Gallery of art and thoughts

The cartoons and contemplations of a twentysomething copy editor.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Rather signs off

Dan Rather has retired from CBS, 24 years to the day after taking over from Walter Cronkite. I watched his farewell retrospective, and it was amazing to see images of the protests of the 1960s, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War, and the Watergate scandal. Rather has done some solid reporting, and it's wrong for some to carp at his botched coverage of President Bush's National Guard days.

That said, last night was the first time I've intently watched a news-related story on television. I'm not sure how representative my experience is, but I get most of my news from online sources. The Web seems like the best way to get the latest coverage. I feel that TV is at its most powerful when we confront moments of increased importance: the shock of 9-11, the war in Iraq.

Rather's worth may lie in providing us with a face that we can connect with the news; a familiar presence. I would guess that's what kept people listening to Cronkite and Rather. The idea of an impartial presence seems to be losing popularity, however. These days, even the more impartial hosts like Chris Matthews have their biases. I wonder how much longer the Rather ideal can sustain itself.


At 2:01 PM, Blogger trekker9er said...

"The idea of an impartial presence seems to be losing popularity."

Actually, I think it's that people are becoming so entrenched in Left vs. Right that those who are Conservative view impartiality as being Liberal, and those who are Liberal view impartiality as being Conservative.


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