10 March 2005

What was the frequency Kenneth?

Dan Rather is gone and all the mushy tributes have been paid to him.

See ya later buddy.

Personally, I never found him of much use either as a reporter or an anchor. His retort to Nixon, overplayed yesterday was the kind of snotty, rude comment that brought reporters into disrepute. Worse still, it didn't even make any sense. It was a stupid remark, devoid of any sign of intelligence.

Rather injected himself and artificial drama into his reporting to the point where, as many pointed out, he became the story. When he cried on Letterman, there went a moment that Letterman on another network would have ripped to shreds. Too bad Rather managed to hang on long enough to pass the "Icon" threshold. American media Icons are judged by age, not ability, obviously.

My favourite Dan Rather story is still the one from the mugging back in New York in the 80s. In his statement to police, Rather claimed his attackers yelled one of two things:

- Give us all your money? or
- What is the frequency, Kenneth?

I haven't figured it out yet, but that idiotic statement to police about Kenneth seems to epitomize Dan Rather as reporter and Dan Rather as anchor of a major network's nightly newscast for a quarter of a century. Ponder the weight and implication of that for a while. Think of all the poor sods who only listened to Rather.

Thank heavens CBS has put a solid journalist in the anchor chair full time for the first time in 25 years, in the person of Bob Schieffer.

But why do I think the permanent Rather replacement is gonna be John Roberts, known to Canadians by his real name, MuchMusic VJ J.D. Roberts?


If they want a woman, I hear Erica Ehm is looking for steady work.


Postscript -

Ok. So after I wrote this I decided to flip over to CBS.com and see what JD's bio actually says.

It is laughable.

"Prior to joining CBS News, Roberts had been co-anchor of "Canada A.M," CTV's top-rated morning news program (1990-92) and an anchor/correspondent at WCIX-TV (now WFOR-TV), the CBS Owned station in Miami (1989-90). He also served as an anchor and correspondent for several broadcasts of City TV in Toronto (1979-89)."

Several broadcasts???? As in one or two appearances over a 10 year period?

Here's a better link to J.D. when he wasn't the airbrushed, carefully coiffed virtual talking head he has become. Here's another picture of J.D. from the old days for good measure.

Be proud of your past, J.D. It could be the funky background that could open up the anchor desk to you on a network desperate to recover from the s***-knocking Rather gave to their credibility just before he bailed out.

Imagine handling the news like Much does from their open studio/office concept.



A job for J.D.

Not for John. (The No Anchor concept)