Dan Rather Says He Misses CBS: “I’ve Missed It Since The Day I Left”

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Dan Rather returned to CBS today for an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, his first appearance coming days before the debut of a Netflix documentary on his life.

Rather spent 44 years at the network, 24 as anchor of the CBS Evening News. He departed under a cloud after an investigation into then-President George W. Bush’s military record raised questions about journalistic methodology. Rather exited as anchor for the last time on March 9, 2005, and left CBS 15 months later when his contract expired.

More from Deadline

“Without apology or explanation, I miss CBS,” Rather told correspondent Lee Cowan in the interview that aired Sunday. “I’ve missed it since the day I left.”

Asked what made him want to become a reporter in the first place, Rather said, “I’ve never quite known the answer to that question. All I know is, it’s the only thing I ever wanted to be, was a reporter. I get up every morning and as soon as my feet hit the ground, I say, where’s the story?”

“You still do that?”

“I do.”

“And it doesn’t matter how big or small the audience is?”

“No,” he replied.

After CBS, Rather did investigative journalism and major interviews for HDNet, a digital cable and satellite television network.

What drives him?

“In the heart of every reporter worthy of their name, Lee, there’s a message that news, real news is what somebody somewhere — particularly somebody in power – doesn’t want you to know. That’s news.”

Rather said he adapted to changing venues and methods because of his desire to report.

“You either get engaged and you get engaged in the new terms … or you’re out of the game,” Rather said in the interview, filmed at his home in Texas. “And I wanted to stay in the game.”

He summed up his legacy without focusing on his career.

“In the end, whatever remains of one’s life — family, friends — those are going to be the things for which you’re remembered,” he said.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.