Number crunchers at CBS would applaud that move. Dan could do no worse than Katie in the ratings derby. More importantly, a Rather restoration would spark a serious debate on what is needed to shake up America's corporate-owned media.
Rather’s eloquent attack of Big Media reminds one of the absolute mess that the Fourth Estate finds itself mired in. During his June 7 speech, the proud Texan ripped Big Media’s acceptance of “message discipline” (e.g., “stonewalling) by the Bush Administration. He blasted nightly newscasts for dutifully repeating the “same non-answer we’ve already heard dozens of times, which amounts to a pitch for the Administration’s point of view, whether or not the answer had anything to do with actual question that was asked.”
While Big Media goes out of its way to allow the Administration to “connect the dots,” those who say “wait a minute, something’s not right here,” are shunned. The press treats them like crackpots or lone wolves with an ax to grind even if what they say is apparent by all to be the truth. Any testimony that counters the Administration’s spin remains unreported.
Rather sees Big Media conflicted when it comes to programming “good responsible news worthy of its Constitutional protection. The incentive to produce quality news is absent, and that is: quality news of integrity, by its very nature, is sure to rock the boat now and then.” And the last thing corporate masters of America's newsroom want is to rock federal regulatory officials.
CBS could lead the way to restoring trust in the media by wooing Dan back to the anchor role. It probably wouldn't take much more than an apology to Dan for the disgraceful way the-long ago “Tiffany Network” mistreated him.
Bill Moyers is another free agent who is ripe for the plucking. That conscience of journalism also spoke at the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis over the weekend. And true to Dan’s point, Big Media largely turned a blind eye to the activists who spoke at the conference. They are all boat rockers.