Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Dear Dan(Rather),

I will not be watching your last broadcast this evening, although I am glad to know that day has come. You are part of the next great extinction: national broadcasters.

The demise of your position should not be shocking. Face it, you faced the undeniable trend of fewer viewers regardless of what you did or how credible you seemed. And when the credibility was called into question, the fat lady was singing in the background.

You see, there was a line crossed in the media some years back. It was a fuzzy line. But somewhere, you and your peers decided to not only tell us the news, but tell us what we should think about what we were just shown. Guess what? We do not need that last step. We are quite capable of drawing our own conclusions.

Aside from that, how much news do we really need? I can get all the news I want, all day long, as it happens. The very idea that I should turn to the national news at 7:00 pm,(or 6:30 in some of the same east coast locations, and that realization that you were not even live bugged me too) seems so primative. Perhaps at one point, we would wait and then you would tell us things we had not heard. Now you recap what we have already heard every 30 minutes on the radio, or read online.

In addition, you have dramatized trends in our lives that just are bogus. Older people in this country live in fear because you and your peers report the same crime over and over, until they believe things are worse than ever. And they are not. It is a great time to be living in America. Probably none better in history. This country is cleaner, the economy stronger, and the opportunity greater than any time in the last 150 years....yet we are just one step from going to hell in a handbasket as it is reported.

Then, you pamper the group that is likely your largest demographic: senior citizens. You have worked hard to keep them tuned in. The biased reporting on social security, health reform, drug prices and other issues, have polarized people. One group is fighting for items they never contributed enough money to pay for the benefits they are demanding. Then, each time the government tries to address it, your viewers scream the loudest.

You did the best you could,I am sure. But sometimes the best is not good enough. And honestly, I look forward to the day the evening news is a fond memory, and tomorrow we will be one step closer.



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