Unleashed & Unvarnished on High-Def
November 14, 2006 6:51 PM
Unfortunately, I won’t be among HDNet’s 4 million subs to see how former CBS anchor Dan Rather fares tonight on his maiden voyage of “Dan Rather Reports.” But that’s only because I don’t have a high-def TV set. I would watch if I did.
Now this might tick off Mark Cuban who owns HDNet. And, if it does, who cares? He’s rich, famous and young, and I am none of the above. But I think it’s rather cruel to subject a 75-year-old man to the uber-scrutiny of high-def cameras that show all. No amount of Botox or pancake makeup can hide the assaults of gravity on aging human beings, and Mr. Rather is either a very brave or desperate man to subject himself to this ordeal, especially with so few eyeballs presently watching. I worry that more people will tune in to see how he looks rather than to hear what he actually says.
High-def, I agree, is great for sports, indeed a mesmerizing experience to watch jocks sweating, spitting, scowling and scratching before your very eyes. But for news? Aside from the voyeuristic sideshow of seeing how Rather comes off on high-def, actually what I most want is to hear, and not necessarily see, is if Rather lives up to his own hype. And if he does, here’s a suggestion to Cuban: Rename the show “Dan Rather Unleashed & Unvarnished.”
In commenting for a Reuters report about the state of U.S. journalism, Rather said, “In some ways, we, and I include myself in this, have lost our guts. We need a spine transplant.” And I agree. But I guess I’ll never know because I can’t hear or see the show for now. So let me know if you watch tonight, and weigh in here with your comments. A lot of us want to know.