Rather Obscure

Howard Kurtz, in a story so stunning in its implications that the Washington Post promoted it up all the way to page C7, that Dan Rather is set to make his reportorial comeback on Mark Cuban's dish-only HDNet:

"We are excited about it," Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, said yesterday. He described the show as "an opportunity to do news in what I like to call 'fearless mode,' what Dan calls 'with guts.' Go out there and find the stories we think will have impact."

Well, hurricane season is almost upon us again.

He added: "Traditional broadcast and cable news is all about numbers. Get a pretty face, pay for it in the upfront," the annual conference for advertisers. " 'How does MSNBC beat Fox?' The lead story is never the reporting or news itself."

Funny. I thought the reason for Rather's being exiled in the first place was that the reporting became the story.

CORRECTION: In accordance with one of the comments, HDNet is apparently available at least on Adelphia cable, in at least some markets. I haven't had time to check the others, but HDNet is, in fact, not dish-only. The WaPo only mentions the two dish networks, so I assumed that was the extent of HDNet's distribution.


As for the quote, "How does MSNBC beat Fox News?" debated in the comments, I believe that Cuban is putting himself in the position of an MSNBC exec, asking that rather hopeless question when the season's programming is being set up. It's rhetorical, not unlike discussing the NBA draft and having a mythical GM ask, "How does Dallas beat Miami?"