Spectator: Does Connie Chung Matter?

The nation, between Cronkite going and Reagan coming, started abandoning the nightly-news ritual

Unlike that of the tightly wound anchorman hero of Network, Dan Rather's public weirdness (the mysterious assaults, his live-TV walkout) preceded the indignities imposed by the network bosses (his closest CBS colleagues purged, his story ideas slighted). But the scenario is still Chayefskian, and now there's a real-life Network II: in a goose-the-ratings gambit, the bosses oblige the battered, brave protagonist (Rather) to accept a hustling, not exactly cerebral woman (Connie Chung) as his co-anchor.

CBS executives Eric Ober and Howard Stringer suggest, implausibly, that the co-anchorship was Rather's idea; Rather recalls that Stringer broached the notion. But even Ober, for...

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