we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Nov 24th 2004

you mean, “what’s the frequency, dan?”

in celebration of dan rather’s recently announced retirement, we’d like to take a look back at one weird moment in his life.

One night in October 1986, Rather was walking down a Manhattan street when he was punched from behind and thrown to the ground. His assailant kicked and beat him while repeating, “Kenneth, what is the frequency?”
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The attack inspired the 1994 R.E.M. hit “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth.” Being a good sport, Dan Rather even accompanied the band when they performed the song on a Late Show with David Letterman appearance.

In 1997, based on a tip from a psychiatrist, Rather’s attacker was identified as William Tager. According to the psychiatrist, Tager, who was currently serving time for killing an NBC stagehand, blamed news media for beaming signals into his head, and thought if he could just find out the correct frequency, he could block those signals that were constantly assailing him. Hence the enigmatic inquiry. [link] has great stuff on the life of the CBS anchor here.

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