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Dan Rather talks Fox News and doing heroin

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Dan Rather, the 81-year-old television journalist who spent more than four decades as a correspondent and anchor for CBS News, tried a new medium Wednesday: fielding questions from redditors during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session.

While a number of users wanted him to talk about his controversial 2004 report on then-President George W. Bush's military service—the report was heavily disputed, and led to Rather's departure from CBS—Rather prefers to stick to questions about earlier in his career. He offered the site his take on world leaders, staying skeptical on the modern age, and that time he tried heroin for a story.

What is your honest opinion of Fox News? (Salacious)

I respect Roger Ailes who founded Fox News as we know it, although while I respect him I don't always agree with what they do. However, when they're covering news, especially breaking news, I think they're at their best. Although I reserve the right to differ with them in any situation.

If I scrolled through Dan Rather's iPod, I would find... (ItsDJ)

a lot of willie nelson, johnny cash, and merle haggard

You have been very outspoken about how "big business" and "big government" collude with the media to propagate their own respective agendas. Do you think we can trust Google to resist the same kind of bias and pressure from those in government who may want to influence what we can see and find on the internet? (skepticofskeptics)

the short answer is no - freedom requires constant vigilance and one needs to be constantly skeptical about reassurances on freedom. Stay skeptical and ever-vigilant.

Where do you come up with your great folksy sayings? Do you think them up before hand or are the ad libbed? (irishmac3)

most of them are ad libbed, coming from growing in Texas and working in the oil fields since I was 14 years old. But sometimes when I hear colorful language I'll jot it down, file it away for maybe some future use.

What was doing heroin like? (tommytweeter)

I did it a long time ago, in the early 1950s, in the police station in Houston, Texas with policemen looking on as I did a radio story about what heroin is and what effects it had. I never touched it again. It might not have been the smartest thing I ever did but I do think it did a public service because it demonstrated to the public what it was in a time when people didn't know.

Who was the one person during your career you wished you could have interviewed that you never got the chance (Tk14388)

any one of the popes of Rome and the recently deceased leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il

What is your opinion on the "Liberal Media Bias"? (Perl_pro)

vastly overstated and usually used as part of partisan political propaganda campaigns. It usually reflects the bias of the person making the accusation.

Screengrab via YouTube