On the CD player right now: (the best of) NewOrder. That song “Bizarre Love Triangle” is one of my favorite sing-along songs – “Waiting for that final moment…”
Good bye to Dan Rather, the anchorman. I missed watching the actual goodbye itself (I just don’t get home early enough for the weeknight news anymore), but in the primetime slot, CBS broadcasted a tribute show, “Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers.” Daily News tv critic, David Bianculli, gave it 3 1/2 stars out of the 4 star range – and I have to agree, after watching it, that was a nice tribute. It gave a good roundup of the life and career of Dan Rather, Reporter. Rather the Reporter gave it as good as he got. As Bianculli notes:
[The tribute/retrospective] does exactly what so many of Rather’s critics lately have refused to do: It puts his career in a full and fair context.
“A Reporter Remembers,” airing at 8 p.m., doesn’t shrink from the so-called Memogate that cost four of his colleagues their jobs and shadowed Rather’s exit from the flagship newscast, but he doesn’t lead with or obsess over it, either. […]
This special makes clear, though, that Rather doesn’t feel defeated, and has a lot about which to feel proud. More than that, it shows flashes of defiance that are as much a part of Rather as any colloquial homilies.
“A Reporter Remembers” doesn’t seek out current colleagues to assess Rather’s personality and legacy. Instead, it turns for perspective to Rather’s former CBS News and network boss, Howard Stringer, who recently was promoted to run all of Sony.
“He’s inclined to be lightning,” Stringer says of Rather. “His personality,” Stringer adds, “resists the idea of anchor.”
Stringer says it, Rather says it, and the footage in “A Reporter Remembers” certainly supports it: Rather thinks of himself as a reporter, first and foremost.
And, I agree – the clips of Rather the Reporter, from his days in Vietnam, in the White House press corps (annoying LBJ and Nixon), were really good compelling stuff. And, Rather telling his anecdotes about being spat at while covering the Civil Rights movement stories were moving stuff, especially coming from his Texas background and having grown up during the segregation era. And, I felt for him as he was being accused of having “liberal bias” (frankly, Rather’s bias always seemed more about personal bias – as in “I’m Rather the Reporter, Out for The Story”; and anyway, I just don’t think “liberal” ought to be seen as some derogatory term). But, I was always underwhelmed by Rather the Anchorman. Maybe his post-anchorman news life can remedy all this that has happened to him. I think Dan deserves better in his twilight years.
Oh, and the way the tribute ended with clips of Rather’s weird commentary from the insane Election Night of 2000 – that was just hilarious. Rather: “The fat lady may not have sung yet, but she’s backstage humming…” 😉
And, other news stuff – Nightline had a story on bloggers last night. Really interesting stuff – the bloggers out there are convinced that they’ll take over the world – but, during a weekly discussion at Harvard Law, they’ll concede that this is still some work in progress, since the rules on blogging aren’t really there, even if, as a form of media, the power to post stuff makes them no less powerful than the NY Times or other media entities on line. Hmm.
I taped last night’s Fox’s “House, M.D.” and watched it – hilarious dramedy. The series has set in the pattern: Dr. House, brilliant diagnostician, is trying to bail out of clinic work, by driving the chief Dr. Cuddy insane; Dr. House all but kills the patient by trying to figure out what the mysterious malady of the week is; Dr. House drives his staff, Drs. Cameron, Foreman, and Chase, insane; Dr. House is ultimately proven right. The medical stuff is still too much to swallow. But, I love the character bits. Too many funny stuff, as the character development takes another notch up – with how Cameron, the young woman doctor who has chemistry with just about all the men in the show, teases Australian dr. Chase, after the patient’s fiancee queried about whether rough sex might have made the patient sick. Cameron pushes Chase’s buttons, making him sweat with her funny monologue on how physically dangerous sex is, but for the fact that “God makes it so much fun.” Hehehe. (Chase obviously thinks Cameron’s hot, but not wanting to admit it; and, anyway, he got all defensive on her last week, when he refused to confess why he was so upset with his own genius doctor dad). So glad to hear that FOX is renewing “House, M.D.” (even if it is a show produced by NBC-Universal’s production company!).
Ah, but I do swear, in an alternate, fantasy SSW universe, the perfect tv network would let me enjoy my shows without over-relying on my VCR. No time slot conflicts – “Amazing Race” and “House” and “American Idol” and “Alias” can happily co-exist. I would still be able to enjoy sampling “Veronica Mars” or PBS shows without feeling too guilty over missing episodes. Oh well.
Comics: “Doonesbury” is currently doing a tribute to the late Hunter S. Thompson, journalist. Thompson has passed away, but the Doonesbury character inspired by him, Uncle Duke, isn’t (well, he’s still more or less among the living, anyway). Even cooler – the Doonesbury website’s honoring Thompson by posting the comic strips that introduced Uncle Duke (ah, so now I see how Uncle Duke isn’t really Zonker’s uncle, but a Zonker Harris family friend. Still – Zonker inherited some of Uncle Duke’s weirdness).
I will unfortunately miss the Law School Alma Mater’s auction tomorrow – ah, the amusing law school social event. But, maybe I can catch something of it, assuming I head back to Brooklyn at an early enough hour. We’ll see.