Monday, January 10, 2005

What Gunga Dan Ought To Do Tonight

Dan Rather's next script, courtesy of Paddy Chayefsky...

Last night, I was awakened from a fitful sleep, shortly after two o'clock in the morning, by a shrill sibilant faceless voice. I couldn't make it out at first in the dark bedroom. And I said, "I'm sorry, you'll have to talk a little louder".
The voice said to me, "I want you to tell the people the truth, not an easy thing to do because the people don't want to know the truth".
And I said, "You're kidding. What the hell should I know about the truth?"
But the voice said to me, "Don't worry about the truth. I will put the words in your mouth".
And I said, "What is this, the burning bush, for God's sake I'm not Moses".
And the voice said to me, "And I'm not God, what's that got to do with it?"
And the voice said to me, "We're not talking about eternal truth or absolute truth or ultimate truth, but we're talking about impermanent transient human truth. I don't expect you people to be capable of truth but goddamn it at least you're capable of self-preservation."
And I said, "Why Me?"
And the voice said, "Because you're on television, Dummy! You have forty million Americans listening to you and after this show you could have fifty million. For Pete's sake, I'm not asking you to walk the land in sackcloth and ashes preaching the Armageddon. You're on TV man!"
So I thought about it for a moment and then I said, "OK."


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