Couric Fails at CBS, But Liberals Defend Her 'Gravitas' With...Palin-Bashing Interview

In surveying the wreckage of the Katie Couric experiment at CBS – $75 million flushed away for a distant third-place finish each week – the liberal journalists are blaming elderly viewers for not accepting Sunny Katie. Here’s James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times:

A change-averse viewership doubtless greeted the initial formatting changes for Couric's "Evening News" as confirmation that "America's Sweetheart," straight from her sunny a.m. perch, didn't have the gravitas for the job. Actually, those impressions had little to do with the newscast that emerged over Couric's five-year tenure.

And what, pray tell, proves Couric’s gravitas? Bashing Sarah Palin, of course, as uninformed. Rainey didn’t ask how Couric would have performed if the tables were turned and Palin was the one holding the microphone like a baseball bat:

Her series of interviews with Sarah Palin, in which the vice presidential candidate appeared evasive and under-informed, will doubtless go down as her single most memorable story.

You might "appear evasive and under-informed" too if the journalist was bound and determined to paint that portrait. Couric won the "Walter Cronkite Award" for "her multi-part interview of Sarah Palin that led to endless mocking of the Alaskan governor on late night shows and that some said helped derail John McCain's campaign."

What's insulting is that anyone could think Katie Couric had a much deeper intelligence than Sarah Palin. Could Couric withstand a good grilling on quantitative easing or nuclear reactors? She was hired for being the good-morning grinny-face, not for gravitas. Rainey didn’t want to remember how Couric demonstrated her "gravitas" days before with her softball interview with Captain Ice Cream – I mean, Joe Biden:

COURIC: He's the close-talking, free-wheeling, ice-cream eating Democratic nominee for Vice President. Senator Joe Biden isn't holding back....Relating to the fears of the average American is one of Biden's strong suits...as he did recently with these union members in Akron....It's something that comes easily for this son of a car salesman from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

COURIC TO PEOPLE IN AUDIENCE: What was it about what he said that really resonated with you in particular?

Trying to argue that the CBS audience was too fuddy-duddy to accept Katie sounds a little like Dana Carvey's George Bush saying Dan Quayle is "still gaining acceptance." Why do liberals insist Quayle or George W. Bush were idiots, but never want to acknowledge the gravitas-challenged public figures in the media?

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