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Dan Rather Uses “Obama,” “Articulate” And “Watermelons” In Same Anecdote

Dan Rather, longtime anchor at the CBS Evening News and now of HD Net, has been known for his analogies and anecdotes (Ratherisms).

But Newsbusters has caught one that seems to have gone way off the rails during an appearance on the Chris Matthews Show Sunday – involving Pres. Obama and “watermelons.”

In an argument about the 2012 election, Rather was describing what he thinks “Republicans” will say – and what “a lot of independents will buy.” So he’s speaking as Obama’s critics:

The Republicans will make a case and a lot of independents will buy this argument. “Listen he just hasn’t been, look at the health care bill. It was his number one priority. It took him forever to get it through and he had to compromise it to death.” And a version of, “Listen he’s a nice person, he’s very articulate,” this is what’s been used against him, “but he couldn’t sell watermelons if it, you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic.”

Newsbusters describes it as “one mine after another in the racial minefield,” which certainly appears to be the case, even if Rather isn’t making the argument directly. Still, substituting another fruit for the one he choose would have made this a non-story.

The language of race can be tricky, as seen in the NBC Cafeteria story last month.

Watch for yourself:


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