I'll never watch you again because you screwed one of American broadcast journalism's great names right in the hind quarters. And after you screwed him there, you swift-kicked him out the door.
In case you have forgotten, his name is Dan Rather.
The same Dan Rather that I, and tens of millions of other Americans, turned to for articulate accounts of our time's seminal events. Iran-Contra. The first Gulf War. Too many conventions and election nights to count. The Clinton impeachment. 9/11. Hurricane Katrina. The current war in Iraq.
The same Dan Rather who was there every night for us.
The same Dan Rather who traveled the world reporting from the field, at the same time that Katie Couric was back in interviewing overpaid movie stars, and kissing the ass of self-help lifestyle book authors who didn't really write their book but simply signed off on chapters scribed by a work-for-hire ghostwriter.
The same Dan Rather who aired a report about President Bush's alleged dereliction of duty while in the National Guard. A flawed report that we might never know might have been substantiated if only the people who knew what really happened could have been turned. Turned, perhaps, if CBS News invested more investigative time, energy and yes, money into the project rather than watching the bottom line in the name of preserving shareholder value.
The same Dan Rather who you chased out of the anchor chair in part because you didn't want to make, and stay, enemies with this White House.
The same White House that wound up biting you, CBS, in the ass by turning your display of Janet Jackson's boob into a punishable offense with ten times the fine such "obscene" displays would have previously merited.
The same CBS that chased Dan Rather out of the anchor chair, and relegated you to "60 Minutes 2."
The same CBS that killed "60 Minutes 2," and then reassigned Dan Rather to a back-bencher role on "60 Minutes" 1.
The same CBS that had an obsession with hiring Katie, and finally followed through on that obsession. Because she could bring charm, looks, and younger viewers.
The same younger viewers that could bring advertisers.
Advertisers who, as you, CBS, formally acknowledged this week, have already bought enough advertising in advance to pay Katie's salary for the first year.
Advertisers who think that too much Dan Rather on your network will not be a compelling proposition for them. Because, after all, Dan Rather reminds those who spend money on the products we are advertising of their father. Or grandfather.
And, CBS, you then decide that because having Dan Rather's 44 years of experience and wisdom on your airwaves isn't worth hearing the yawns from prospective advertisers whose big checks will make your owner Viacom's big institutional investors happy- well then you publicly proclaim:
There's nothing left here for Dan to do.
And so, you kick this man off your airwaves.
And you spit in the face of your own journalistic legacy.
And you spit in the face of my journalistic sensibility.
CBS News, good night- and bad luck.