March 10, 2005


I've looked but can't find the audio of a BBC interview last night that was just brutal. They had Dan Schorr on to talk about Dan Rather's last night. Personally, I expected Mr. Schorr to cut his former colleague some considerable slack, even though I recall he's said in the past he was appalled by the lapse in journalistic standards surrounding the Bush in the Air Guard story.

Instead, he just savaged Mr. Rather. The interviewer asked about the final newscast, which apparently was a Dan hosted tribute to Dan, with cuts from his whole career. Mr. Schorr said it was typical of the man and he'd marvelled for decades now at how he made it seem every story was about himself. He mentioned how there was footage of Dan climbing hills in Afghanistan and crossing rivers in Vietnam and "you may not have found out anything about where he was reporting from but you sure learned a lot about Dan."

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 10, 2005 7:49 PM

So far I've heard Cronkite, Don Hewitt, Andy Rooney, Bernie Goldberg, and other current and former CBS employees each take their shots at Rather. Does anybody who's ever worked for or with him actually like the guy?

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at March 10, 2005 8:29 PM

Just Peggy Noonan.

Posted by: oj at March 10, 2005 8:32 PM

Next to Barbara Walters bigfooting her way into the anchor's chair at ABC in the mid-1970s, no news person ever pulled off a more transparently self-serving stunt as Ranther's garroting of both Walter Cronkite and Roger Mudd at the same time in 1979, ironically using the Walters-Harry Reasoner failure and then ABC's flawed "Wide World of News" concept to toss both men down the elevator shaft, by threatening to bolt to ABC if he didn't get the job.

Reading everyhting that's come out about Rather in the past month, I'm really starting to think this is the reason why folks like Cronkite, Schorr, Don Hewitt, Andy Rooney and Mike Wallance have hung on for so long -- just to be alive for the pleasure of finally paying back Rather for his Sammy Glick-like actions in getting to the top 25 to 35 years ago. Now that he's gone, they may all start dropping over like flies since the can rest in peace believing those old scores have been settled.

Posted by: John at March 10, 2005 9:43 PM

Man. Don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out. Why did thay ride that dead horse for so long?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 11, 2005 2:37 AM

I hate to say it, but it's the result of copyright. Copyright gathers power into the hand of a few people rather than allowing a discourse. It won't be long before all information on the internet will come under some body like the FCC and it will be sued to death under copyright infringement, patents, campaign finance reform, you name it.

The original idea behind copyright was the queen giving you the right to publish something (and it obviously had to further the queen's agenda). Everyone else was not allowed to express their opinion. We see this in today's media (with the queen being select pressure groups or media conglomerates).

Dan Rather is a buffoon whose version of "truth" is suspect. His power came solely from the select status the network has, which is given by the government.

I am not an anarchist, except in the realm of ideas. The thought that someone can "own" an idea, even the particular expression of an idea, is wrong, even if it were to mean that authors or artists became destitute (which wouldn't happen -- only the media companies and their shareholders would lose out -- good artists would make more money locally, just not kazillions like a few do).

If the media companies lose their state-given stranglehold, then men like Dan Rather would become more like your local communist sympathizing newspaper editor -- much less influential -- and much poorer.

Posted by: Randall Voth at March 11, 2005 4:30 AM

I caught a bit of Rather on Letterman last week (usual because I almost never watch Letterman, I grew tired of Letterman years ago). Well, Dan was talking about his career in the "Green Jungle Hell" of Vietnam. It was classic Gunga Dan.

Posted by: pchuck at March 11, 2005 9:48 AM