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Anchors Are Forever (Well, Almost Forever)

The race to be the new Dan Rather vs. the race to be the new James Bond.

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Both CBS News and the people who bring you James Bond movies are in the midst of looking for new leading men (to replace Dan Rather and Pierce Brosnan). And the public short-listing scrum is strangely similar. A look at their casting calls—and what the players have said about the job opportunities.

CBS Anchor
The More-Or-Less-Openly Campaigning Candidate
John Roberts, Canadian V.J. turned CBS White House correspondent: “Obviously, anyone would be flattered. The choice is up to the people running CBS News. Whoever they choose, I will be proud to work for them.”

The Probable-Pass-But-Still-Intrigued-By-Posterity Candidate
Tim Russert, host of NBC’s Meet the Press [to Don Imus]: “The role of the anchor in American culture is unique. And you remember where you were during specific news events—September 11 or the Berlin Wall falling down or the Challenger explosion. And you always tie it to the person you were watching.”

The Thanks-But-No-Thanks, Why-Are-You-Still-Pestering-Me-About-This? Candidate
Diane Sawyer, host of ABC’s Good Morning America: “That’s flattering, but it’s completely out of the question.”

The Contrarian, Franchise-Busting Candidate
Michael Moore [to Jay Leno]: “Actually, I just came from CBS. I was auditioning for the new anchor position . . . I thought they’d probably want somebody less controversial, and somebody without an agenda.”

Bond
The More-Or-Less-Openly Campaigning Candidate
Ioan Gruffudd, star of King Arthur and the forthcoming Fantastic Four: “It’s an incredibly flattering feeling that someone should consider me for that part. I’ve not been approached, but if they approached me tomorrow I would say yes in a second.”

The Probable-Pass-But-Still-Intrigued-By-Posterity Candidate
Hugh Jackman, X-Man: “While growing up, [Bond] was the role I wanted to play. I’m not going to compare it to Hamlet, but in a way it’s the same thing. You want to put your stamp on it.”

The Thanks-But-No-Thanks, Why-Are-You-Still-Pestering-Me- About-This? Candidate
Eric Bana, the Hulk: “I’ve said like a million times I wouldn’t do it. It’s never, ever, ever been something we’ve had a discussion about. I haven’t got a bloody clue where this all started.”

The Contrarian, Franchise-Busting Candidate
Rupert Everett, strenuously debonair English actor: “I’d be perfect for it, but I’d never be given it. You know why not.”


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