RUSH: You gotta hear these next two sound bites, folks. They are of Dan Blather, formerly of the CBS Evening News. Yesterday he was on MSNBC with Joe Scarborough who was working in the morning, and Scarborough said, ‘There was this terrible miscalculation by Rome Hartman, a producer over at CBS Evening News, and a couple CBS News execs that they were going to soften up the news and that way they could expand their viewership, get more women in there. Do you think that’s one of the problems Katie Couric’s had coming in, that maybe they’ve tried to re-brand the American news in ways that Americans just don’t want to accept?’
RATHER: Well I totally agree with you Joe. I want to make very clear that I have nothing against Katie Couric at all, she’s a very nice person and I have a lot of friends at CBS News. However, it was clear at the time, and I think it’s become even clearer that the mistake was to try to bring the Today Show ethos to the evening news and to dumb it down, tart it up, in hopes of attracting a younger audience.
RUSH: Yeah, this is a clever technique, folks. I myself have used this technique. ‘I love Katie Couric, oh, I have friends at CBS News, a lot of respect for what goes on over there,’ and then you slam ’em. Tarting up the news, dumbing it down and tarting up the news. The Today Show ethos. Now, when I saw this the last time I was talking about this, I thought it’s sexism. Dan Blather is — this is pure sexism, dumb it down and tart it up. So we went back today. Here’s a montage of Dan Rather on the air, on election night, November 2000. This is a montage of Dan Rather’s coverage, and let’s listen to dumbing it down and tarting it up.
RATHER: Bush had a long lead. His lead is evaporating. Melted faster than ice cream in a microwave. Close only counts with hand grenades and horseshoes. Neither NASA nor the Russian Cosmodrome can track ’em. Governor Bush would probably be as mad as a rained-on rooster. Bad data in, bad data out. The hour of decision may be drawing near. And don’t bet the trailer money on it yet. The word ‘goofy’ comes to mind. Too early to say yes, he has the whiphand. The Good Book says the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but as a reporter you have to say that’s the way to bet it. One night they counted those absentee ballots until the cows literally had gone to sleep. It’s been a ding-dong battle back and forth. His chances are slim, and if he doesn’t carry Florida, slim will have left town. This thing is as tight as the rusted lug nuts on a ’55 Ford.
RUSH: Now, this is election night coverage, Dan Rather talking about the closeness of the race. They called Florida, had to pull it back. He was making excuses for all of that. Well, Les Moonves, the chief executive at CBS has shot back at Rather saying that those remarks that Rather made about Katie Couric dumbing it down and tarting it up were sexist.