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March 4th, 2013
10:30 PM ET

Dan Rather on Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea and the recently triggered sequestration

On the heels of the bizarre new friendship that has developed between Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un, on Monday evening "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed legendary journalist Dan Rather for his unparalleled blend of insightful rhetoric and candid commentary.

Referencing the pairing of the former NBA star and North Korea's supreme leader, Rather likened it to some of the strangest scenes he's ever encountered during his illustrious career:

"With Dennis Rodman I will say, that, look: I've been to goat ropings and space shots, I've been to Antarctica and deep as Africa. I've never seen anything quite like this," he admitted.

Odd as the scene seemed, the "Dan Rather Reports" host noted that at the very least, the man once known as "The Worm" has at least served to generate some new interest in a country that deserves attention:

"It's not a bad thing," surmised Rather. "It at least gets people thinking about North Korea. North Korea is one of the strangest places on this, or any other planet ... to fracture [Winston] Chruchill's old quote, 'it's a mystery wrapped in an enigma.'"

Shifting gears stateside, Morgan asked for his guests perspective on the recently triggered forced budget cuts, beginning by sharing his own opinion:

"I found the events of last week incredibly dispiriting," said Morgan. "The fact that America – this great 'superpower' – appears to have this utter paralysis of leadership in Washington ... I think it demeans the political system here."

Rather agreed, in the process pulling few punches:

"No one wants to say it, and some can accuse me of being harsh in the language. But we have been parachuted into the valley of the stupid," said the longtime CBS newsman. "That's the way it's viewed around the world: The United States, this is dumb. There's nothing smart about this."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as the legendary Dan Rather offered context for Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea, and also explained why the so-called "sequester" is nothing more than political jockeying with an eye on 2014.
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Filed under: The Big Story
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Seriously?

    "Shifting gears stateside, Morgan asked for his guests perspective on..."

    Nice editing, CNN.

    March 4, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Joseph Pujol

    " . . . unparalleled blend of insightful rhetoric and candid commentary . . ."??? Rather is a moron and always has been.

    March 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. xyzergy

    Did the enlightened producers at CNN think they were buying a scoop with Rather? One hopes they didn't blow out their piggy banks. There must be a healthy surplus of celebrity lame brain pundits standing in line, willing to feed us what we should think for a nominal fee. Is this News???

    If only the ordinary lame brain citizens in so called USA were as articulate and well informed as Mr. Rather, just think how we could be improved. One suspects Mr. Rather is about as 'dumb' as ever, reading from his teleprompter.

    March 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Geoff B.

    "Goat roping" c'mon Dan you can do better than that"...LOL

    March 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mike

    CNN is trying to redeem Rather's discredited career. It won't work. I lost all respect for Wolf B when he had Rather on about 6-8 weeks ago, and now won't watch anything Blitzer(sp) is featuring. Sorry Dan, you're an unethical dirtbag who's lost all credibility.

    March 5, 2013 at 12:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. bluedude2

    The rest of the world has its' own problems and partisan brinkmanship is hardly novel or earth shaking.
    Remember, its' not news its entertainment.

    March 5, 2013 at 12:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Alan Houston

    I am tired of North Korea's maniacal threats of nuclear armanent...they are paper tigers. What the US needs to do is either negoiate a peace treaty or attack them with a tactical nuclear device that will take out the regime and sadly several thousand ci/tizens. Their punk leader, aged 28, is a clone, propagating his crazy father and grandfather's policies. I am a Canadian and we believe in peace keeping, but enough is enough!!

    March 5, 2013 at 12:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Luisto9

    Well said and right on point.

    March 5, 2013 at 12:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Chuck Steak

    It's good to see Dan Rather again. I miss him terribly. Sob.

    March 5, 2013 at 1:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sara Tonen

    I have no use for Dennis Rodman ever since he sank a 3 pointer while playing one-on-one with Madonna.

    March 5, 2013 at 1:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. thaNorthStar.com

    piers morgan has serious issues. he is upset that the NRA is sponsering a car because he says the purpose is to sell more guns for its donors, the gun manufacturers?

    wouldnt that would mean piers is against their free speech but he thinks its ok for him to rant for hours everyday on TV twisting facts about the NRA & gun manufacturers to try to persuade people not to buy guns?

    like how on this episode Piers is saying the NRA's donors are the gun manufacturers like that is something bad.

    but the reality is the citizens of the USA are also donors to the NRA & even the gun manufacturers get all their money from the citizens of the USA and the government.
    so why doesnt he stop with this nonsense, its getting old

    March 5, 2013 at 4:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Kelly

    Dan Rather did not say 'deep as Africa.' He said 'deepest Africa,' an archaic term that shows Rather's age. Africa isn't a body a water. Referring to central areas as deep is a throwback to colonial times.

    March 5, 2013 at 5:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jay in NC

    Piers, what is your comment on the fact that Obama let over 2,000 assault weapons into the world. Or does this not fit your idealized view of the man?

    March 5, 2013 at 9:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. DAVID

    Dan Rather condoning Rodman in any way makes him as ignorant as Rodman.

    Maybe Dennis Rodman should next visit Syria & becomes friends with Bashir Al-Assad. Assad can take him to a soccer match. Wine & dine him & then Rodman can come back to the US & tell all of us what a great guy the President of Syria is.

    As he told George Stephanopoulous "not that I am condoning what he does, but he is my friend." Hard to believe in this day an age that someone can be this ignorant.

    Dennis Rodman has to be one of the dumbest people walking on this planet. The torture, starvation, executions etc of the people of North Korea while Rodman sits at a basketball game is beyond any kind of human decency, even by an ignorant ex basketball player.

    March 5, 2013 at 10:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      I do not see where Rather condones anything – he said only it shines a spot light on NK, that's all.

      March 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jack

    I remember when dan rather had a job

    March 5, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. JGN

    Right on Dan Rather; one of the last intelligent newscasters we had! Along with the loss of the professional news reporter we seem to have sunk to new lows in general, and it is this which Rather is commenting on. The valley of the stupid indeed. It was obvious all along that the repubicans (spelling intended, yes) would continue to block everything this president came up with and they have done nothing to disappoint that, although everything else they do certainly disappoints!

    March 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Gervais Fillion

    It is always a pleasure to listen at Mr.Rather about Politics.He has His Ways of describing the event.Event as a Non-American i miss his point of vue a lot .

    March 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. John Henson

    Isn't this why we pay basketball players millions of dollars? Rodman received his status from us paying him to put a round ball in a round hole. We're the ones that empowered him to embarrass his own country. When are we going to stop this insanity?

    March 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. J Kim

    Yeah, here's the "context" for Rodman's visit to N. Korea:

    RATHER: What's needed here is leadership. And it will only take a few good men and women in each party to exercise real leadership to say, "Look, if it beats me in the next election, so be it, but I’m going to do what's best for the country."

    MORGAN: They're mocking someone like Dennis Rodman, who at least went and talked to the other side.

    Good grief!!!! Let me translate for these, ummmm, "journalists": "Dennis Rodman for Secretary of State!!!!"

    And you all are wondering why CNN's ratings are so low? Just a matter of time, folks... :)

    March 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rose macaskie

    Wolf Blitzer and ohters did not get accused of hob-nobbing with blule beards when they visited North Corea so why is everyone getting so mean to Dennis Rodman who does not look as if he can take it? Is not over decorating your face a sign of somone who is not very secure about themselves so they distract attention from their unlovable selves with clothes and such . Was not he there with the same team of diplomats that all who visit KIm Jon Um are normally seen with. At least Kim Jon Um is getting a taste of what CNN praesenters really thinks of his nasty ways of ruling. May not Lewis Rodmans love for Kim Jon Un be the normal reaggae philosophy "One Love" type reacton, a bit the style of Pistorius's grilfriend's family the, I fovrgive him bit, which can be so much a part of christianity but which so desperately forgets how many women get killed by their partners and so how necessary it is to get cross with Pistorius as he is a bad example for other men and not being cross with him makes a lot of other murders a lot more likely, however much, as a christian, you wish to reach out to and heal the emotional woes of a murderer, a murderer being for some sorts of christians, a person who is way out of what might be considered as a happy state of mind, being the really needy person in the case, in what maybe a mistaken understanding of the reasons that the person is such, which may have more to do with being a spoilt brat who cant take being gainsaid a person brought upto feel tha the should not let others attack him, than a wounded person whose consequent instability make him lose it. One thing that is a pity about our legal system is that it sets out to establish the guilt of the criminal not the background of the murderer, there is no research done to find our what lead the criminal to be that crimianal, if they suffered abuse as a child we dont lget to know about it, only the events that can prove the criminal innocent or guilty are studied in criminal case. I shouild think the public would be interested in the background of criminals because all extreme things help us to understand more everyday ones but these are often never disclosed according to Serena Gitty, in her book that looks into the childhood of a english child, Mary Bell, who killed three children. The public is strangly more horrified by murderers the less strong their social position is, or their suppose emotional strength is, sees women and especially children who are murderers as more diabolic and male ones more purely unable to deal twith their emotions, though society also habitually supposes that men are stronger emotionally than women or children. Our instincts lead us to some pretty strange abberations in judgement. rose macaskie madrid

    March 7, 2013 at 8:35 am | Report abuse | Reply

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