CBS news anchor Dan Rather signs off for the final time tonight, ending a career marked by a recent scandal.
A self-described “big-game hunter,” Rather prided himself on attacking sitting presidents such as Nixon and Carter during his time as a White House reporter.
Many conservatives have attacked Rather throughout his career as an example of the “liberal media bias” in network news.
The Washington Post recently ran a few of Rather’s more ammusing statements over his career, such as Texas is “the big enchilada or, if not an enchilada, then a huge taco,” and “If a frog didn’t have long hind legs, he wouldn’t have squat to jump with.”
Rival network ABC paid tribute to Rather on its breakfast show. “A remarkable 24 years in the anchor chair,” said morning anchor Charles Gibson.
CBS is preparing a one-hour tribute on Rather that will be aired tonight, taking out a full page ad in the New York Times to promote it.
“CBS proudly salutes our friend and colleague Dan Rather on 24 years as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News,” the ad said, adding that CBS looked forward to Rather’s return to “60 Minutes,” where he will continue as a reporter.
Rather’s career has been dominated of late by last year’s fake documents scandal.
CBS News fired four employees in January after an independent report found “myopic zeal” led CBS to disregard journalism principles when it put together the story suggesting Bush got special treatment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.
Rather was criticized but did not receive any punishment from CBS
Rather recently spoke about the controversy during an interview at ABC: “I made a mistake. I didn’t dig hard enough, long enough, didn’t ask enough of the right questions.”
He said he was looking forward to returning to full-time reporting. “I want to get onto the next thing, flat out, full out, full throttle, do it as best I can do it. I believe my best work is ahead of me.”
Rather is facing criticism from the New York Daily News, who reported that Rather is, “more fitting for a fading actor addicted to applause.”
“He’s a performer, a stunt man, a celebrity who makes $7 million a year for role playing,” Daily News reporter Michael Goodwin wrote.