As someone who admired your anchor work, I urge you to move on and stop spewing nonsense about how CBS is "tarting up" the evening news. That's irresponsible and arguably sexist. Give Couric a break. She didn't do anything to you, regardless of how you feel about Moonves, the CBS Corp. chief executive.
If you keep this up, you'll be immortalized as a cranky old goofball, not a venerable journalist.
Let me put it in the kind of pseudo-Texas language that you appreciate, Dan: You're screeching louder than a coyote with its hind leg caught in a barbed-wire fence.
If you really want to get revenge on Moonves, just let Couric's ever-sinking ratings speak for themselves. Remember what the football coach Bill Parcells is fond of saying: You are what your record says you are.
Sadly, Dan, you're tarnishing your legacy. For 24 years, you were the anchor at "CBS Evening News," no small achievement in a notoriously impatient industry. Your 2005 exit from CBS following a disastrous story about President Bush's National Guard service had all of the pathos of Shakespearian tragedy.
Please do us all a favor, Dan, and show some dignity.
David Halberstam epitomized dignity.
In April, Halberstam died at the age of 73 when a car he was riding in was struck on a highway near San Francisco. He was on his way to do an interview for another book.
Halberstam was honored in a memorial service Tuesday afternoon at New York's Riverside Church, near Columbia University. The people who loved him and admired his work were, in one way or another, also paying tribute to the art of great journalism.
One after another, speakers celebrated Halberstam's classy life and brilliant work as a Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnam correspondent and later as a best-selling author.
Julia Halberstam, the late author's daughter, read an e.e. cummings poem. Paul Simon sang a rather somber version of "Mrs. Robinson."
As news stories have noted, the church was packed with journalism luminaries. Among those who delivered eulogies were well-known writers such as Neil Sheehan (my favorite speaker of the group), Dexter Filkins, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Anna Quindlen and Gay Talese.
Even with all of that star power on hand, I heard the best tribute to Halberstam from a woman named Joan. I met her on the long subway ride back downtown after the ceremony.
As it turned out, Joan was neither a journalist nor a celebrity. I asked her why she would make the trek uptown. She smiled and said that she was a student of history and impressed by Halberstam's work.
That pretty much said it all for me, too.
For months, the financial media have waited breathlessly for word that Fox News was assembling a staff for its upcoming business network on cable.
After all, many journalists began sending in their resumes about four seconds after Fox's parent, News Corp. , officially introduced the venture back on Feb. 8.
The pieces are falling into place. I've been hearing that Ray Hennessey, the well-regarded editor of SmartMoney's Web site, will oversee the Internet effort for Fox's new project and help build the network. He'll work closely with Alexis Glick, the director of business news for the Fox News Channel, a division of News Corp.
Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. have been busy lately. The company is trying to acquire Dow Jones, which owns the Wall Street Journal, Barron's and MarketWatch, the publisher of this column, among other assets.
Fox's business channel is slated to begin its operations in the fourth quarter. News Corp. hopes to add the Journal to its portfolio of media properties in time to incorporate it into the new television channel.
Hennesse, like Glick, is a veteran of CNBC, the business channel owned by the General Electric Co. that Fox hopes to crush. Hennessey appeared frequently at the lunch hour and offered witty observations on the day's news.
For her part, Glick was a senior trading correspondent for CNBC and reported from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for CNBC's morning program, "Squawk Box." Glick also was a correspondent for NBC's "Today" and co-anchored the show's third hour.
It has been interesting to watch the moves by Fox and CNBC as the two prepare to go into battle this fall. Publicly, CNBC has coolly acknowledged the Fox threat but insists that it'll continue to do what it has been doing, thank you very much.
Fox has remained mum. I've written that I suspect Fox will focus on tapping disenfranchised investors, a large group CNBC has overlooked.
CNBC -- which has been broadcasting from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and helped turn the exchange's opening bell into a media event -- has sought to be identified with corporate execs and Wall Street professionals. It's as if CNBC wants to be portrayed as a partner of the NYSE, the ultimate symbol of old money in the United States.
Meanwhile, media historians will note how Fox managed to topple CNN largely by appealing to another large, underrepresented (on TV news, anyway) and uniquely American force: the right wing.
Fox won't concede the Wall Street crowd to CNBC. It's making a bet that there's gold in investors including women, young professionals, students, investment clubs, day traders and mutual-fund holders.
MEDIA WEB QUESTION OF THE DAY: Did you find Dan Rather's outburst to be a) entertaining b) spot-on c) annoying or d) sad? (I'd vote for "d.")
FRIDAY STORY OF THE WEEK: "Whacking the Critics" by David Blum (New York Sun, June 12). Blum makes a reasonable point about how bloggers have enlivened the highly imperfect science of journalistic criticism. For my two cents, I'm not at all a big "Sopranos" fan, but I thought the ending of the final episode was fine. Rather than tie the series in a neat bow at its conclusion, writer and creator David Chase made the fans think for themselves, which people who watch TV really hate to do.
THE READERS RESPOND: "Back in the '90s I had the privilege of working with Charlie Gibson for three years at 'Good Morning America.' Since then, I've spent 14 years as a management consultant, working alongside multiple senior executives and many talented individuals. Charlie stands out among them all as one of the most professional and polite individuals I've ever known. His integrity, work ethic and demeanor are consistent and I believe that translates to the audience as well. The word 'anchor' is a very appropriate description." Mark Metcalf
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By Jon Friedman