Thursday, March 10, 2005

Dan Rather, reporter

Dan Rather has ended 24 years in the anchor's chair at CBS News, a remarkable fact in a couple of ways. When Rather succeeded Walter Cronkite, there were more than a few office pools on how long he could last. Few people were as respected by the public as Cronkite, and the fiesty and passionate Rather was not given much of a chance at taking his place. Rather didn't take his place. Instead, through his good journalism and the force of his personality, he carved out a place of his own.

Another of the remarkable facts about all of this is that in the history of CBS News, there have only been three permanent anchors -- Cronkite, Rather and Douglas Edwards.

For all his years as anchor, however, Rather did not take to that job. He was always a reporter first. He was on the scene, not sitting at the anchor's desk, for most of the biggest stories of the last two generations -- Vietnam, the Kennedy assassination, the Civil Rights movement, Nixon's presidency and resignation, Iran-contra, and on and on. Rather's passion to report a story has never left him. Television -- and the world -- would be a better place if there were fewer of the babblerati and more journalists like Dan Rather. has a large section of material -- texts, pictures, video, etc. -- recounting Rather's career.

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