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Dan Rather -- Paris Hilton Root of All Media Evil

6/13/2007 3:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dan Rather continued his blowhard tour today, blaming the "dumbing down" and "tarting up" of news -- as he has put it -- on Paris Hilton and the media's blanket coverage of the heiress' jail travails.

Talking to FOX News, Rather slammed the wall-to-wall Paris-in-the-slammer coverage, criticizing his ex-bosses at CBS News for running Hilton stories on the evening news. "There's no empirical evidence that by going with Paris Hilton that [the newscast] attracts a younger audience," said Rather.

Rather tried to deflect criticism of news coverage from his replacement, Katie Couric, to his ex-boss, CBS CEO Les Mooves -- and now, inevitably, to Paris. Kenneth, what's the frequency?

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