February 28, 2005

RATHER WATCH TOM (via David Hill, The Bronx)


Not only is Dan Rather running third among viewers — he's running third at CBS, too.

The retiring evening-news anchor has become so irrelevant that even the network's heavyweights have been tuning him out.

"Rather is a superb reporter, and dead honest, but he's not as easy to watch as [ABC's Peter] Jennings or [NBC's Tom] Brokaw," said Mike Wallace, the relentless "60 Minutes" correspondent.

Rather, under fire for a sloppy report on President Bush's National Guard service, will retire March 9 after 24 years in the CBS anchor chair.

Not even the man he replaced, the venerable Walter Cronkite, thinks Rather is a must-see. Cronkite said he often watched recently retired NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw, and it seemed viewers felt "that Dan was playing a role of newsman, that he was conscious of this, whereas the other two appeared to be more the third-party reporter."

Cronkite said Rather was known for "showboating."

You have to wonder if even Mr. Rather watches his own broadcast.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2005 10:58 AM

Being called 'honest' by the head sleazebag at 60 Minutes is a dubious compliment. That the senile Commie, Cronkite, watches Brokaw makes me happy that Mumbles is back spongebathing the old folks in Homer Simpson's Springfield right about now.

Posted by: Bart at February 28, 2005 1:37 PM

Rather hasn't even left and already their dissing him. That is truly sad. Six months ago, those same people were lined up to lick his boots. How the mighty have fallen.

Posted by: Brandon at February 28, 2005 2:17 PM

Cronkite's been waiting for this day for almost a quarter-century now, since Dan and his agent pulled that power play back in 1980 that got CBS to force Uncle Wally out of the anchorman's chair before he wanted to leave.

Watching Dan stay on as anchor of the show for seven years longer than Cronkite was allowed to stay due to CBS's manditory retirment policy has to have made the wound fester even worse than it was already. Under those circumstances, even as much as Cronkite hates George W. Bush, he probably secretly enjoyed watching the guard memo story blow up in Dan's face.

Posted by: John at February 28, 2005 3:57 PM

From Cronkite's biased reporting on the Vietnam War - which was critical in getting us to cut and run - to Rather's on-air support for anything-but-Republican policies, the gravitas of CBS talking heads is in the grave.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at March 2, 2005 1:39 AM