Dan Rather May Team Up With Cuban (No, Not Castro)

Here's one of those stories that sounds weird but may make perfect sense. According to Saturday's New York Times, Dan Rather is "seriously mulling" an offer to "develop and be the host of a weekly interview program on a high-definition television channel known as HDNet." 

The Times' Jacques Steinberg also reports that "in addition to the one-hour interview program, which could eventually include '60 Minutes'-style investigative reports that he would prepare, Mr. Rather said he had been asked to commit to deliver at least two documentaries a year to HDNet."

Rather told Steinberg that the offer to join HDNet came from none other than the channel's co-founder Mark Cuban, who's been on TV quite a bit himself lately during ABC's coverage of the NBA finals between the Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat.

Steinberg writes, "Asked in an e-mail message yesterday to confirm Mr. Rather's description of the offer, Mr. Cuban sent back the following response last night: 'All I can tell you is that we have had some conversations to do some very exciting things. Unshackled from the talking head world where earnings per share mean more than finding the truth, the opportunities for HDNet and Dan are unlimited.'"

(Many NewsBusters readers will, of course, consider Cuban's use of "finding the truth" and "Dan" in the same sentence a classic of unintentional comedy.)

Cuban has said of his own politics, "I’m an independent. I try to look at every issue with an open mind." He's stated that Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead "was incredibly motivating to me. It encouraged me to think as an individual, take risks to reach my goals, and responsibility for my successes and failures."

He has, however, made at least two business decisions related to journalism that should give conservatives pause: he helped produce George Clooney's Edward R. Murrow hagiography Good Night, and Good Luck (which Rather's seen at least five times) and HDNet ran Peter Arnett's reporting from Afghanistan in the weeks after the Taliban fell. 

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters