Posted 9 months ago on July 26, 2012, 5:19 p.m. EST by richardkentgates
from Fort Walton Beach, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
On October 4, 1986, as Rather was walking along Park Avenue in Manhattan to his apartment, he was attacked and punched from behind by a man who demanded to know, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?", while a second assailant also chased and beat him. As the assailant pummeled and kicked Rather, he kept repeating the question over and over again. In describing the incident, Rather said, "I got mugged. Who understands these things? I didn't and I don't now. I didn't make a lot of it at the time and I don't now. I wish I knew who did it and why, but I have no idea."
The incident and Rather's account led some to doubt the veracity of Rather's story, although the doorman and building supervisor who rescued Rather fully confirmed his version of events. The story entered popular lore and remained unsolved for some time. The incident inspired a song called "Kenneth, What's the Frequency?" by the band Game Theory in 1987. In October 1990, the phrase "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" appeared in an issue of the Daniel Clowes comic Eightball as part of the serialized graphic novel Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, and was revealed in a later episode to be a key part of the Mister Jones conspiracy theory. Also in 1990, Scott McCloud used the phrase in the first 24-hour comic. In 1994 the band R.E.M. released the song "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" on the album Monster. The phrase became the subject of many jokes over the years and slang for a confused or clueless person. Rather was a good sport about it, and actually sang with R.E.M. during a soundcheck prior to a gig at Madison Square Garden, New York, which was shown the following night on The Late Show With David Letterman before their performance of Crush with Eyeliner.
In 1997, a TV critic writing in the New York Daily News solved the mystery, and published a photo of the alleged assailant, William Tager. Rather confirmed the story: "There's no doubt in my mind that this is the person." "William Tager's identity as the man who attacked Mr. Rather was established in the course of an investigation by my office", said New York District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.
Tager was sentenced to a 25-year prison sentence for killing NBC stagehand Campbell Montgomery outside The Today Show studio in 1994. He was paroled in October 2010 and is believed to be living in New York City.
In the December 2001 issue of Harper's Magazine, writer Paul Limbert Allman speculated that postmodern fiction writer Donald Barthelme (who died in 1989) had somehow orchestrated, or was otherwise connected to, the attack through other unnamed persons, citing unusual passages in Barthelme's writing, including the phrase "What is the frequency?", a recurring character named Kenneth, and a short story about a pompous editor named Lather. Limbert also uncovered the facts that Barthelme and Rather were likely to have known each other professionally early in their careers. The article was adapted into two plays, both entitled "Kenneth, What Is the Frequency?" The first was by Ian Allen and Monique LaForce and debuted in Washington, D.C., in 2003. The second, written by Allman himself, premiered in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2004.
In the 2006–07 graphic novel Shooting War, the fictional Dan Rather of the year 2011 it portrays has adopted the personal motto, "The frequency is courage." In the 2006 film Land of the Blind, the phrase briefly appears on a blackboard in a re-education camp for opponents of the dystopian regime led by Donald Sutherland.
The phrase and a coincidental similarity to Rather by a fictional hero is worked into the book called 'Lady Slings The Booze' by author Spider Robinson. It uses a fictional set-up to explain the mugging incident.
THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG
This indecent is still relevant today in a couple of ways. Tager was obviously crazy as hell and I think we need to ask ourselves how this was allowed to happen. It pales in comparison to some other crazy-person appearances through recent history but that he targeted the media. He did so because he thought they were controlling his mind. His reaction to how he felt was obviously crazy but the mind control, you tell me. When you turn on the news, check out the social networking streams and related internet hangouts. Check the forums and your facebook. What is everyone debating from the #OWS twitter stream to your political junkie friend, I am willing to bet it's what the mainstream media is talking about. This is at the very least conformation that they have an effective product.
My friends, the tail is wagging the dog. The media follows who and what they know to be credible and easy to access. There is no need for big conspiracy theories, just a profitable model that just happens to have a one way impact at the moment. The politicians and celebrities speak, the media reports it, and you watch and/or read it. Pretty run of the mill. But they also do what I suggest here for you to do, they watch the social streams. Using this same method they can see how effective it is because it's what everyone is talking about. You want to take your government back? You want to take your country back? You want politicians to listen to you? It's as easy as taking control of the conversation. Whatever you are talking about, that is what they will pander to. Our system isn't broken, you just aren't using it properly. Also, keep an eye on your crazy relatives.