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www.bongonews.com NOVEMBER 12, 2003 Copyright © 2001-2017 Bongo News, Inc.
   
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Under Pressure from Conservatives, CBS Cancels The Evening News with Dan Rather


rather cancelled


NEW YORK — After caving in to pressure from conservative groups not to show the miniseries, The Reagans, CBS has also decided to also appease conservatives by dropping The Evening News with Dan Rather.

Conservative groups had objected to the proposed miniseries on Ronald and Nancy Reagan because it was going to show that Reagan as President was an aging, distant man who took frequent naps and was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, while portraying Nancy Reagan as a controlling, protective woman who shielded Reagan from the world and made some decisions about senior appointments.

A spokesman for CBS admitted that opposition from conservative groups had played some role in the decision, but said that ratings were the primary consideration.

"Our prime demographic audience comprises aging, distant men in the early stages of Alzheimer's who are married to controlling bitches. We decided we didn't want to upset that core, geezer audience. Also, we didn't want to upset our few remaining advertisers, like Cadillac."

"So we decided to switch the miniseries to Showtime, the cable network owned by our parent, Viacom. The miniseries will fit Showtime's schedule better. Showtime viewers will accept the Reagan years as just another soap opera."

The decision to retire aging, liberal news anchor, Dan Rather, and his increasingly irrelevant prime-time news coverage, was a bigger shock in the media world. Prime-time news has been a defining element for the networks, particularly for CBS, with a journalistic tradition stretching back to the cigarette-filled days of Edward R. Murrow, and reaching its peak when America, whenever there was a major news event or crisis, turned to avuncular Walter Cronkite for the news and for reassurance.

"Dan could never fill the shoes of those big guys," said the CBS spokesman. "He'll always be known for asking Nixon an insulting question in a press conference and walking off the set during a live broadcast. That's not exactly what you'd call great journalism."

Sensitive to the CBS audience, the spokesman denied that Rather's age was a factor. "On the contrary, his advanced state of decay appealed to our viewers. He was seen by our older males as a role model who could last half an hour without a trip to the bathroom, and by our female audience as someone who, with Viagra, could probably get it on."
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