Jim on History takes viewers back to 1988 and an infamous interview between CBS anchor Dan Rather and Vice President George Bush.
Bush, grilled by Rather in an extraordinary live interview on the “CBS Evening News,” denied concealing information on the Iran-Contra affair and accused the network of falsely suggesting that he was lying.
Bush, who traded insults with Rather in an unusually long and combative exchange, also charged that CBS had misled him by saying that the topic of the interview would be for a political profile rather than a report on his role in the Iran-Contra matter.
CBS denied the vice president’s charges of misrepresentation.
The 10-minute interview was preceded by a five-minute videotaped report about Bush’s role in the affair and his contention that, even though he supported President Reagan’s program of selling arms to Iran, he had expressed reservations about the transactions.
Bush, clearly angry when the camera shifted from the introduction to him in the vice president’s office, told Rather: “You’ve impugned my integrity by suggesting . . . that I didn’t tell the truth. You didn’t accuse me of it, but you made that suggestion.”
Rather, apparently taken aback by the vehemence of the vice president’s response, continued to press him to answer questions about the Iran-Contra affair, but Bush dismissed the queries as a “rehash” of what he had been asked in the past.
During parts of the interview, Bush and Rather raised their voices and talked over each other in such a heated manner that it was difficult to understand them.
At one point Bush, referring to an incident last September when Rather walked off the set of the “CBS Evening News” when he was upset over having his news broadcast cut short by the network’s coverage of a tennis match, declared:
“It’s not fair to judge my whole career by a rehash on Iran. How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York? Would you like that?”
Bush said that although he had respect for Rather, “I don’t have respect for what you’re doing here tonight.”
Rather said: “Mr. Vice President, I think you will agree that your qualifications for President and what kind of leadership you’d bring the country and what kind of government you’d have . . . is much more important than what you just referred to. . .
The anchorman then demanded to know whether Bush would agree to answer Iran-Contra questions at a press conference before the Feb. 8 Iowa caucus.
When the vice president insisted that he had already held press conferences, Rather declared: “I gather that the answer is no” and abruptly ended the interview.
WATCH: Jim On History Rather Vs Bush Debate: