age when its core components of freedom and opportunity are open to more Americans than ever before.  It holds a real, identifiable place in the American heart and mind, and it informs the aspirations of everyone from farmers to software developers, from detectives to bankers, from soldiers to social workers.  It defines us as a people, even as we add to its meaning with each new chapter in our national experience and our individual actions.”

“If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.”

“If we don’t pay attention to the lessons of the past, we’re condemned to repeat the mistakes of the future.”

“We are a nation not only of dreamers, but also of fixers.  We have looked at our land and people, and said, time and time again, ‘This is not good enough; we can be better.’”

“Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.”

“In life, there’s a lot of uncertainty and unknown.  We might be afraid of taking action, thinking too much on what if this and that, what if I fail – and that fear stops us from moving forward.  But if you do allow your fear to stop you, you will never be able to achieve anything in life.  Learn to control your emotion, build up your courage, and move forward, despite being afraid.  Being afraid is a feeling, an emotion that lives inside you.  Think positive and always remind yourself of what you could achieve and gain if you live courageously and take action.”

“Once the herd starts moving in one direction, it’s very hard to turn it, even slightly.”

“Don’t taunt the alligator until after you’ve crossed the creek.”

“I’m a believer in what your record is.  I am what my record is – some of it good, some of it bad, some of it hard to tell.”

“I’ve never believed in measuring one’s worth by the size of his or her bank account.  I prefer to look at distance traveled.”

“Those who can’t afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, and all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their ‘darn pennies’ on the simple joys of life.”

“A college degree is the key to realizing the American dream, well worth the financial sacrifice because it is supposed to open the door to a world of opportunity.”

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.”

“A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.”

“Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.”

“Writing is the rock on which everything is built.”

“I would say to any aspiring journalist: writing – good writing – is the bedrock of the craft.  Whether you are a print or electronic journalist, you should be as good a writer as you can and dedicate yourself and your lifetime to be a better writer.”

“You have to be persistent and therefore you have to really want to do it.  But if you really want to do it, and you burn to do it, and you have the drive to do it, then you can make yourself a good writer.”

“The press is a watchdog.  Not an attack dog.  Not a lapdog.  A watchdog.  Now, a watchdog can’t be right all the time.  He doesn’t bark only when he sees or smells something that’s dangerous.  A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.”

“Do not let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

“And for whatever reason I’ve loved the news since I can remember.  I loved it when I was in elementary school.”

“I think it’s important for the public to know, great reporting starts with a publisher who has guts and an editor who has guts.”

“I have tried to remain a working, cutting-edge journalist and I don’t do it the way everybody else does it.  And I think that’s the difference.”

“Ratings don’t last.  Good journalism does.”

“I had someone at the Houston police station shoot me with heroin so I could do a story about it.  The experience was a special kind of hell.  I came out understanding full well how one could be addicted to ‘smack,’ and quickly.”

“This much we know: journalism is not a precise science.  It’s, on its best day, a crude art.  We make mistakes; I make mistakes.  With more than 50 years as a journalist, I have at least had the opportunity to blow more stories, make more mistakes than maybe anybody in television.”

“I think one reason that a lot of people get into journalism is the opportunity to feel that you lead a purposeful life, in some small way.  And if you’re lucky and God smiles, at least you’ll have a few opportunities to feel that you’re contributing to something that’s larger than just yourself and your own self interests.  I can think of no other craft or profession or practice or anything in which I would have had more joy.”

“The great lesson my mother and father gave me was almost invisible.  It was a strong sense of being rooted.”

“I was really lucky to work at CBS News.  I was blessed to be able to live my dream in many ways at CBS News.”

“Now, I know you expected me to say that, well, I just kick back in the rocking chair, fished a little bit, listened to Willie Nelson tapes, and watched old baseball games on the Classic Sports network.  And, tell you the truth, I have done that for maybe about five total minutes.”

“As long as I have my health I want to be reporting somewhere.”

“I would rather wear out than rust out.”

“I understand that my time to shape and help this world is passing.  I hope now to inspire others to love this country, to pledge to work hard to make it a healthier and more just place to live.  I believe strongly that the core tenets I love most about this nation can be a foundation for commonality and strength once more.”

“What I say or do here won’t matter much, nor should it.”

Don’t leave without reading quotes by Katie Couric.

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