We'd Rather Watch

There's finally a start date set for Dan Rather Presents on Mark Cuban's HDNet: November 14. And Rather talks about the show, his first since being unceremoniously canned from CBS News in June, in today's New York Daily News. (What he doesn't talk about is how Katie Couric's taking the nightly news to new lows and new low ratings; Rather says he's been too busy to watch, which is the same excuse the rest of most living Americans seem to be using as well.)

Rather, who joined Cuban in July, says that for the time being, he will be in every single piece that's been shot for the show, of which there are three or four episodes fully finished. That could change, he says, but don't plan on it; the man's got a rep to right and will likely spend the first little while reminding the 4 million HDNet views (says Cuban) that he's more than just the guy who got sunk by a memo, forged or otherwise. Also, reports the Daily News:

Rather said the show will have three hallmarks. One will be to report on the people fighting wars - soldiers - and not just show politicians talking about them. Another will be to look at the struggles of middle-income people today. The third will be politics - "with the bark off," as Rather puts it.

Since work began on the show, Rather said he's been on the road more than any time he can remember, short of covering the civil rights movement and Vietnam.

"I've found it invigorating, liberating, extremely interesting," he said of the ramp-up period, which put him in the middle of starting a business from the ground up.

Rather once told Cuban he underestimated the "chaos factor" of a startup, to which Cuban replied that chaos could be energizing.

Also, I've heard the show that follows Rather's on HDNet isn't entirely awful, if you can get past the host. --Robert Wilonsky

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