WINNER: DAN RATHER, DAN RATHER REPORTS, HDNET

We were glad to see HDNet finally closed a carriage deal with Comcast. This will expose more people to the fact that Dan Rather is hosting a show with some of the best investigative journalism and foreign reporting on television. That’s because Rather is the sole reporter. He’s got a young staff of researchers and producers, though. We envy them, learning journalism from the master, and one who’s far too enthusiastic for someone who’ll be 78 soon. And energy? The man spent nearly half of ’08 on the road tracking down stories. And with 30 years of Afghan coverage under his belt, is there any TV journalist better suited to cover the country that is key to President Obama’s Middle East policy? For Rather nothing replaces boots-on-the-ground reporting. "I love it," he told us in March as Dan Rather Reports reached its 100th episode. It shows.

Honorable Mentions:

Jim Cramer, Mad Money with Jim Cramer, CBNC: Thanks to Jon Stewart, everyone knows Jim Cramer was wrong about the recession. With few exceptions, so was everyone else. But give him credit — the Mad Prophet of Profit had the guts to do The Colbert Report. Appropriately, Colbert ran video of cute puppies and kittens behind Cramer’s head during that segment.

Melissa Lee, Fast Money and Options Action, CNBC: Even the rapidly moving stock ticker at the screen’s bottom seems slow compared to Melissa Lee, whose tough questions, delivered in rapid bursts, often stump the quartet of fast-talking stock analysts the Harvard grad referees during the nightly shouting match known aptly as Fast Money.

 

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