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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

From Cronkite To Couric

Quick.

What is the adjective you think of, when you hear someone say: Katie Couric?

I'll bet you Bill Gates' monthly salary, it's "perky".

Such was my utter surprise, when I heard on Wednesday, that Perkette (as we call her in my home), will soon grace the post once held by such luminaries as:

Edward R. Murrow
Walter Cronkite
Dan Rather

...and now, Katie Couric.

I need not tell you how much of a awkward cadence this rundown of news anchors' names is, when it is punctuated by her name at the end.

I realise she's not the first female news anchor, an honour I believe held by Mrs. Maury Povich, who shared the news desk with Dan "I weep, therefore I am" Rather.

And she certainly owes a lot to Barbara Walters, whose trailblazing celebrity-mongering alongside "hard" news, made it that much more possible for women such as Katie Couric, to exist.

But man, this decision has more than a whiff of desperation in it.

It's almost as if CBS realised the days of the "news from the pulpit", where news anchors of major networks were the closest things the US public had, to avuncular demi-gods, were long over.

Of course, they are.

But Couric's new assignment is as tacit an acknowledgement that investigative news anchors, who are supposed to carry intellectual weight into their craft of journalism, has now transformed itself into nothing more than news reading from a morning personality.

It's the warm recognition factor the CBS executives are hoping will bring in her cadre of loyal viewers, from morning to evening, book-ending the two most important times of the news day.

Of course, CBS has always prided itself precisely on this type of intellectual heft, whereas NBC lent towards cosy familiarity, so to me, it's doubly interesting.

I would've understood if Tim Russert, or Andrea Mitchell had been poached from NBC to anchor the CBS Evening News.

As disagreeable a persons, as I think they are, at least their journalistic credentials are tested.

The most I remember from Katie Couric, is her David Gregory-like grilling of then-President George HW Bush.

But never mind.

This is a fait-accompli for us viewers.

It's not like I will watch her, or have watched her that much, these many years.

She isn't only perky, but to me, she gives off a very unpleasant, hypocritical vibe, which if rumours of her disagreements with Bryant Gumble and Matt Lauer are true, it seems I'm not the only one to pick up on them.

Rapport with the viewer is important, to be sure, but more than that, is gravitas.

And bottom-line is, Couric lacks just that very quality.

For my television news, I will stick to Jim Lehrer and Brit Hume, two men whose journalistic credentials are absolute.

I may not always agree with either, but I know I'm getting substance, over style, every time.

6 Comments:

  • Katie Couric - had to look her up - never seen her face - good riddance. Surprising, since from the Big Channels, I mostly watch NBC, but that's predominantly Jay Leno and Conan. If I had to rely on Merkin outlets for news, I'd watch Jim Lehrer, but luckily, I don't have to, since I have my Bulgarian sources. Much ado about nothing, I'd say. (Hey, don't get offended - your ado is always fun to read, if too voluminous ;)

    By Anonymous Elko, at Thu Apr 06, 04:35:00 am GMT-4  

  • Katie Couric - had to look her up - never seen her face - good riddance.

    *LOL*

    Surprising, since from the Big Channels, I mostly watch NBC, but that's predominantly Jay Leno and Conan.

    Do you remember when in Europe, we had "Super NBC"?

    That was fairly nice, I thought, since at night you could watch David Letterman (then), followed by a live game of baseball.

    Odd perhaps, but so is Rai Int'l. :)

    If I had to rely on Merkin outlets for news, I'd watch Jim Lehrer, but luckily, I don't have to, since I have my Bulgarian sources.

    Oh, duh! Now I know who you are, Elko.

    Welcome to the blog. Make yourself at home. Yoghurt on the house. ;)

    Much ado about nothing, I'd say. (Hey, don't get offended - your ado is always fun to read, if too voluminous ;)

    Not nearly as voluminous as I could be on RSS! ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 04:45:00 am GMT-4  

  • To think! They passed on Tony Danza and Paul Ruebens! or The Rock!

    Spongebob Squarepants reading the AP wire -- now that's gravitas!

    No wonder people watch John Stewart!

    By Blogger Ron, at Thu Apr 06, 10:10:00 am GMT-4  

  • I'll bet you Bill Gates' monthly salary, it's "perky".

    Actually, it would be something involving either "leftist", or "colonoscopy"...

    By Blogger JSU, at Thu Apr 06, 04:23:00 pm GMT-4  

  • To think! They passed on Tony Danza and Paul Ruebens! or The Rock!

    Spongebob Squarepants reading the AP wire -- now that's gravitas!


    Erm, quite!

    No wonder people watch John Stewart!

    A funny thing happened on the way to the blogpost reply...

    Ron, your wisdom knows no bounds.

    That's a very good observation, of why we have Couric and not Mitchell or Dana Bash, as the new CBS news anchor.

    Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert.

    The future of television news.

    I weep.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 09:02:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Actually, it would be something involving either "leftist", or "colonoscopy"...

    1- LOL
    2- :(

    Too, too true, JSU.

    NBC just take the cake when it comes to those topics...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 09:02:00 pm GMT-4  

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