Friday, June 23, 2006

Rather uneventful exit

First off, I apologize for the title pun

Dan Rather's unceremonious exit from CBS is hardly unique. Edward R. Murrow had the same fate as his broadcasts were shoved to the Sunday afternoon graveyard for broadcasting. I can partly blame Rather as the network gave him a fairly respective sendoff from the nightly news. It would have been a dignified way to leave the network altogether and go out - maybe not at the top of his game, but dignified nonetheless. If you're looking for an undignified exit, look no further than Connie Chung's latest exit.

But I understand that when something is so ingrained in your DNA like journalism, leaving the position is akin to being sent to a nursing home. A minor story on 60 Minutes is still a story on national television and after being on the air for the nightly news for more than two decades, any story is better than no story.

I sort of equate Rather to Dan Marino. Marino was a capable quarterback, but his last game he was humiliated by a 62-7 thrashing by the Jaguars. He had ample opportunities to retire before this last game, but he just couldn't do it.

Much has been made about the "changing of the guard" for the nightly news. To some, Katie Couric's assumption of the nightly news throne symbolizes the hyper-competitive nature of journalism. Media has never had a good track record of sending out their old stars on a high note since there's a deep talent pool of energetic, young, hungry reporters and broadcasters who are willing to work punishing hours for little to no pay. But the cynics only need to look at the success of Bob Schiffer to realize that youth doesn't always equal ratings.

A separate note -

Living a dog-free existence hasn't been easy. It's given me time to think about how I would be able to afford a house where I could indeed house a dog, pay for student loans and pay for an eventual car payment whenever my Corolla decides it's had enough. Scores of journalists have been able to do this. But like teachers, most are lucky enough to pay rent for their apartments and student loans.

That said, if I can't have a dog as of now, I can certainly volunteer. I came across this story from the Heartland Weimaraner club and gave a donation. Yes, I know there are homeless shelters that need donations, anti-poverty organizations that need donations. But that still doesn't erase the fact that two dogs were found abandoned under a bridge, both sustained injuries from an apparent hit and run and both will need surgery. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. Here's the link to Charlie and Parker's story -


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