On The 'Early Show,' Harry Smith Takes A Shot At Dan Rather And Praises Schieffer

As Brent Baker noted, Thursday marked the end of Bob Schieffer’s reign as anchor of the CBS "Evening News." And like the "Evening News," the Friday "Early Show"played Katie Couric’s tribute video to Mr. Schieffer. After morning viewers watched the video, "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith sat down with Mr. Schieffer to discuss the future. Smith began this morning’s Schieffer tribute by taking a shot at the "Evening News" former anchor, Dan Rather:

"When Bob Schieffer stepped down as anchor fo the CBS "Evening News" on Thursday, he left the place in a lot better shape than he found it..."

Following the tribute video, Mr. Schieffer appeared on the "Early Show" to talk with Harry Smith about what the future holds. Although Mr. Schieffer will no longer anchor the "Evening News" broadcast, this does not mean he is leaving CBS, and in fact Schieffer will appear weekly on the "Early Show" to offer commentary and will also offer commentary on the "Evening News."

Harry Smith: "Let me fast forward a little bit and say that starting very soon, every Wednesday you’ll be coming along and we’ll get a chance to chat with you about politics in Washington and everything else. You’re not quitting your day job."

Bob Schieffer: " No, I’m not. And I’ll, I’m going to do a thing for you all on Wednesday mornings. I’m going to do a written commentary on the ‘Evening News’ once a week, and then I’ll be doing analysis as the news warrants..."

Yet in addition to Mr. Schieffers’ "day job," Harry Smith also noted other enterprises Schieffer has undertaken recently:

"Now I read in the papers this week that you’ve been writing songs and you’ve been writing poetry, when do we, or do you want us to do like a concert on the plaza for you when your album comes out?"

Schieffer laughed, and joked that the concert on the plaza was a good idea, and that he was spending his time now preparing for the Grammys, but on a serious note he added that one of the songs he wrote aired on the Baltimore radio station WBAL.

"Yeah, that would be very good. I mean, right now, I’m trying to think about what to wear to the Grammys, and I’m trying to work my way through that. I love to write songs, and I’ve got a partner Jean Brackman who actually can sing and we’ve put together two or three things now. We’ve got them on demo, as it were. One of them yesterday morning aired on WBAL in Baltimore. So, I can say I’m a published songwriter."

At the end of the interview, Smith presented Schieffer with a new Stetson hat as a gift from those at the "Early Show, " and the segments on Schieffer painted a picture of a man who is well liked and admired by his colleagues at CBS. However, a Nexis search discovered that when Dan Rather stepped down in March 2005, the "Early Show" ran only a taped tribute about Rather in the final segment of the program. There was no interview with Dan Rather to talk about the future and no live gift giving. This maybe because, as Smith noted at the top of his segment, that Rather didn’t leave the news room or the reputation of CBS in very good shape.

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