Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Replacing Dan

“In case you weren’t aware of this, which, given the ratings of ‘CBS News,’ is very likely, Dan Rather announced that he will step down from the anchor desk in March of 2005. …

“[F]ront-runners for Rather’s chair are John Roberts and Scott Pelley, but if the network isn’t afraid to show its bias, and we know they aren’t, they could go outside the network to find a much better choice as anchor. James Carville comes to mind first.

“Entertaining, fiercely partisan, and unapologetic about it, Carville isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong. …

“CBS should also consider interviewing former Iraqi information minister extraordinaire, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, better known as ‘Baghdad Bob.’ The king of denial could take over without a need for CBS to break stride.”

Doug Powers, writing on “Dan Rather’s successor: The CBS Evening Blog,” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Man and myth

“The current pointless tussle over the bisexuality of Alexander of Macedon is only the latest and cheapest tribute paid to our fascination with him. …

“But note this first: This man really did exist, and these events really did occur.

“Alexander is only a ‘myth’ because his achievements were legendary in his own lifetime. …

“Alexander himself was not above using myth for propaganda purposes. He claimed descent from Achilles, the hero of Troy, and from Zeus himself. …

“He was both a hero and a debauchee. When his homesick and grizzled troops began to grumble at Opis, on the banks of the Tigris, in 324 B.C., Alexander is said to have challenged every man present to strip and show his wounds. He himself, he announced with no fear of contradiction, was marked on every part of his body — except his back. … We may distrust the idea of military glory and heroism, but if Alexander did not display these qualities then such qualities do not exist.”

Christopher Hitchens, writing on “What Made Alexander So Great?” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

Important news

“I’ll admit I’ve never followed basketball or any other sport with any interest. …

“But last week, in the wake of Ron Artest slugging some beer-slinging uber-fan, I had no choice but to take up an interest in basketball. The incident dominated the news, and I suddenly found myself aware of the nuances of Artest’s life, his quest for ‘respect,’ and his intimate feelings about the brawl. A steady stream of ex-players, NBA officials, and pundits weighed in with a solemn fervor on what could be done to make sure this absolutely never happened again. As if this was a real tragedy. As if it was anything more than testosterone-addled men doing what they always do; what they in fact do nightly at just about any bar.

“Ukraine in revolt? Sorry, no airtime. We have to replay this stupid, belligerent drunk being punched in the face by this thug who happens to be good at a game. …

“But for all the airtime and public hand-wringing, here’s the truth of the matter: Occasionally bad things will happen, more so when you combine alcohol and machismo. … Legislation and rules will not end all bad things. This has been proven many times, and yet has had almost no effect on our burgeoning nation of do-gooders.”

Shawn Macomber, writing on “Sporting Chance,” Monday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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