‘Words fall far short of deeds’: Dan Rather rips Trump for denouncing anti-semitism -- and keeping Bannon
Dan Rather (Photo: Screen capture)

Famed journalist Dan Rather on Tuesday criticized Donald Trump for his “rhetorical flourish” about anti-semitism, noting it’s “remarkable” that the president’s denouncement “should even be news.”


“President Donald Trump has finally spoken on an issue that should never been an issue in the first place—calling the rise of antisemitism ‘horrible’ and ‘painful,’ Rather wrote in a Facebook post. “It is remarkable that this should even be news. But that is where we are, and the President only has himself to blame.”

Noting that Trump’s response to direct questions about anti-semitism was to remain inexplicably silent, Rather wrote “the press has mounted, and we now have words. But words fall far short of deeds.”

“Will this easy rhetorical flourish be backed by actions?” Rather asked. “On so many fronts the evidence is to the contrary. We have Steven Bannon in a position of power in a White House that seems to be sowing division rather than binding up the wounds caused by the last election.”

Bannon, Trump’s chief White House strategist, served as executive chair of Breitbart News, which he proudly described as “the platform for the alt-right”—a movement saturated with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-semitic language.

“These are not forces with which to be trifled,” Rather wrote. “Hatred can be channeled to power, but it cannot be tamed. It cannot be tempered or controlled. A wink and a nod can turn into an inferno.”

The former CBS Evening News anchor said he hopes Trump’s “fellow Republicans who continue to normalize his behavior do their part to denounce intolerance and intimidation.”

“We are watching. The world is watching. History is watching,” Rather concluded.

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