Friday, September 08, 2006


Edward R. Murrow Isn't Turning Over In His Grave...

...not yet, anyway.

I take full credit--and responsibilty--for the following rant.

When it was announced that Katie Couric was going to take over the CBS anchor spot, my initial reaction was, "Whoa!" I've been blindly watching the CBS Evening News at 6:30 p.m. since I was a child. Along with the rest of my generation, I grew up with Uncle Walter's reassuring "And that's the way it is," as well as with his...humanity. I felt my world--the CBS graphic for the globe, at least--was literally turned upside down when he announced his retirement, and the already known to be brash Texan, Dan Rather, took his spot. I gradually became accustomed to his face and his delivery: he was daring, bold, and, alas, still brash at a point when perhaps he should have known better. Ratings, schmatings: I didn't really keep up with these things. I just had to watch CBS...even when my renegade mother switched to the late, great Peter Jennings, not only because he was "a classy human being" (as ABC cameramen informed me during what may not turn out to be the last "post-Catro death vigil" since July 31), but because he was at one point married to a Hungarian named Kati Marton. Only my mother; only a Hungarian. Well, back to Dan, ratings, and CBS. I had no idea. Hell, I'm either so lazy or such a creature of habit that I've even watched the local CBS affiliate, regardless of where I've lived. I didn't realize Dan's edginess was going to catch up with him until he committed his major faux pas. When Bob Schieffer took over for him a year ago March, I once again felt comforted. That first night, though, I almost sensed that poor Bob was carrying CBS News's egg collectively on his face. Brave, and valiant, he held up the fort. I don't know about you, but I enjoyed his gentle jokes, and his calm entreaties to return to watch him, night after night. I haven't been a fan of daytime TV for a very long time in my life, now, so all I knew about Katie Couric was that a) Her husband had passed away from colon cancer; and b) That she's perky. (And that she is.) SO, I thought to myself, "Is this a gimmick?" I deliberately avoided all the hype. I wasn't even home on Tuesday to watch her first newscast. Not on purpose, though--when a budding playwright finishes a play, she just has to get it photocopied as soon as possible! However, I did catch Bob's last broadcast, as I had Dan's...and, many years earlier, Uncle Walter's. Brave; valiant; gallant; and strong. Thanks for keeping CBS News afloat, Uncle Bob!
Ed's looking down on all of you, with cigarette in hand. That includes you, Katie.
Lighten up a bit, though: too, too serious, what I saw last night. I thought he'd be turning over in his grave, but he isn't. Not yet, anyway. However, don't you want him least a little bit? Come what may, I'm a CBS News fan...for life! And that's the way it is, Friday, September 7, 2006. This is Ninina Mameyez, saying, "Good afternoon!"

Don't say I didn't warn you.

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