RUSH: The contretemps going on between Dan Blather, former anchor, CBS Evening News, and Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS, Incorporated. You gotta hear some of these sound bites — actually, three, four, six, and seven, is what I want, Mike — yeah, yeah. Let’s start with number three. He was on Fox yesterday afternoon with David Asman filling in for Neil Cavuto. Asman says, ‘Now, they say Moonves calls your dumbed down, tarted up comments, sexist.’
RATHER: This isn’t about Katie Couric. It has nothing to do with her gender. Anybody who reads what I wrote and what I said knows that that’s true.
ASMAN: But I think Les Moonves was dealing with that tarted up comment. Do you remember having said that?
RATHER: No. I was asked my opinion. I didn’t bring it up. I was asked my opinion and I said what I genuinely feel, but it does not have to do with gender. What he’s trying to do is change the subject.
RUSH: What is this excuse, ‘I didn’t bring it up.'(Laughing) He’s been hoping for the opportunity to say that for who knows how long. So then Asman said, ‘What Moonves says is if CBS doesn’t get a younger audience, quote, evening news will die and that’s why Katie Couric was put in place.’
RATHER: Well, it’s his shop and it’s his business and he made the decision. He admitted it today, he acknowledged today, he said that in retrospect it was a mistake to load up the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric with features. Said it was a mistake. That’s why I say it doesn’t have to do with Katie, doesn’t have to do with gender. It has to do with the corporate leadership, and the corporate leadership has these pressures to deliver for stock holders, it’s all part of the system. And Les Moonves knows about entertainment, but he doesn’t know about news. He said at one point we needed to have naked news. At one point —
ASMAN: He was joking, no?
RATHER: Well, was he? You tell me. But he said it. And he also said, if he had his way, he’d blow up all of CBS News. And in a way he did that.
RUSH: (Laughing.) If he had his way he’d blow up CBS News. (Laughing) And the naked news. You know, I always thought that Rather would implode someday. I thought it would be on CBS. But he imploded on Fox. Actually, he knows that if he wants to get his comments out there, he goes on Fox if he wants his comments to be heard. So, here’s the next bite. Yeah, this is the last bite. Asman says, ‘How would your evening news look different than what we have today? If you were at CBS, how would you do it?’
RATHER: I would run hard with hard news. I would see the newscasts as a public service. With the international situation being what it is, you need to emphasize foreign news; emphasize important news; emphasize quality news. And I will tell you this, if you put Oprah in front of me and Entertainment Tonight behind me, I’ll win for you any market in the country.
RUSH: Uh, well, anybody would in that circumstance, if you get Oprah Winfrey’s lead-in and trash Hollywood talk afterwards, anybody could win in that circumstance! It’s too funny.