This is technically an autobiography but instead of being about Dan Rather’s life, it’s more about the stories he covered as a reporter and then later as an anchor for CBS Evening News.
If there’s anything I believe to be true about the news business, it’s that the best reporters are never part of the story that they’re covering. There are snippets of Dan Rather’s life in here, but even when they do appear, for the most part it’s in the context of a larger news story.
It’s actually incredible when you think about the scope of his career. He’s met every president since (and including) Eisenhower. He’s broken major stories and been overseas. And whenever I think of the ideal anchor, he’s what comes to mind. (Keep in mind that he’s who was on the air when I was growing up—I’m too young for Cronkite.)
I’m not sure how many people will enjoy this book. More than anything, it’s about news and what it means to cover it. I’m pretty sure that there’s not a huge market for that, especially if you’re one of those people who believe that news should be…well, NEWS. Not entertainment, not partisan, just news. Tell people what’s going on and let them make up their own mind. (Fox News and MSNBC annoy me in equal measure—news should not pander to people’s prejudices.)
I was very happy to get a copy of this at BEA and, even better, to get to meet Dan Rather and have him sign my book. He shook my hand. :) I have been talking about that on and off ever since. We didn’t have a conversation (the line to meet him was insane) but it was seriously such an honor to meet him.