Dan Rather had no problem playing down his successor at the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric, and had no problem praising himself as someone who will "go down in history with Walter Cronkite."
I asked him if Katie Couric could do as good a job.
He said, "CBS thinks she will."
"The question was: Do you think she could?"
Dan said, "In time, I think she will. It took her 15 years to make the 'Today' show a hit. I'm sure it will take her longer than that to beat Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams."
I asked, "Is it accidental that you and Mike Wallace are leaving at the same time?"
Rather said, "We were the great ones. Mike and I will go down in history with Walter Cronkite and Maury Povich."
When I called back to CBS, they said the last they'd seen of Dan Rather, he was flying down outside the 30th-floor window of the CBS building.