ABC's Ted Koppel, Michel Martin Join Up With NPR; Dan Rather Touts News "Standards"

ABC and NPR are acting like kissing cousins. Ted Koppel, now retired from "Nightline," will provide commentaries for NPR, about once a week, the report suggests. He professes his love for NPR and how he's stolen many ideas from them. (This might explain some of the liberal bias on ABC.) His producer Leroy Sievers has been working at NPR in recent months, too. In recent years, commentaries on NPR have been less political than you might expect, but I don't think Koppel will record chats about making icea tea in the sun. I'd bet on John Chancellor-style pompous-windbag political commentaries. (You can see the genre is you scroll down here.) Koppel will also write (liberal) editorials for the New York Times. Oh goody.

ABC reporter Michel Martin will leave her full-time ABC duties to concentrate on an African-American afternoon show on NPR. She'll also pitch in on other NPR shows, and still pitch in on "Nightline." (This isn't that unusual, since ABC and NPR shared Cokie Roberts for years, as well as Nina Totenberg, to a lesser extent.) This is in addition to NPR's other black-oriented show, "News and Notes with Ed Gordon." Martin's most egregious report for ABC (okay, then she was known as Michel McQueen) was a one-hour Anita Hill-boosting, Clarence Thomas-bashing special in 1994 for the old show "Turning Point."

Over at CBS, Dan Rather gave a chat in Austin courtesy of the local PBS affiliate (and an aggressive corporate self-promoter that gave liberals the willies). He appeared "close to tears" on several occasions, a local paper reports, but he came to deliver a "a boilerplate call for better journalism standards and more international coverage." This is, of course, like RJR Reynolds giving a pep talk about not smoking. Although he carefully avoided specifics, and wouldn't answer direct questions about the Memogate fiasco, he said the news industry, in general, "needs a spinal transplant."

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