NRO's Two Takes on Katie Couric and the Feminist Media Elite
Just in time for the Big Announcement, National Review Online has two columns up on Katie Couric. I'll start with Myrna Blyth, whose book "Spin Sisters" revealed Katie's $7,500-a-week trainer. She told how Katie used poetry to hand out an award to the editor of Glamour magazine at a gathering of the feminist elite, the New York Women in Communications luncheon. But the standout line of the piece came from a top editor at the New York Times: "Jill Abramson confided proudly that Al Hunt had once said that she had 'balls like cast-iron cantaloupes.'”
Jonah Goldberg takes a hard line in his piece, that the higher you go in TV news, the lighter the load gets:
The only thing that distinguishes her "news" personality from her work as a cruise director is which camera she looks into and how she pitches her voice. Often it's difficult to tell the difference. She began one interview thusly: "When I got this assignment I thought, 'Whoa, slow news day!' But the importance of the sports bra to American women can't be overemphasized."
Indeed, the current host of The View, Meredith Vieira, is NBC's first choice to replace Couric. Vieira has another job: She hosts the daytime version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Ms. Vieira's official bio touts up front that she won a Daytime Emmy as a game-show host and buries the fact she won five real Emmys for her work as a 60 Minutes reporter.
This would be the money quote that will get the most attention:
But one thing few people invested in the glamour and seriousness of big-league television news will say is what a sham the whole enterprise is. Broadcast journalism is one of the only fields in American life where the job gets demonstrably easier the higher you go. Or, to be more fair, the parts of the job that have to do with what everyone thinks of as "journalism" get easier and easier, and in some cases the journalism simply vanishes altogether.
While it's true that morning-show journalism is awfully fizzy -- after the first half-hour, it does often seem indistinguishable from "Live With Regis and Kelly" -- the evening-news folks and the "60 Minutes" worshippers will be irate. I think my friend Jonah is being a bit too flippant. Even though MRC is at your service to pick apart TV news, it's important to state that TV news has the potential to be extremely informative, even if it sometimes fails to live up to its promise so it can sell Dentu-Creme. It often shows its potential to be extremely propagandistic, which is why we do what we do.
But the real problem for Couric is that she has not done the heavy lifting of hard news. Can you remember Katie Couric in Baghdad? You can remember her feeding the pigeons in Turin, but not going to Iraq like Campbell Brown.