Dow Jones Media Critic: Couric's Woes Chauvinistic America's Fault

Well, at least he didn't blame it on Bush. In his column of yesterday, Market Watch's Jon Friedman tells us not to rule out this explanation of CBS Evening News's disappointing third-place finish under Katie Couric's baton:

"America wasn't truly ready for the first solo woman evening-news anchor, let alone someone smart and attractive with pretensions to sounding puckish and hip."

Oh, please. Does Friedman really believe that? From Maureen Dowd [love her or hate her] to Oprah to Katie herself back in her 'Today' days, millions of Americans are comfortable getting their news and views from women opinion-leaders. Katie hasn't flopped because of her sex. She's been unsuccessful because she's done nothing to distinguish herself from her liberal media competitors - with the exception of letting her show's precious few minutes of hard news be crowded out by the awkward "Free Speech" segment.

In fairness, Friedman does take some real shots at CBS for a botched promotional campaign that hyped "Couric's charisma, not her journalistic pedigree." Friedman also slams CBS for sending out "a manufactured photo of Couric so she'd look slimmer."

But at the end of the day, Friedman cops out on Couric, trotting out the old "Americans are afraid of a strong woman" cliche. I'm not buying.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.