Chris Matthews might have chastised Rather for such an embarrassing gaffe, but he forgot why it might be a problem.
I don’t have much to add to this, but it’s a fine opportunity to recycle some Rather-bashing fun from my old blog:
September 13, 2004
Rather: “Prove I’m Not Queen of the Space Unicorns”
NEW YORK — For the fourth time in as many days, CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather interrupted his telecast tonight to reiterate his claim that he has been crowned Queen of the Space Unicorns.
Glaring into the camera, Rather leveled a stern denunciation of his skeptics, terming them “hateful” and “jealous.”
“I have told you again and again the tales of my ascension, my travels and adventures amongst the Cloud People, my ongoing struggle with Lord Gnarl and the Carved Army of the Fateful Forest. You’ve heard the facts, and that’s the end of it. You think you can challenge my claim to the throne? Go for it. But you can’t, can you? You can’t, and you know it. So let’s just get past this.”
Holding up a document that he insisted was proof of his royal lineage, Rather repeated his demand to be addressed as “Queen Alareol the Wise, Protector of the Rainbow-Flame.” The document appeared to be a doorknob menu for a local Chinese restaurant.
“I don’t expect you people to understand what I’m going through,” continued Rather. “I don’t have to take this. All I want is a little consideration here. A little consideration, and some nice green grass. Crunchy, delicious grass. Nnnnnyaaaaar.”
The CBS Evening News airs at 6:30 p.m. EST.
September 15, 2004
Rather Alters Stance on Space-Unicorn Royalty
NEW YORK — In a stunning reversal yesterday, embattled CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather renounced his claim to the throne of the Space Unicorns, instead declaring himself to be the Bonnukarr, culmination of human evolution, sent back in time from the 857th Century by the warrior-god Kobaltine IV to prepare mankind for the coming Insect Wars.
“All light flows through me,” Rather explained. “All vision is mine.”
Poking himself in the left temple with increasing force and rapidity, Rather noted that this revelation of his true nature has brought with it a host of supernatural powers, including the ability to dissolve most solid matter with invisible beams from his fingers, great physical strength and endurance, and the ability to sense the presence of his arch-enemy Lord Gnarl, who “flits from one soul to the next, never far, always just out of reach.”
Rather then finished the remainder of his newscast without using vowels.
(Spokesmen for Kobaltine IV could not be reached for comment.)
September 24, 2004
Water-Wetness Questions Continue to Plague CBS
NEW YORK — “Water is dry. You can’t drink it.”
So began the Sept. 15 edition of the CBS Evening News, which was devoted entirely to anchorman Dan Rather’s report debunking what he called “modern myths” about the chemical H2O. The report has come under fire in recent days by pro-moisture factions.
At one point in the now-disputed broadcast, Rather held up a tall glass of what appeared to be water: “Straight out of the tap. Common as a tick on a tail. Now watch.” Rather then poured the entire contents of the glass against his closed lips. As the substance ran down his chin and began to soak the front of his suit, Rather noted, “Look. Pppfft. See? Nothing. Not a trace. Glb.”
The report triggered a firestorm of debate on the Internet, which soon swept through cable news and the nation’s newspapers, magazines, and suddenly-suspect water coolers. In a Sept. 16 posting to ModernMoms.com, someone identifying herself only as “judy” wrote: “i had the tv on as i was washing dishes. dan rather said water doesn’t work when you’re trying to clean things. i don’t know what to do. should i use bleach instead?” Among the dissenting opinions, from a “Capt. Splash” at the site for advocacy group Dowsers for Accuracy in the Mainstream Press: “I just drank a whole glass of cold water and it went down fine. What’s going on here?”
Moisture experts caution the public not to jump to any conclusions. “At this point we’re unable to verify or disprove Rather’s claims,” warned Prof. Darrick White of the Dampness Research Institute (Philadelphia). “In the meantime, we’re asking everyone to avoid any contact with dihydrogen monoxide, internally or externally. Who knows what could happen?”
In a Sept. 20 appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball, Washington Post television critic Tom Shales defended Rather and CBS. “Dan Rather is a respected newsman with decades of experience. Do you really think he’d go on the air with this unless it’d been fact-checked? I mean, I’ve known the truth about water for years. If I have to drink anything, I’ll have a nice snifter of clarified butter. And you’re not going to catch me anywhere near a bath or shower.”
CBS News President Andrew Heyward issued this statement: “We stand by Dan Rather’s report, but are aware of the many questions that have arisen. We will continue to pursue this story, in much the same way Crime Scene Investigator Gil Grissom and his team relentlessly uncover the truth every week on the smash hit CSI, Thursday nights at 9. CBS: The Best Is Right Here.”