The New York Post's Page Six column reports that well-traveled television news executive (and longtime Bill Clinton pal) Rick Kaplan may join CBS News:
RICK Kaplan, the veteran network news exec who most recently ran MSNBC, is rumored to be coming to CBS News to help boost Katie Couric's ratings on the "Evening News." After a brief stint on top of the ratings when she launched in September, Couric has been mired in third place, right where Bob Schieffer was and where Dan Rather was before him. Kaplan...has been unemployed since Dan Abrams replaced him last summer at MSNBC. CBS News denies Kaplan is coming aboard, but the buzz goes on.
Kaplan served as CNN boss from 1997 until 2000 and, before that, produced ABC News programs such as Nightline and World News Tonight. This past June, Brent Baker detailed Kaplan's pro-Clinton, pro-Rather, anti-conservative bias. Two examples:
--In September 2005, a year after CBS News's Memogate scandal, Kaplan nonetheless claimed that Rather had been "meticulously careful...fair and balanced and accurate" throughout his career, and that those who argued otherwise had "questionable agendas."
--In a May, 1999 speech, Kaplan accused Clinton prosecutor Kenneth Starr of "putting obsession ahead of the best interests of the nation" and asserted that Clinton's "intellect and his heart and his drive to help people should have guaranteed his success, his greatness."