Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dan Rather Sad

After 44 years at CBS, Dan Rather must be able to commiserate with the man he sent packing over 25 years ago, the once legendary Walter Cronkite. Unlike Cronkite, Rather was not ushered out by his successor but by the network brass after he shamed them and himself with Memogate and his subsequent nonsensical defenses of his tale. When he reluctantly retired from the anchor chair, CBS's rating increased significantly as veteran Bill Sheiffer stepped in admirably on an interim basis. Shortly thereafter, 60 Minutes Wednesday which featured Rather's unsubstantiated story was cancelled, and Rather ensconced himself at the original 60 Minutes show. Last season, Rather did only eight pieces last season (vis-a-vis the twenty of a normal workload). Now he is in contract talks with CBS, hoping to be able to stay at the news network that he once commanded.  Rather said that he has never had a conversation with  Sean McManus, CBS News President since October 2005, and had only said hi twice, once at a tribute to Ted Koppel and once a memorial service for 60 Minutes director Artie Bloom. Rather added, "I have no feelings about it: he's busy." He added, "As ridiculous as it might be, I'm still trying to do great jounalism. I would like to stay. . .."  However, he clearly does not know whether he still can hang his hat at the place that he lead, loved, and left adrift as CBS's face on the national news scene. A CBS News representative stated, "Dan is a 60 Minutes correspondent, and we don't comment on contractual issues."



jharkansas said...

Looks like Dan Rather is being shown the door, sort of a passive termination.

I'll miss Dan Rather and his election night performances.  Who can forget such ratherisms as:

"This race is tight like a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach."

"You talk about a ding-dong, knock-down, get-up race."

"The presidential race still hotter than a Laredo parking lot."

"Bush has run through Dixie like a big wheel through a cotton field."

"I think you would likelier see a hippopotamus run through this room than see George Bush appoint Ralph Nader to the Cabinet."

For the whole collection, see

jakeho said...

Joseph, it makes one miss Quayle quotes. At least, with Bush & Quayle (de ja vu!), you tend to think that their hearts are in the right place even as their minds mislead their mouths.

jharkansas said...

As much as I disliked Rather's involvement with Memogate, the ratherisms were rather endearing (forgive the pun).  What was interesting about Quayle's gaffs was the media attention and overkill.  If it weren't for talk radio and the alternative media, you would probably have never known that Gore had the foot-in-mouth predisposition of his official predecessor (and, one might argue, to a much greater extent!)

jakeho said...

Joseph, I was checking out Drudge this morning and came across a NYT article about Rather's departure from CBS and how truly sad he is. To be honest with you, it made me feel sorry for him. My mind goes back to Nixon's resignation and those very difficult times for him. Maybe, Rather will acknowledge his mistake openly some day and will be able to credibly contribute to the news again.