What's Dumber? Katie's Pigeon Joking, Or Her Promise To Broadcast "Lies"?

<p><img vspace="4" hspace="4" border="0" align="right" src="media/2006-02-08-NBCTodayPigeons.jpg" />While the TV-news world buzzes over whether Katie Couric brings her powdered perkiness to the &quot;CBS Evening News&quot; throne of Dan Rather, her current morning job still makes her look quite silly, more <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060034/">&quot;That Girl&quot;</a> than &quot;Evening News&quot; anchor/icon. Drudge today is wondering whether she was &quot;discharged&quot; upon as she fed pigeons in Milan on camera shortly after 8 AM Eastern. Our views of the video today show no visual evidence of the number-two (and Katie later denied it happened*), but a surplus of dopey jokes about it, with Couric remarking on &quot;sometimes you're the pigeon, sometimes you're the statue,&quot; and then claiming she might be needing &quot;Purel&quot; to clean her hands after the pigeons fed there. She makes CBS anchor Connie Chung reporting from Tonya Harding's ice rink look like the essence of hard news. <a href="media/2006-02-08-NBCTCouric.wmv">Windows Media Player</a> or <a href="media/2006-02-08-NBCTCouric.rm">Real Player</a></p>Perhaps the dumber Olympics-related &quot;Today&quot; moment came last Thursday, as MRC's Geoff Dickens sent along the transcript:<!--break--><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right: 0px;"><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Katie Couric: &quot;We're back at 7:30am on this Thursday morning, February the 2nd. You're looking live at <place w:st="on"><city w:st="on">Torino</city>, <country-region w:st="on">Italy,</country-region></place> where we'll all be one week from today <strong>broadcasting lies</strong>, lies.&quot;</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">[Couric laughs at herself]</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Lauer, referring to Couric making fun of him mispronouncing Olympics as &quot;Olymp-ers&quot; earlier in the program: &quot;Ooohoohoo. It took 30 minutes but I think I'm about to get even here. Go ahead, continue. [To the cameras] Why don't you come up on Katie right now.&quot;</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Couric, correcting herself: &quot;No, let's not.<strong> Broadcasting live</strong> as we begin our coverage of the 2006 Olympic winter games. I knew this was going to happen, Matt.&quot;</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">...</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Lauer: &quot;You know somehow I think that 'Olympers' is a mere hiccup compared to 'broadcasting lies...'&quot; </span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">[Studio laughter]</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Couric: &quot;So touchy.&quot;</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Lauer: &quot;'...from <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Italy</place></country-region>.&quot;</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Couric: &quot;You're so touchy this morning. We both got too much sleep, a dangerous thing.&quot;</span></font></p><p /><p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Lauer: &quot;Revenge is a dish best served 31 minutes after...&quot;</span></font></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr" class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">And, while we're on the fluffy side of the news biz, what's with that wacky flowered coat Katie was wearing? Is it possible that in this product-placement age, that clothing manufacturers pay to get their clothes featured on the networks? (Dickens said she bragged it was Dolce and Gabbana...We're into serious Diva Land now. This after she noted her daughters loved feeding the birds in Venice.) </span></font></p><p dir="ltr" class="MsoNormal"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">* UPDATE: At 8:23, NBC viewers received the much-ado-about-poo update: </span></font></p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right: 0px;"><p>Katie Couric: &quot;Meanwhile Al, Matt and Ann we should mention Natalie [Morales] is keeping her distance from me after I was covered by pigeons but you know she was terrified when the tail was on my head thinking that was gonna be the money shot. The good news is none of them did their business on me. The even better news is I don't think Dolce and Gabbana is gonna want this coat back.&quot;</p></blockquote>

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis