Off the air
: Just got home after taping Deborah Norville’s show; it’s on the air now. I have to say that she does a good job; she runs a sane show; she was well-researched; she involved everybody; and she was tough on CBS — Norville was downright shocked that this happened from the No. 1 guy on a big story about the President only 50 days before an election.
I was impressed with Hugh Downs, who said that anchors used to do commentaries; the last was John Chancellor. I like that idea; it’s a way for an anchor to reveal his viewpoint and separate it from reporting the news — while allowing us to know his perspective and judge his delivery of the news based on that.
As for me… I talk too damned fast, I know. So shoot me. More above.
: I also made the point tonight that when I didn’t cover the Rather story, the commenters here complained and I apologized and then you actually thanked me. I said that Rather could have done likewise.
: Now I’m watching Michael Wolff of Vanity Fair and he’s making no sense. He’s telling CBS that if they believe the story they should keep on it. Then he says that this is a “take down” by those who wanted to discredit the story of Bush. No, no, no. The story is now that Rather based his story on obvious forgeries from a sleazy source and went with it even after ignoring warnings. It’s a media story, Mr. Media Critic. But he chooses to ignore that.
: In the green room before the taping, I watched Tom Shales of the Washington Post practicing similar flagrant cognitive dissonance, or worse. He said that Dan Rather didn’t lie but George Bush does lie.
: On the show, they kept referring to me as a media critic. I kept insisting I just wanted to be called a blogger. It’s not a good night for media critics.
: Later, watching Letterman: “Tonight on the CBS Evening News, we report nine real stories and one fake one. Can you guess which one?”