Former KTVU Channel 2 anchor Leslie Griffith (pictured) has written an essay for the liberal Web site truthout in which she defends Dan Rather, saying he was fired because CBS and Viacom wanted to curry favor with the White House after documents he used in a report on President Bush's National Guard service turned out to be forged.
Her essay sheds some light on why she left TV news last year. She said that when the Iraq war began, "Those in television journalism, particularly those working for a Fox affiliate, were not allowed to ask questions that could be perceived as unpatriotic, and every question was seen as unpatriotic. Monarchs and dictators don't allow questions. They also destroy those who speak ill of them."
She also is critical of how TV news is presented, noting that in the past few years, "Anchors and reporters starting taking their stories from satellite feeds coming directly to their desks and then standing in front of a chroma key delivering a story they did not write. If viewers think every newscast looks the same, that's why. It is. ... Anchors and reporters allowed chroma key pictures of conflict areas to appear behind them, giving viewers the false impression they were on the scene of the conflict instead of demanding to be sent there. They could not even point out on the map behind them where the conflict was."