Dan Rather's Saddam-like Frequency


The CBS anchor–and I mean anchor in every possible sense of the word, especially in relation to ratings whenever he appears on the small screen–delivers a cliche-ridden appraisal of Saddam apres interview: "The dictator's dark eyes are penetrating. He gives the impression of not just looking at you but looking through you."

The piece is not particularly interesting for what it adds to our understanding of the Slim-Fast Saladin (Rather notes that Saddam has dropped as many as 25 pounds over the last decade, to a fighting trim of about 220 or 215).

No, the piece is one more odd-shaped piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is Dan Rather's brain. The newscaster stresses "that Saddam Hussein considers himself to be the consummate survivor." He adds later:

It is evident that the consummate survivor remains confident–almost strangely and, one could say, illogically so–that he will somehow endure this present test, and whatever lies after.

Anyone else get the sense that Rather–a tremendously long-lived yet little-loved and much-ridiculed presence on the ever-smaller screen that is network news–is really talking about himself and his eventual retirement?

Available for free–and worth every penny–on the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.