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Homespun Symposium II: Divided America


Question—"Is the division in America important to you? What will be necessary to heal it? What part do you see Bloggers playing in that discussion and how will you personally contribute to it?"

nswering these important questions, in an LU exclusive interview before his retirement termination from DNCBS, is my very own special Dan Rather sock puppet:

Libsareb Raindead, LU News correspondent: Welcome to 60 Minions of Liberalism, Dan. You have the honor of being first not only on the official 60 Minions' Most Mistrusted Minions list, but as a guest on our debut show.

Dan Rather, sock puppet: It's great to be here. In fact, it's great to be anyplace that's still willing to give me money to show up and spout off about evil Republicans and that dummy Bush.

Raindead: We were supposed to pay you? Wait, my producer's saying something in my earpiece. Oh, that's right. She's reminding me about the memo about your payoff. Yes, we have a reality check backstage that we'll be giving you after the show.

Rather: Thanks.

Raindead: Don't mention it. Especially on your alleged news program. Not that you'll be having that opportunity anyway come this March.

Rather: Don't worry. We have too many reports about Halliburton and other evil Republicans to air before I leave. So it's doubtful we'd have time to give any coverage to my fee here.

Raindead: Great. While we're on the subject, is there any one thing you regret most about your 24 years of sitting in the anchor chair at DNCBS?

Rather: Not really. I do regret that this president and his administration failed miserably on so many things which I couldn't even begin to mention, much less go into, without taking up the entire hour of your program.

Raindead: We're only a half-hour show, Dan. But, please, continue.

Rather: The entire 30 minutes, then. Anyway, I personally don't have any regrets. I was just so thrilled to be coming into Americans' living rooms night after night and warning them, like a Paul Revere, about the evil doings of evil Republicans and their very evil agenda.

Raindead: How nice. Do you believe that you're doing that has contributed to the rancor and animosity and distrust so rampant among the viewer you have left?

Rather: Well, I don't know if that viewer's been polled about it yet. But, yes, I guess he could be feeling that way given all the evilness of the Republicans which I've been constantly—and objectively, mind you—reporting to him.

Raindead: Actually, that viewer is a she. But let's move on to my follow up. Is it right to be dividing that viewer and rest of the American people with your newscasts? Is this division in America important to you?

Rather: Of course it's important to me. I wouldn't be where I am today without contributing to it. People...er, that person tunes in each evening to hear me tell him...uh, her what's going on and what's up with all the evil in this world evilly created by all that evilness of this president and other Republicans.

Raindead: You keep mentioning evil. Is there, in your mind, any non-evil thing a Republican has ever done?

Rather: Of course. Two or three of them lost their elections last month. That was very unevil.

Raindead: Speaking of losing, what are your thoughts about your being fired from DNCBS News?

Rather: Ah. But I'm not being fired. I've just decided that's it's time for me to retire, that's all.

Raindead: Then what are your thoughts about your imminent retirement?

Rather: It's so unfair! Uh—I mean, I'm looking forward to it.

Raindead: So you don't feel you were pressured in any way into retiring at this time?

Rather: No, not at all. The management at CBS—and I must correct you, I work at CBS, not DNCBS. Anyway, the management has been very understanding and supportive of my decision.

Raindead: I'm sure I got the acronym right. The name change was in a memo recently obtained by LU News—I have it right here. I quote: "The DNC-CBS partnership will be bringing the American viewing public complete and accurate election coverage this year. We are committed to, et cetera, et cetera." End quote. You didn't receive that memo?

Rather: No. That's the first I ever heard of it. I swear.

Raindead: Sure. Back to your retirement. You don't think it had anything to do with another memo that DNCBS put out before the election, which you yourself publicly admitted had been forged?

Rather: Well, in all honesty, no. I don't feel that minor slip-up had anything to do with my decision to retire.

Raindead: You say DNCBS management didn't pressure you. What about anyone else? Like the Bloggers who uncovered and disseminated questions about the authenticity of those memos, for example.

Rather: Oh, I would never feel pressured by anyone like them. My credentials as a trusted reporter span decades. The people you've mentioned have been around, what, two or three years? Obviously, they aren't in a position to pressure anyone like myself. Our own internal investigation uncovered the problems with those memos, not a bunch of pajama-wearing, two-bit hack journalist wannabes.

Raindead: You don't think such democratic forms of information gathering and sharing have any influence on established media and their reporting?

Rather: How can they? Besides, I wouldn't characterize them that way. News is not a democratic exercise. It depends on the professional judgment of committed journalists to decide what is news and how and whether it should be reported. Who has the qualifications to do that other than those whose job it is to gather and broadcast information for the public?

Raindead: So no one else has any capacity to make such decisions?

Rather: Not really. Oh, sure, anyone with a keyboard or typewriter can put out whatever they want. But that doesn't make it news under any reasonable definition of that word.

Raindead: A Selectric typewriter, no doubt.

Rather: A Select-what?

Raindead: Nevermind. We're about out of time anyway.

Rather: I though you said we had a half hour for this interview.

Raindead: We do. But the remaining minutes will give me just enough time to run you through the washing machine so I can wear you tomorrow. I'm about out of socks.

Rather: Well, in that case, I hope we can do this again sometime, soon.

Raindead: I doubt it. I'm going to be using extra chlorine to get out the ink I used to draw your mouth and eyes. Maybe I can make a Tom Brokaw sock puppet next time.

Rather: (Would roll eyes if he could.)

More catch-up installments of my Homespun Symposium answers coming soon....

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