but are we really surprised about this? Hurricane Dan has finally burbled down to something short of light winds with a chance of drizzle. Forevermore his abdication of the anchor chair will be tainted with the forged document scandal - regardless of how he and CBS attempt to spin it. CBS news is now stuck with the moniker SeeBS, and recovery from such a blow to its credibility will not readily be forthcoming from the American public. Across the blogosphere, there is much carousing in pajamas going on - Will Collier over at Vodkapundit has a good post on this, and I agree that the spin machine is definitely on overload. Dan is certainly trying hard to downplay the National Guard story, but please:
Rather spoke of his decision to step down to more than 100 staffers in the CBS newsroom on Tuesday afternoon. In brief remarks, the newsman said that he had considered retiring since the late 1990s. He added that the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack prompted him to put aside such thoughts.
He portrayed his decision to leave the anchor chair as a "mutual decision" made last summer.
The veteran newsman also said the decision was not influenced by the National Guard story. He said the purpose of announcing his decision now -- prior to the release of a report on the story by an outside panel -- was to separate the two events.
He acknowledged, in a vintage Ratherism, that the controversial story had become a "hippopotamus in the bathtub."
CBS even sounds dubious in its own report:
Rather has long been a target of critics who accused him of a liberal bias, and there's even a Web site devoted to that notion. The National Guard story sent those critics into overdrive. Rather's announcement Tuesday led one Republican congressman from Pennsylvania to issue a statement saying, in effect, good riddance.
"Dan Rather has been a legend in media for more than a quarter-century to many people around the world, but not to me," Rep. Bill Shuster said. "For the entirety of his career, Rather has allowed his liberal bias to shape the news rather than report it."
Yes, people, this development is bigger than a hippo in the tub, although there are those who see this as less than a victory. Jim Geraughty at the Kerry Spot has some blogosphere reaction by some of my favorite bloggers here. Those who see this as not much to cheer about have got a point, but hey, I'll take one step down the ladder at at time. It gives me great pleasure to know that I will not accidentally click on CBS news and hear his smarmy voice again. (Life's simplest of pleasures). And everyone I know stopped watching 60 minutes ages ago anyway. I certainly can't imagine that Rather will bring any new viewers to the possibly irreparably damaged program.
Ding Dong, the Dan is Gone!