My experience asking Dan Rather about his coverage of the collapse of WTC 7

Last night, Tuesday, February 13, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. central time, Dan Rather spoke at the University of Texas-Pan American Fine Arts Auditorium in Edinburg, TX. His presentation covered mostly his recent trip to Afghanistan and his view that a bloody conflict was soon to erupt there. He also gave the audience a glimpse into his evolution as a journalist over the last three decades or so. But he never mentioned anything about 9/11.

As far as I know, I was the only 9/11 Truth activist at the presentation. My father was with me, but my friends and fellow activists Leo K and Ron Avery were unable to attend, so basically I was on my own as far as 911 Truth was concerned and I was admittedly a little intimidated by this fact.

Even so, when Dan Rather’s presentation ended and he started taking questions from the audience, I immediately stood up and headed to the front of his podium where a line was already starting to form. There were a few questions before mine, mostly about what Dan Rather thought were his greatest and most unpleasant journalistic experiences and what he thought of the current day media outlets like FOX News Channel, just to name one. While informative, I felt these were softball questions at best.

Dan Rather seemed to strategically avoid directly answering the question about FOX News, which I thought was interesting but unusual, while reinforcing the idea that today’s journalism is devoid of many reporters asking, as he put it, “the tough questions.” He also said he felt that the American media has over the last five or so years been cowed away from covering most if not all of the news properly and that that this fact concerned him greatly. I must admit, I was deeply moved and inspired, particularly as an activist, by his speech. Dan Rather is most certainly a great and remarkable speaker.

Unfortunately, because of time constraints, the presentation was abruptly cut off and the last person able to ask a question was three places ahead of me. Crushed, I started back to my chair when I unexpectedly heard from behind me an elderly couple talking with Dan Rather from off the stage.

As people were walking past me towards the exit, I realized that this was quite possibly a once in a lifetime chance to speak to Dan Rather and like it or not, it was now or never to stand up for my beliefs. So I suddenly turned around and rushed to the edge of the stage just as the elderly couple was moving away from it. Upon reaching a good position from which to speak, I looked Dan Rather directly in the eyes and said – unintentionally loudly as I have a naturally very loud voice – “MR. RATHER, DO YOU BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE THAT WTC 7 – BUILDING 7 – COLLAPSED AS A RESULT OF CONTROLLED DEMOLITION LIKE YOU ONCE REPORTED?”

I had no doubt the whole auditorium heard me and to my dismay it looked like this fact affected Dan Rather’s decision to respond. As I remember, he glanced at me with a deer-in-the-headlights look. As to why, I’m not certain. He could have recognized and eschewed my question outright as being uncomfortably or even offensively too familiar or he might have just generally been embarrassed by the outburst. Either way, he immediately darted behind the curtain, just as I was saying more calmly, “Please, Mr. Rather. Please answer the question.” But he did not.

When I turned around to leave, I could tell by the look on many people’s faces that they definitely heard my question loud and clear. But this didn’t derail me in the least. I knew I had done the right thing. And I had followed Dan Rather’s lesson about asking the tough questions.

Even so, people had a particularly unified bewildered expression, which surprisingly did not hint at the slightest bit of offence. I fancied they were simply wondering what my inquiry was all about. As Edinburg is a small town where nothing much controversial ever happens, some of them actually looked intrigued. A few others, however, looked as if they felt sorry for me.

As I walked out the exit, I distinctly remember muttering under my breath in mild defense of my actions, “Well, he’s the one who reported it.” I guess at this point I was a little embarrassed, frustrated, hurt and angry. But I took no steps to display in any way to the crowd my feelings.

Outside the auditorium, I waited for my father who had been separated from me somewhere along the way of our departure. Many things were going through my head like that I should have been faster on my feet when I got up so that I could be first in line to ask a question. Or that I should maybe have asked a separate question along the lines of “Do you think a new 9/11 investigation is in order?” or “What do you think of the 9/11 Truth Movement and its message that 9/11 was an inside job?”

In any case, completely unexpectedly, I heard a young girl speaking enthusiastically to my right and my peripheral vision caught sight of Dan Rather standing by where his vehicle would soon be exiting, waiting to be picked up by his entourage. I noticed not a lot of people were aware of his presence which I knew was my key to make a move.

So I quickly paced towards him while tactfully maintaining my composure. I realized that this was my second chance to clearly put forth my question about his report on Building 7. I should say that I deeply regret not having had any audio or video recording device on hand. For that, I sincerely apologize to the entire 911 Truth Movement as such a mistake is nothing short of sloppy and irresponsible.

“Mr. Rather, I had the question for you about Building 7,” I said as I approached him. My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest.

“Yes?” he replied with a smile offering no recognition of our having crossed paths for an instant inside the auditorium not ten minutes earlier.

“While you were reporting for CBS News on the collapse of World Trade Center number 7, you described it in a way that strongly implied controlled demolition.” I actually said this probably a bit too nervously over a stuttered voice.

“I don’t recall exactly which report you mean,” said Dan Rather sounding and appearing genuinely confused. “But I do remember the general coverage.” He was clearly not comfortable with the topic at hand.

“You used descriptions in your report like ‘you have to get at the under infrastructure of the building’ or something like that in order to make it collapse.”

By this time, people were all around us taking snapshots. But nobody was hissing or booing. They were just quietly listening. So I continued talking amongst the flashes:

“To ‘get under the infrastructure’ strongly implies that you didn’t immediately think fire caused the collapse of the building. That you maybe thought something else had.”

Dan Rather was for a moment silent and contemplative. “I really don’t understand your point.”

“I’m referring to the collapse of World Trade Center 7 -- on 9/11, sir.”

His eyes saddened. “Don’t tell me about 9/11, son. I was there. I was in New York and I saw everything; the people, the destruction . . .” His voice trailed off.

“Exactly my point sir,” I said gently. “I mean no disrespect, but like you said, you were there. So I have to ask – in fact, I need to know -- during the collapse of Building 7 were you in fact thinking that it came down as a result of controlled demolition?”

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he replied somewhat defensively. “I was just reporting what I was observing. That’s what reporters do.”

“Yes, sir, but you described the event as if it were a controlled demolition. Is that in fact what you thought it was? I realize you were reporting what you saw, but did you also think, in the least bit, in your mind, that the WTC 7 collapse was a controlled demolition?”

“I simply reported what it looked like.”

“Exactly, Mr. Rather: What it looked like. And it looked like a controlled demolition to me too.”

Well, I carried on a bit more but I strangely never got a straight answer from Dan Rather as to whether or not he actually ever believed that the collapse of WTC 7 was or was not a controlled demolition event. And the conversation was at this point losing steam in favor of redundancy. Although the crowd had not yet weighed in on us, it was obvious that other people wanted to meet Dan Rather and I was in the way. So to be fair, I threw in the towel.

“It was an honor to meet you, Mr. Rather. Thank you for addressing my question. Have a safe trip home”.

He smiled and gave me this strange look of approval, like he respected the fact that I went so far out of my way to ask what he could tell I believed was a tough question. But he nevertheless still looked utterly perplexed at my having asked it in the first place. And in turn, I was perplexed that he could not really answer it at all.

I have to admit that I was partly mistaken. I later discovered after double-checking my information that Peter Jennings had made the “under infrastructure” comment for ABC News in regards to the south tower collapse:

“We have no idea what caused this. Um . . . If you wish to bring ah . . . anybody who ever watched a building being demolished on purpose knows . . . that if you're going to
do this you have to get at the . . . at the under infrastructure of a building and bring it down.”

However, Dan Rather had in fact reported for CBS on the collapse of WTC 7:

“Amazing, incredible, pick your word. For the third time today, it’s reminiscent of those pictures we’ve all seen too much on television before, where a building was deliberately destroyed by well placed dynamite to knock it down.”

His statement, to me, is even more telling than the one made by Peter Jennings and, in my opinion, mention of it should have sparked some kind of recognition in him and/or recollection of his report on the collapse of WTC 7.

In any case, my conversation with Dan Rather pretty much convinces me that he likely knows not a single thing about the 9/11 Truth Movement and/or its view that 9/11 was an inside job. And I feel that his confusion over my question stems from my inquiry into his personal view of the nature of Building 7’s collapse as he might have been wondering, “Why would anyone want to know something as trivial as that?”

On the other hand, it would be presumptuous to suggest that Dan Rather never did nor does not currently think the collapses of WTC 1, 2, and 7 were not the result of controlled demolition. He could, after all, have one amazingly good poker face. In point of fact, it is strange that in his statement on 9/11 he referred to WTC 1, 2, and 7 --“For the third time today . . .” -- as appearing to have been “deliberately destroyed by well placed dynamite”. Had I known this the night of the presentation, I would have been more aggressive with my inquiry and expanded the topic to all three towers instead of just one.

My father was waiting for me by the edge of a nearby grassy knoll. As I walked away from the crowd, I could tell he felt for me. He has been aware of my fight for 9/11 Truth almost since the beginning of it and wasn’t the least bit surprised by my effort to be heard that evening.

“I tried my best,” I said as I approached him. I then had a sudden moment of great concern. “Dad, did I sound crazy out there?”

“You sounded a little excited, son,” he said reassuringly, “but no, not crazy.”

Eloy Gonzalez II
9/11 Truth Activist
Former employee at WTC 5 for a brief time in 2000

Related links:

Promotion of Dan Rather presentation on UTPA website:

The Monitor news report (printer friendly version) of Dan Rather presentation at UTPA:

Excellently written, great

Excellently written, great job!


This should be frontpaged.

Good for you!

Very strange reaction from Rather. It's like no one's had the balls to ask him about it before. Odd?

One thing's for sure, we have to do more of this. Everytime these people appear in public, they need to be confronted and asked, what happened on 9-11? What happened to WTC 7?

As i see it

.........Looks like thier was only one person
Willing to ask THE TOUGH QUESTIONS! Good job!
Only wish you had a video recorder.

One of the best posts...

ever at 911Blogger. Compelling report on your outstanding job of 911 truth seeking. Clearly written. Outstanding.

Confronting Dan Rather & Others.

I'm telling you most of us talk tough on the blogs etc, but when it comes down to this type of action, few of us have the nerve to do it or if we do it usually are quite nervous. I had the same experience with a producer of Wolf Blitzer's show "The Situation Room" He was at a local community college here publicizing a book he wrote about his previous life before journalism. We need to keep doing this. As we can see. Few people are confronting these guys in public. Thank God you took the effort to do so. I can only imagine the amount of public speeches they give with out a single person asking them the tough questions. I applaud you no matter the result, but for the effort to ask these people the quesions they don't want to deal with, few people even know to ask, and that are hard as hell to confront in the first place. Anyway. I'm glad you summed it up here and thougt you did a good job of it too.


Editor/Writer of "The Situation Room"

John DeDakis is a man I met while he was on tour promoting his book "Fast Track" He was equally as surprised as I asked him the question "Have you seen the footage of WTC7 collapsing on 9/11?" He sheepishly said he hadn't. I none the less took one of his business cards from the table and emailed him the graphics of it coming down. Look at his website for further appearances on his book tour and consider confronting him on this issue as well..



We'll get these fools. We just need to stay on top of it. And have fun doing it. Hell Yeah. I offer this in memory of Dan Wallace.

911, controlled demolition, and Dan Rather

Good job. Keep going. Instant by instant, day by day these little acts of truth and courage will finally break through.

Your experience reminded me of a similar experience I had when I say Joesph Wilson, wife of Valerie Plame, when Wilson spoke here in Chico.

I was the first one in line and pointedly asked Wilson whether the real reason Cheney, Libby, Bush, et al outted Valerie Plame was to disrupt Plame's non-cover op with Brewster-Jennings; which was investigating a black market network that deal in nuclear weapons. That this network had connections to Cheney, Libby, Dennis Hastert, Pakistan's A.G. Khan, Turkey, Israel, and elements of the Russian Israeli Mafia.

Wilson gave me the same "deer in the head-lights" look Rather gave you; and then preceded to give me a non-answer answer.

Now, with Libby's trial more and more evidence is being revealed via Libby's grand jury testimony and notes. That outting Plame had more to do with WMDs trading than revenge for Wilson's truth-telling about niger-cake and Iraq.

Absolutely fantastic

But Dan Rather is a member of the CFR...he knew what you were getting at, and Im sure he would not put himself in a position where we could use what he says to incriminate some of the very people in his own inner circle.
But I give you Mad Props sir!!!!! You did a damn fine job
and this should serve as an example for all.

Bravo Mekt

Now if We can catch Peter Jennings and get his thoughts about his comments on 9/11. But what would really be fitting for all this is an actual investigation with the CFR also included in the investigation.





Well, if you must be careful what you wish for..

Then I will wish for ALOT!! :D

Good luck catching PJ!

You'll have to run wih the devil.

Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings, CM
(July 29, 1938 – August 7, 2005)

The true threat to liberty comes not from terrorists but from our political leaders whose natural inclination is to seize upon any excuse to diminish them.
~~ Walter Williams, Nightly Business Report, September 2001

you did good.... the story

you did good....

the story that is now posted online will inspire


on 911 when the first tower fell----on tv--
dan rather was giving commentary---and i remember that while the tower was falling ---he was still blabbering about something eles---

at the time that seemed like an obvious example of what stupid blowhards the news people are....

but now it makes me think that he definitely wasnt "in on it" as far as controlled media or whatever

he knows....and i'll bet you he's glad that you mentioned it

an eventual ally probably0----once more people start being vocal in this polarization over the 911 hoax

A segment from Dan Rather's broadcast on 9/11

About half way into the video, they have a segment of Dan Rather's live broadcast right after the first tower fell.

Guess who Dan Rather is interviewing?

Jerome Hauer. The bastard sure gets around doesn't he? No wonder Dan is running scared. He knows too much and refuses to tell us.


great write up

Great write up man. I had an experience talking to the lead singer of the band "State Radio" after their concert a few years back.

They have a song called Camillo about a soldier who refused to go to Iraq.

Anyway, after the show I just happened to find my self standing first in line to get this guys autograph. I wasn't interested but I just started yapping about WTC 7 and how they should look into it and write a song about 9/11. I think he responded by making a wise crack but I'm not sure. He said "Oh yea I've heard of it...Short Change". Some guy in line who was waiting to get an autograph mocked me because I was excited and you could tell. I just gave him a quick glance and made eye contact and he looked away immediately. I said thanks for the autograph. Please think about it doing a 911 song.

Not as big as Dan Rather but your experience reminded me of this one.