I had known that R.E.M.’s song “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” got its title from a random attack on Dan Rather, but I never knew they finally figured out who had assaulted him.
At about 11 pm on the night of October 4, 1986, CBS anchorman Dan Rather was walking along Park Avenue in New York, on the way back to his apartment. Just as he neared the building’s entrance, he was accosted by two well-dressed men. One asked, “What is the frequency, Kenneth?” Rather replied, “You must be mistaking me for someone else . . .” With that, the man knocked Rather to the ground, and as he kicked and punched him, he repeatedly asked his strange question. Rather called out for help, and a moment later, as the doorman and the building’s super arrived on the scene, the assailants fled.
The police took a statement, but no one was ever arrested or charged.
So was it just a random, unprovoked attack? A case of mistaken identity? Were the attackers some kind of secret agents delivering a message to Rather to back off a particular news story (at the time, he was researching the Iran Contra affair and was set to expose new information)?
Rather himself had no answers. “I got mugged,” he said shortly after. “Who understands these things? I didn’t and I don’t now. I didn’t make a lot of it at the time and don’t now. I wish I knew who did it and why, but I have no idea.”
The incident was strange, but it got even stranger. In 1994, a North Carolina man named William Tager shot and killed an NBC technician, Campbell Montgomery, outside the sound studio of the Today Show. Tager had tried to enter the the studio with an assault rifle, and Montgomery died in an attempt to block him. Tager was arrested and reportedly told police that the television network had been monitoring him for years and beaming secret messages into his head. He apparently came to NBC looking for a way to block those transmissions.
Tager was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in Sing Sing prison.
His story took a sci-fi twist when he told a psychiatrist that he was a time traveler from a parallel world in the year 2265. A convicted felon in the future, Tager said he was a test-pilot volunteer in a dangerous time travel experiment. If he was successful on his mission, his sentence would be overturned and he would be set free. The authorities in the future kept tabs on him via an implanted chip in his brain. During the examinations, Trager also confessed that he had attacked Dan Rather because he mistook him for the Vice President of his future world, one Kenneth Burrows.
When Rather saw a photograph of Tager, he identified him as his assailant.
..While the untamed, flesh-ish colored fur-like thing resting atop Trump’s head may look like his own hair, our investigators were shocked to discover its true origin: a genetically modified rodent. We learned that Trump employs a team of scientists consisting of biologists, geneticists and cryptozoologists who work full-time behind the ornate golden doors of a secret laboratory located inside Trump’s gaudy lavish New York penthouse. Their job is to create and raise a large herd of furry, chimera-like rodents consisting of the spliced DNA of orangutans, rabid weasels, caterpillars and most troubling, a dead chupacabra found flattened on a remote road in East Texas. Trump barges into the laboratory every morning to mercilessly grab a woeful creature and slap it atop his head. The younger, smaller creatures are used as Trump’s eyebrows and if you look closely, you may observe them curled up and sleeping on the hot orange flesh above The Donald’s angry eyes..