Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather has lashed out at deals inwhich politicians and other public figures agree to interviews on conditionthat the questions are submitted in advance and that they can approve thequotes before they are published. The practice came to light in a NewYork Times article last Monday, which quoted Dean Bacquet, the Times' s own managing editor for news, as saying, "We don't like thepractice. We encourage our reporters to push back. Unfortunately thispractice is becoming increasingly Common, and maybe we have to push backharder." Now, in a commentary posted on the CNN website, Rather calls thepractice "a jaw-dropping turn in journalism" and "a Faustian bargain." Hemaintains "It is for the benefit of the politicians, at the expense ofreaders, listeners and viewers. It is not in the public interest; it isdesigned to further the candidates' interests. Political operatives cannotbe blamed for wanting this. We, the press, should be held accountable forletting them have it."