Disgraced journalist Dan Rather weighed in on President Donald Trump’s decision Monday evening to dis-invite the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles from a celebratory visit to the White House on Tuesday, calling it “akin to McCarthyism.”
Trump made the announcement suddenly, on the eve of the scheduled team visit, citing differences with the team over a new National Football League rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem:
The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better. These fans are still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremony—one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem. I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.
In a rambling tweet, in which Rather accused Trump of ignoring a variety of other important issues, the former CBS News anchor seemed to suggest that dis-inviting the Eagles was equivalent to persecuting political dissent:
Trump disinvites Eagles from White House – while millions of Americans hurt. Puerto Rico suffers. Allies fret. The planet warms. He uses our National Anthem to sow disunity in what’s supposed to be the UNITED States of America. I think history will mark it as akin to McCarthyism.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) June 5, 2018
“McCarthyism” refers to a period in postwar America where Congress, led by Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-MN), pursued suspected communists in government and in public life in what was widely perceived as an overzealous fashion that threatened civil liberties.
Fewer than ten of the Eagles players were reportedly planning to attend the White House celebration, according to reports that emerged Monday evening.
Rather lost his job and his reputation over a 2004 story in which he claimed to have obtained documents that showed that President George W. Bush had shirked his military duties while serving in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. The documents were later shown to be forgeries.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.