2004: Best. Year. Ever.

The Pajamahadeen are triumphant–Dan Rather is out.

This year just keeps getting better, and better, and better.

UPDATE: A number of readers, and much of the blogosphere, apparently considers Rather’s departure from the CBS Evening News, but not from CBS entirely, to be less than a triumph for Rather’s critics.

I scoff. I scoff.

This is a humiliating comedown for Rather. Yes, it’s a half-step. It’s CBS trying to finesse its way out from under a disgraceful fraud committed by the network’s most high-profile employee, but it is still a major, major defeat for CBS, and a crushing blow to Dan Rather. The CBS Evening News, even given plummeting ratings and a long slide in relevance, is still the crown jewel of CBS News. From its summit, Dan Rather has ruled the news division for a generation, effectively shaping a vast amount of the information that’s broadcast over the network.

He never–never–would have voluntarily given up that much power and prestige under pressure. No way in hell would Rather give his critics the satisfaction of seeing him removed from that chair if he had any prayer of holding on to it.

The “this is no big deal” spin is a lie. The king is dead, and the blogosphere killed him.


43 Responses to “2004: Best. Year. Ever.”

  1. elgato Says:

    Is Stephen dancing a jig with a cigar in one hand and a jigger or Scotch in the other? Maybe that explains his absence…

    Well, this news is certainly nice to take into the Holiday Season.

  2. Mike M Says:


    It looks like we’ll be able to add the liberal media (along with radical Islam and the Democratic party) to the list of things mortally wounded during the Bush administration years.

    Adding to the optimism is the fact that the media seems no longer willing or able to sustain the drumbeat of negativism concerning Iraq and the economy.

    2005 is going to be a great year. With any luck, Castro will buy it by Memorial Day!

  3. Ted B. Says:

    Rather’s leavinbf and Micjael Moore topped the “Frigid Fifty” list.

    What’s next?
    …The BBC announces that it will actually report the News?
    …Rupert Murdoch buys the NY Times?

  4. Calvin E. von Weissenfluh Says:

    Rather out? My God, it’s about time!

  5. Nick Says:

    I wouldn’t start shouting victory yet…

    “Rather will stay with CBS News, working full time as a correspondent for both editions of ’60 Minutes,’ and taking on other assignments as well.”

    Maybe he just wants to be able to dedicate more of his time to 60 Minutes. That way he can spend more time making the forgeries look real. The Evening News was too much of a distraction.

  6. jed Says:

    Agree with Nick. Yawn. When CBS announces that this is a demotion for RatherGate, then I’ll count it as notable.

    Considering that the TANG forgeries were a 60 Minutes fiasco, and Rather is actually going to get more focus there, this is mainly about CBS failing to really care about their credibility.

    Although they do at least mention it. But really, shouldn’t this be about a suspension until they finish their investigation?

  7. Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick Says:


    When will we hear more about this?

    That’s all I got this afternoon. The moving is almost complete at the office…photos later.

  8. Calvin E. von Weissenfluh Says:

    This doesn’t apply directly to Rather’s retirement but it does make for a nice daily double. Moyers will retire from PBS on December 17 too. One of them is about as bad as the other.


  9. A Recovering Liberal Says:

    Thank you, Nick, for pointing out that this really isn’t a victory. The man’s still employed in a high-profile capacity.

    It’s reaching a bit to attribute Rather’s job change to the blogosphere.

  10. Pamela Says:

    And, in a few weeks Brokaw will be gone.

    Rather should have been gone just a few days after the election, I think this is on his normal retirement or scale down schedule.

  11. Vox Poplar Says:

    Gee, I don’t why he’s leaving. All he did was force CBS to cut their foreign correspondent budget down to nothing so they could afford his bloated salary. Then he went on a binge of bogus news stories in a lame attempt at unseating Bush, completely ruining the integrity of a once trusted news organisation.

    Is Canadian John Roberts going to take over as anchor?

    I remember him as a VJ on Canadian music channel MuchMusic and the night he chugged champagne and got drunk on the air. Ironically, that might be a step up for CBS News in the integrity department. In vino veritas.

  12. John Bragg Says:

    Amazing. CBS decided to cushion the blow to Rather with what’s left of their credibility.

    So, when’s that report coming out, anyway?

  13. Spoons Says:

    Rather’s retirement at about this time was planned long before Rathergate happened.

  14. Mark Nehls Says:

    Here’s my headline:
    Rather Benched . . . Pajamas Have Possession . . . Game in Progress.
    Here’s the link: http://www.marknehls.com/spectator/2004/11/rather-benched-pajamas-have-possession.html

  15. A McLane Says:

    I got a chuckle out of the fact that CBS’ story ran on their Entertainment page, confirming for me that TV news truly is entertainment.

  16. Robert Schwartz Says:

    Let me know when Kenneth figures out what the frquency is.

  17. David Crawford Says:

    “The king is dead, and the blogosphere killed him.”

    Well then, where’s he buried — so I can go piss on his grave.

  18. A Recovering Liberal Says:

    Exactly, Spoons.
    “But even before the broadcast of the discredited Guard report, executives of the network, which is owned by Viacom, had begun to discuss an earlier end date with Mr. Rather’s representatives.”

    John, here’s news about the investigation, in the same link:
    “The inquiry’s two panelists… are expected to submit their report to senior network executives early next month.”

  19. A Recovering Liberal Says:

    Sorry about all that bold 😦

  20. Powerpundit Says:

    Blogosphere Reaction To Rather’s Departure

    Here is some of the reaction of the blogosphere to the impending departure of Dan Rather: Roger L. Simon:According to ABC, Dan Rather is stepping down as anchor of the CBS Evening News. He will still be keeping his role on “Sixty Minutes II”, but I ima…

  21. Jim R Says:

    When do we get our report on the RatherGate investigation. Is this the reason this dinasaur is being moved, because the report is not good news for CBS and this is their cover-up.

    I want to see and appology from before we let him off.

  22. Jules Says:

    Now THAT’S something to drink to!

  23. Charlie Quidnunc Says:

    I hope it’s o.k. that I read part of your post on my Podcast today. Every day I read what people are saying in the right wing blogosphere into an MP3 and make is available via RSS feed from http://feeds.feedburner.com/ripnread. I used your description Dan Rather move off the anchor desk as an illustration of what the blogosphere is saying about Can the Dan.


  24. MarkD Says:

    This isn’t THAT big a deal, sure Dan Rather gone is a case of karma finally coming due, but just like the Times replacing Raines, they’ll find a replacement for Rather just as biased only he won’t be noticed for awhile as much as Rather was, meanwhile, it’s business as usual at the Clinton Broadcasting Service.

  25. Mike M Says:

    Rather hanging around at 60 Minutes is a huge mistake. It’s like Jordan playing for the Wizards (sorry Mike, but it’s the easiest analogy to make).

    60 Minutes pretty nearly reached infomercial tabloid status during the campaign, and sticking a disposessed Rather there is just asking for trouble. It’s like telling Robert Downey Jr. he can’t come to your party, then locking him in a room full of crack.

    The probality of a humiliating meltdown is almost 1.00. How much pressure will there be on Rather to produce the big story? How far will he be willing to go to end his career with a bang instead of an embarassing fizzle? How much free reign will CBS be willing to give its former news boss?

    It’s like putting Ted Kennedy behind the wheel and pointing him at a bridge. Something spectacularly disastrous is bound to happen. You almost couldn’t ask for a better setup.

  26. PoliticAlex Says:

    Dan Rather out of the anchor seat in March 2005…

    but are we really surprised about this? Hurricane Dan has finally burbled down to something short of light winds with a chance of drizzle. Forevermore his abdication of the anchor chair will be tainted with the forged document scandal –

  27. PhantomObserver Says:

    So he’s still “corresponding” for 60 Minutes. So what?

    Because Rather no longer occupies a prestige position at CBS News, he has to compete with everyone else at both 60M units to get his stories on air. He (and his producers) now have bosses to answer to — who will insist on his upholding the news standards he ignored during Rathergate.

    He may do the occasional news special, but for all intents and purposes Rather’s career as an active broadcast journalist is over.

    You want a more ironical end? Petition CBS News to get Rather to operate a weblog.

  28. Aakash Says:

    But who will replace him?

    In many cases such as this, especially those involving liberals or neoconservatives, I would be quite glad to see a media figure go. However, when I was watching the news growing up, Dan Rather was the one who has always been on… He

  29. Jim R Says:

    Cronkite never to my knowledge wore his politics on his sleeve. Rather was no Cronkite.

  30. Mike M Says:

    Speaking of Connie Chung, something doesn’t add up here…

    Chung lets slip a throwaway statement by the mother of the Speaker of the House and gets canned.

    Rather is handed forged government documents by a Democratic Party operative, ignores his own experts concerns that they are phony, and uses them to resurrect an already debunked four year old story with no other purpose then to smear the sitting President of the United States…optimally timed to have the maximum impact before an election.

    And RATHER is the one that still has a job? WHAT???

    This fact, along with the fact that this has resulted in no loss of face with Rather among his colleagues, or really any repercussions at all speaks volumes about the state of the liberal media these days.

  31. Deacon Blues Says:

    The phony documents segment isn’t the only time Dan Rather has used phony stuff on a “news” program. In the late 70’s, I believe it was, he “interviewed” 3 “Viet Nam vets” about their stories of war crimes and atrocities. It turned out they had been in Viet Nam but one was never in combat and the other two had stories they made up. There was never any agknowledgement from Rather or CBS that those stories were fabricated.
    CBS will never do what is necessary to change how they portray the “news”.

  32. jay Says:

    First, let’s acknowledge how funny the pretensions of the dino-anchors are. They (Rather, Brokaw, Jennings) believe their departures are important to the public and they will be greatly missed. Little do they know animated characters soon will replace them and receive a much more attentive audience.

    But Will, you are right. One hundred percent right. The Blogosphere prevented an election from being decided or altered on the basis of false information. Dan Rather is irrelevant other than as a symbol for a bygone era of unchecked MSM bias…but that symbol is good enough for me.

    Along the same lines, although I don’t particularly like Rush Limbaugh, the flame-out of the MSM this year made me realize why the Left despised him so much. In a sense he represented the first crack in the dam, and only now as we move into the age of new New Media can we appreciate what he represented–the possibility of information democracy.

    These are great times.

  33. vidkun Says:

    Dear Stephen

    Re: Dan Rather

    The Cori Dauber website has this comment about Dan Rather:

  34. Deacon Blues Says:

    This is the link to the bogus Vietnam Vets story done by Doomed Dan.

  35. pete Says:

    You are all soooo full of your selves it makes me want to puke. Dubya took our country to war based on faulty evidence and he still has his job.

  36. jay Says:


    The DU now has a special needs sections (“GENERAL DISCUSSION”). They can help you refine and hone your arguments.

  37. SpinDaddy Says:

    “Disingenuous-Dan” is staying on at 60 minutes so he can finally devote the time necessary to uncovering the real documents that will prove Bush a shirker. After that he is going to apply his keen investigative skills to help OJ and Scott Peterson find out who really killed their wives. -SpinDaddy

  38. aaron Says:

    Common, fucking sense killed him.

  39. Jim R Says:

    Aaron….he just lost his sense. He’s still living, unless he’s done the honorable thing.

  40. Pajama Pundits Says:

    The Sad Saga of Dan Rather Continues

    Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, and CBS News are still under the illusion that they are pulling the wool over our eyes. There is evidence they are succeeding.

  41. freeradical Says:

    Mouth-breathing Bush spawn and their knuckle-dragging government goons kicked out of enlightened NY establishment. Progressive, thinking patrons roar in orgasmic glee and have party of the year.

    Suck on this asstards!

  42. Jim R Says:

    Your thoughtful and intelligent opinion prose is just the short of contribution Steve likes to see in his blogh in order to fairly debate the important issues of the day, FreeRad.

    Congradulation on the effort you put into your contribution.

  43. Notes from the (Legal) Underground Says:

    The Thursday Morning Politics Roundup

    This Week:

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