Wednesday, March 09, 2005

With Rather Retiring, What Will Conservatives Do?

To paraphrase Dan Rather, his presence made conservatives "hotter than a Times Square Rolex."

But Dan retired from anchoring the CBS Evening News, effective today. So now what?

It will be interesting to read the right wing of the blogosphere in the weeks and months to come. Rather was a magnet for criticism from conservatives, who proclaimed him one of the kings of "liberal media bias." Even in cases when no political bias was found, such as his sloppily anchored 60 Minutes piece on President Bush's National Guard record, conservatives continued with their mantra. Rather, in their eyes, was a liberal injecting his political views into network news, facts be damned.

Rather's interim replacement, Bob Schieffer, is not a liberal. A self-proclaimed friend of the Bushes -- George H.W. especially -- Schieffer is regularly cited by liberal media critics as one who leans to the right.

So will conservative critics continue to rail against CBS, wrongly stereotyping it as a giant monolithic liberal entity -- the way such critics chime about The New York Times?

Or will such critics blame CBS' "liberal media bias" solely on Rather?

To paraphrase former President Nixon, the conservatives won't have Rather to kick around anymore. Now what?

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