A Dan Rather-less World

By June 21, 2006General

And so today we wake to the first day of the Dan Rather-less world, the first day in 44 years that we’ve not had Dan Rather attached to network TV. In one of those “wish we’d said that” lines, The Technology Liberation Front(TLF) described Rather’s melting last years as, “forgotten but not gone“.

In his presentation on blogging, our friend Mike Krempasky points out how many years Rather spent on TV, and asks the audience to imagine how much time (in hours, years) that equals. But, he points out, if you type “Dan Rather” into Google, what comes up most often are stories related to his last colossal blunder and his botched and ham-handed story about President Bush’s National Guard service. It will go down in history as the most public case of cosmic retribution ever recorded. A 44-year career is now synonymous with scandal and sloppy journalism.

However, its lessons for the emerging blogosphere are equally potent. A story that was years in the making evaporated within 48 hours after being aired because a document expert posted a comment on a blog that swept the blogosphere. In the wake of the resulting tsunami, mighty CBS was powerless. Other blogosphere-David victories over big media-Goliaths followed, but Rather was spectacularly the first.

Says TLF in conclusion:

“He wanted to be remembered. He will be, but not as a crack journalist or trusted national figure. Instead, he will be remembered as symbol of the “old media” world, whose downfall represented the collapse of that world.”

Dan Rather, rest in peace.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • http://stuffdaddy.blogspot.com/2006/06/dan-rather-song.html

    The Dan Rather Song
    by Jared Lucas Nathanson-

    I think we are all sorry, that you’re leaving CBS,-
    Honestly, we thought you left in 04, I confess.-
    I understand your move, since they took your anchor chair away,-
    After 44 long years you didn’t want to stay.-

    Growing up with you, there on the TV was sublime,-
    I honestly saw you as “Cronkite Junior” at one time.-
    You seemed so filled with passion for the news when I was ten,-
    When I turned twenty, you were rehearsed, like all other newsmen.-

    Once you lost your sincerity, for me that’s when you left,-
    They forced you past your principles into a public death.-
    You cried like a baby at 9/11 and said it was honestly,-
    But that’s not what you told the BBC.-

    If you’d faced this George Bush story, when you were in your prime,-
    America would’ve loved you more, they would have drawn the line.-
    But Dan, Republicans knew that your documents couldn’t prove the case,-
    Carl Rove shredded the real ones back during the Texas Governor’s race.-

    So CBS, in its new form, doesn’t want you on TV,-
    Next to Katie Couric, you’re not what they call cuddly.-
    If you stay, a desk is all they promise you will get,-
    But is it wise to trust Mark Cuban and go to HDNet?-

    For all your mistakes, I’ll say this Dan, you really don’t deserve,-
    To leave in shame, a footnote of when CBS lost their nerve,-
    Somewhere you’ll always be in that green flak jacket you had,-
    Sometime when you’re still our TV NewsDad.-

    So if you’re really leaving, but you still want to be heard,-
    Cast off the sad assumptions of what modern news has learned,-
    And for us, be that Newsman that you were always meant to be,-
    You can say whatever you want, now that you are free!-

    And take a page from Cronkite before you’re through,-
    He doesn’t give a f*** about CBS, George Bush or you!-

    Goodbye Dan!!