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Dan Rather leaving the CBS anchor chair in March

He’s going to do it on the 24th anniversary of taking over the seat from Cronkite, according to USATODAY. Did that Bush/National Guard story do him in? Who knows. It’s too bad he’s going out with this open issue (it was never proven the memo was fake, it was just called into question by the wingnuts). Rather has a long, worthy career of great reporting, including live coverage of the 1968 Democratic Convention when he was shoved to the floor by Mayor Daley’s thugs inside the convention hall, while anti-war uprisings occurred outside the hall.

The one thing I fault Rather for, and this applies to many of the current crop of veteran journalists, is that they do not respect the power of the internet as a resource for reporting and analysis. It’s like they have their heads in the sand about the impact of blogs and online communities. And when they do pop their heads up to take a look at the “new media”, they react in a way that suggests they are intimidated by this outlet of information and verification. The internet is rife with hoaxes and crackpots, but they miss the true journalistic forces out there, ready to question, verify and challenge our public officials and institutions as never before.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding