Katie Couric's 20-Second Dan Rather Report

Dan Rather was back on the CBS Evening News last night....for all of 20 seconds, which is still longer than he got on 60 Minutes in the last year of his contract. Zing! Watch the in-depth coverage here:

Twenty seconds, in and out, before moving on to a teaser about cute bears, complete with a bear-cam, for a segment lasting 2 minutes 50 seconds (see here - bears are moving to the suburbs!). On ABC, Charlie Gibson gave it 29 seconds at 19:57, moving briskly on to other topics. NBC, however, treated the story very differently, placing it second in the lineup (after tainted toys) and running it at 3:45 for a full 2 mins 12 seconds, running through the history of MemoGate and Rather's ensuing sad tenure at CBS, plus the claims of the lawsuit (Rather as scapegoat, pacification of White House), but also devoting additional time to a mini-retrospective of Rather's career. Brian Williams set it up as "A giant of the television industry is suing a giant of the television industry" and cited Rather's more than four decades in broadcast journalism prior to the report from Ron Allen (with a special bonus cameo from Howard Kurtz). In a nice added touch, the report led with Rather's famous (and famously self-important) sign-off: "And, to each of you: Courage." Interesting demarcation between the three broadcasts, likely fueled by Williams' twin loves of history and really juicy, messy lawsuits.