Rather Intensifies Couric-bashing

Dan RatherEx-CBS anchor Dan Rather is stepping up his sour grapes routine against Katie Couric, telling TVWeek magazine that it's only a matter of time before his former employer cancels the "Evening News" entirely:

Dan Rather, who last month accused broadcast networks of dumbing down and tarting up their newscasts [a story which you heard here first], said he can foresee a time when media company executives retreat from evening news production.

“I think we’ll see the time when someone at the top says, ‘We can give this time back to affiliates,’” Mr. Rather said Monday in a discussion with TelevisionWeek Publisher and Editorial Director Chuck Ross at the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing convention in Washington.

Mr. Rather, who now anchors “Dan Rather Reports,” a weekly news show on Mark Cuban’s HDNet, said media executives’ focus on audience ratings and attracting certain age groups of viewers is eroding the quality of the newscasts.

“The tendency is to dumb it down and sleaze it up,” Mr. Rather said, echoing statements he made last month. Those earlier comments, made in response to a question about current “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric, started a back-and-forth with CBS CEO Les Moonves, who took issue with Mr. Rather’s remarks.

Today, Mr. Rather said his criticisms of the CBS news program didn’t include anything he wasn’t hearing from inside the CBS organization.

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock declined to comment on Mr. Rather’s statements.

Mr. Rather today said he doesn’t know whether Ms. Couric is the right person to lead “Evening News,” noting it will take more time to determine whether viewers embrace her.

“It’s been a short time,” Mr. Rather said. Asked whether he thinks Ms. Couric will work as anchor, he said, “The odds are longer now.”

Incidentally, this has always been Rather's m.o. Back in the 90s when he was forced to anchor the news alongside Connie Chung, Rather routinely called up television reporters and trashed his colleague's professionalism and competance. The only difference now is that he has nothing to lose.

Yet another example of how liberal white people support affirmative action only so long as it doesn't affect them.

He's right about "Evening" getting the ax though. I expect within five years there will be no need for such a broadcast.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013