Once assumed to be the likely successor to Dan Rather, White House correspondent John Roberts is leaving CBS to become CNN's "senior national correspondent" starting February 20.
At CBS, Roberts defined himself as part of that network's liberal spin machine -- castigating conservatives, adoring liberals -- highlights of which are documented in this 2004 Media Reality Check (obviously written before CBS became infatuated with Katie Couric). One of the best quotes came when Roberts was filling in for Rather on the CBS Evening News back on May 30, 1994, when he offered this ridiculously sensationalized take on "lethal" golf courses:
"With the Memorial Day weekend, you've been hearing plenty of stories about summertime health hazards to watch out for in the weeks ahead. Some of those hazards, though, may be less obvious than others. For example, a day at the golf course. There's fun, sun, exercise, and nature -- and just maybe, a toxic cocktail right under your nose. If you took all the golf courses in all the land and put them together they would equal the size of Delaware and Rhode Island. But the chemicals needed to tend those 3000 square miles of grass are raising fears the links may be lethal."
He'll fill Aaron Brown's shoes nicely.
UPDATE: CBS's Public Eye blog has posted John Roberts' farewell letter to his CBS colleauges. An excerpt:
Leaving CBS News will be difficult - no question. The ache of anxious
anticipation has been gnawing away at me for some time now. It's not
just the thought of leaving behind the comfort of familiar
surroundings. It's about the many colleagues around the world whom I
have come to call friends. It's about the collective pride we share to
put the best product we can on the air. It's about the spirit of
competition and collegiality to drive this beast across the goal line
each and every night.
I truly believe that journalism is one of those "higher callings" -
and I will feel forever blessed that I had the opportunity to spend the
lion's share of my career at CBS.