Whatta they got that I ain't got?
As all the universe knows, Walter Cronkite ended his nightly news reading with "And that's the way it is," while Dan "Fake But Accurate" Rather intoned "Courage."
Cronkite may be excused. What was he supposed to say? His stock in trade, like so many of his generation (one still greatly influenced by radio) was a deep, pompous voice, and an ability to read precisely and speak slowly. He could have said, "And that's the way it might be, since we've had to make dozens of editorial decisions as to what to show you, what not to show you, and who we let you listen to. Good luck understanding squat." But that would only have helped ratings for a few days.
Dan Rather, on the other hand, had a point. It took courage day after day to recycle liberal Democrat conventional wisdom. And one never knew when he would launch into one of his self-conscious, pseudo-folksy malapropisms: "Jenna Bush is hotter than the southern side of a north-bound Lenten pancake left too long on a Texas griddle at a Baptist prayer breakfast." Never a fellow we misunderestimated.
Dan always reminded me of Alex Trebek, the fellow who makes his living sadly shaking his head and patiently pursing his lips at the ignorance of the contestant who doesn't know what's written down in plain English on the card in Alex's hand. "Oh, no, Jack, most people would have known that the monk Theodore of Tarsus was appointed to the archbishopric of Canterbury in 668, not 669. I'm so sorry!" Dan simply had no clue, having come to fame by being rude to the President of the United States, while the Washington Post was trying to figure out what the heck was actually going on. But in Dan's world, if it said so in black and white on the script in front of him, then it was good enough for him.
Couric would do best to just chuck it and admit that it's all a pretentious sham:
And that's what all my friends think and are talking about here in Manhattan. Be sure to stay tuned for The Amazing Race. You won't want to miss tonight's episode, where the short, thin black guy has to carry the fat stupid white girl across the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge.Scott Ott, however, has taken Katie at her word, and has provided the following list of the top-ten sign-off suggestions:
10. “Well, there’s 22 minutes of your life you can never get back.”
9. “News pH balanced. We report. You admire.”
8. “I hope to see you tomorrow night, because all I see tonight is the TelePromTer.”
7. “I’m Katie Couric, and that’s the way it is at the DNC.”
6. “That’s the news and I mean it. Does anybody want a peanut?”
5. “I’m Katie Couric and this is one sweet gig!”
4. “If you stand up for a few minutes now, you won’t get so many sofa sores.”
3. “Now you know what to think. But you don’t really have to.”
2. “Why read the news online when I get paid millions to do it for you?”
1. “What makes a muskrat guard its musk?”