Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Would you Rather have fries with that?

I've been searching for the right words about Dan Rather's announced retirement in March. If it had really been about RatherGate (the only thing to actually have a Gate out of this whole damn administration), they probably wouldn't have kept him on the air for Election Day where he could keep insisting that Ohio was too close to call until 4 in the morning when everyone else had said Bush won hours before. So, I didn't know what to think at first. But Hoffmania, I think, has it.

I do think the Bush National Guard story may have been instrumental in his decision, but in a very different way than the "He's being pushed out" scenario everyone's embracing. Maybe it was the final straw in this hyper-sensitive political climate telling Dan that it ain't gonna be as free a press as you remember, pal.
I imagine that Bush's re-election also factored in. Realizing that the same dipstick who got him in so much trouble just for doing his job was selected to run this country again just made it all the more easy to retire. Dan Rather is 73 now. I wish him well. He's been a great beacon of journalistic integrity his whole career, and while I think he's missed a few stories and followed the pack a few too many times, he has always done his job in a professional manner. He's someone to be looked up to and emulated by the broadcaster who takes his place. I've heard the name Jon Stewart mentioned a few times. I can tell you right now that Stewart wouldn't do it. He likes the job he has and I imagine he likes the relative freedom of being the entire news dept. for Comedy Central. But if he did take the job, I know I would watch it and I know he would be a very worthy successor to Rather. I know that Stewart has integrity and a great sense of what is important and what is not. I know Dan Rather would be pleased.


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