Inside Move: Rather restraint may win Condit

'CBS Evening News' anchor is front-runner, Russert sez

Dan Rather’s reluctance to cover the Chandra Levy case may work in the CBS anchor’s favor when it comes to landing a much-sought-after interview with Rep. Gary Condit.

While other media outlets blanketed the airwaves with Levy-Condit coverage, the Rather-anchored “CBS Evening News” has aired only one story on the subject.

Sizing up the intense competish for a Condit interview on NBC’s “Today” show last week, “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert said Rather is the front-runner. “They’re very, very open about saying they would prefer a national media outlet that has covered this situation less than most,” Russert said of Condit’s advisers.

But only the most cynical newsies would dare suggest that Rather orchestrated the situation to his favor. “Everybody is going after Condit. It’s the next big interview to get,” said Steve Friedman, executive producer of CBS News’ “The Early Show.”

Meanwhile, Condit hasn’t officially decided if he’ll talk and with whom.

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