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Dan Rather not a fan of new CBS Evening News

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 12th 2007 12:05PM

Katie CouricFormer CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather has some harsh words for the show and Katie Couric.

Rather was on MSNBC, talking to Joe Scarborough (he's in Imus' spot in the morning right now) via phone. Although he said that Couric is a nice person, he also said that the show has been "dumbing it down, tarting it up," and that they're really focusing too much on celebrity coverage now.

One can only assume that by "tarting it up" Rather is talking about ...Couric's legs? I mean, it's not like they have supermodels come out holding up big cards telling viewers what story is coming out next, so it must be that. As for dumbing it down, is it really dumbed down? I've watched the show and it seems to cover the big stories up front in a serious way, and it also covers the lighter stuff (as do Charles Gibson and Brian Williams on the other networks). Of course celeb coverage is excessive and that needs to be changed, but it's an across-the-board problem not just on CBS.

Is it because she's a woman and just doesn't have that problem? Hmmm ...Diane Sawyer is a woman and has anchored ABC World News several times. Is it because Couric is from a morning show and has no "gravitas?" Hmmm ...Charles Gibson is from Good Morning America. Is it a combo of the two? Or is it simply the fact that no matter what CBS does, because of the big lead that ABC and NBC have had for a while and the slow demise of network news in general, the ratings will never go up and this is how it will be from now on?

Update: CBS head Les Moonves calls Rather's remarks "sexist."

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"Street Cred" Is important In The News Business.
I'm Not Sure Most People Actually Believe What Katie Says--She Actually Knew About, Before The Telepromtor Kicked In.
Mr. Moonves Is Not the Smartest Guy In The World, either.
Just The Point Man, For CBS.
"The News, Is what We Say It Is" Is A Bad Motto For CBS.
Including Thier Political Agenda.

June 14 2007 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked Dan when he was on. I, also, think he was right on his report on President Bush. I, also, believe the White House was behind it to get him fired.

Katie, I like very much. I e-mailed her last week and told her so. I told her that she should be herself, soft and feminine that she did not have to be a stuff shirt to report the news and did not have to dress like one. I, also, told her that I, my daughter's family, my neighbors, and that my four sisters watch her. I told her not to give Bill O'Reilly a second thought and that most of those on the FOX Network needed to get another job.

June 14 2007 at 3:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JC Wolf

Hey, I like Dan and I like Katie, but I think Dan is way out of line here. However, I have noticed a lot of writers, and mostly men BASHING WOMEN lately. More and more women on the cop show are torn apart violently.. ever notice that lately?

June 14 2007 at 1:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Katie Couric is "out of her class" doing the CBS Network News - but... Dan Rather is not showing any class with his jealous opinions. He could still be there - doing a bang=up job if his staff had not "dumbed down" and got caught with their lack of credibility. And I must say - I am not a fan of Bush. But a smart Newsman is responsible for what he reports -

June 14 2007 at 1:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really liked Katie on her morning show, but do not watch her evening news show, for some reason it just does not hit the spot...I really like Dan Rather and feel that he was Swiftboated by those Texas operatives. Be glad when them and theirs are no longer in the picture...I wonder if any of the Bush supporters are ever embarrassed by the constant fighting everyone who says anything bad about Bush. Why do they think Bush needs so much attention? Do they know he was slighted a little when it comes to the brain?...

June 14 2007 at 12:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People!!!!!!!!!!Leave Katie alone,all she's doing is trying like every other person make a living in a honest way to bring up her 2 kids,infact all this hatred on this site makes me watch her the more and you know she does a good job and she has the news.In fact I like the way she makes the environment calm and the way she like a mother covered the Virginia Tech incidents.She brought us onlines news and you can watch them anytime anywhere and now there's DVR which doesn't get in the counts so to me she gets 2 more million ontop of the 6 million and you might be suprised that she leads as anytime people talk about her more people watch her and like all the new things and every day she has something new to learn,GET OVER IT PEOPLE LET THE WOMAN DO WHAT SHE DOE BEST,otherwise whoever thinks they can do better,need to have their own and we'll see how well they will do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 13 2007 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Dan Rather is "rather" full of himself... after all, as a "network newcaster," is he not a Media Performer himself? He complains we devote too much time to "celebrities".... isn't he a "TV celebrity" himself? (um, what are his credentials? Did he go to college? Does he have a journalism degree?) Let's not even get started about the double standard, and how men can be ugly/ wrinkly/"mature" looking, while women no matter their age have to look "pretty" to be on TV news..........
I get Dan's point that traditional (going back to the 1950's at the inception of the TV tube in the living room) "anchor news reporting" is a more serious art form than its modern bastard child "Infotainment," but let's all remember that what initially drove Dan to succeed still drives it all.... money money money. Give the network that old fashioned advertising dollar and I will ride on the gravy train of success. Go Dan go...

June 13 2007 at 10:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Shaffner

While I'm no fan of Katie, her daily half-hour news broadcasts contain an average of 18 news stories - less 3 'fluff' stories, or 15 hard news stories -- In contrast, both Brian Williams and Charlie Gibson average less than 10 - and at least 3 of those are 'fluff'. Bottom line - Katie delivers more informative news in her half hour and has managed to keep it objective (unlike Dan Rather).........I watch Katie over Brian or Charlie and hope she sticks with it -- and improves her delivery -- Right now I agree with many of the other comments -- her delivery is too 'soft'.

June 13 2007 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Uh oh.....one liberal picking on another....What is this world coming to??? I thought they were compassionate with one another.

June 13 2007 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Glad to have a chance to weigh in thanks to AOL's vigilence on topics of interest for it's users. That said, I think Rather is being the pundit he usually is when he talks about "tarting" up the CBS News, if indeed one can call it news given the propensity for fluff packages afetr the required first 8 minutes of so-called hard news. I think the problem is not with the anchor people after all they are mostly reading their stories and then switching to some field reporter for more "depth" or 1 1/2 minutes of rapid montage, but with the choice of what is really news as we have come to expect it from the newscasters. News by definition is something that is "breaking" and has relevance to the national interest. Couric or whomever on the networks reports on mostly on going events like water draining from the everglades. I would like to see all the networks come back to real stories from around the world not just items that suit news editors as a sop to titillating the public. In any case there is a big gap between entertainment and news and the networks haven't really defined the but bless their pointed heads they are trying to entertain us with news...'nuff said. As for Couric, she is a failure at her job by both her dismal ratings and the media critics' complaints. Get the hook CBS.

June 13 2007 at 9:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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