Online killed the video star

Online killed the video star

: The obit has been written many times. Tonight we buried the body.

This was the end of the era of the anchor, of news as a lecture, of one-size-fits-all media, of journalism on a pedestal.

That’s not Dan Rather’s fault. Other things are, but that’s not. tonight, he’s merely a symbol of an era that’s over.

I see no cause for regret. The era of the reporter — brave, swashbuckling, aggressive, eager — is not over; there will always be Dan Rathers who will stay on top of the big story and shout about it.

But the era of one-way news is gone. And in a sense, we have Dan Rather to thank for that. If his last mistake had been a little less obvious, if his response had been a little bit quicker, if his tone had been a little less arrogant, he’d be back on the news tomorrow night.

What matters isn’t that he’s gone. And what matters isn’t that bloggers got his head.

What matters is that bloggers have to be listened to. What matters is that the people will be heard.

Though I was hardly was his greatest fan, I have to admire Rather’s dogged energy and I have to feel some sympathy for ending his amazing run with a stumble.

But no one else would have provided the contrast he did: old v. new, big v. small, controlled v. open. By that contrast, we see the future of news.

The only problem for Rather was that his last big story was Rather.

: More reaction…

: It takes a special breed of balls to end the last broadcast with the word “courage.” I honestly don’t know whether he is all that hokey or whether he has a wicked sense of humor.

: Lone Ranger, a broadcast journalist, says:

Call me sentimental, but I watched the last minute of the CBS news tonight. It was the first time I’d watched Dan Rather in 20 years. But then, I had a box of chicken the day Colonel Sanders died too. Nothing dramatic happened. It was just chicken.

Oh, and nothing dramatic happened on the CBS news tonight either. He didn’t put a gun to his head, the staff didn’t break out in a spontaneous rendition of “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead,” not so much as a single tear slid down his cheek.