Katie Couric Goodbye Seen As 'Ridiculously Over the Top'

On the "Couric Watch" over at TVNewser, Brian Stelter noticed the early reviews for the looong Katie Couric goodbye on Wednesday were negative. Take B&C Beat at Broadcasting and Cable magazine:

But today’s Today orgy of tribute was ridiculously over the top, so long by so far that even Couric seemed to know it. Shortly after 8 a.m., when Matt Lauer promised even more tributes to come, Couric chimed in, “Sorreee!" Almost exactly an hour later, as the tributes kept coming, Couric acknowledged, “It’s a lot of Katie.”

The tribute drilled down to ridiculous detail. Joan Rivers did a good turn ripping Couric’s wardrobe and hair styles, but Rivers went so far as to count how many outfits she wore over 16 years or so -- 3,421, according to a college student Rivers hired “who thought it was show biz” to tackle the task.

Snarky Washington Post TV writer Lisa DeMoraes nails some of the moments MRC's Geoff Dickens thought were odd, especially news reader Ann Curry's excessive devotion to Couric.

"It's amazing; you've held America's hand through a lot of difficult times -- that's why we are celebrating. . . . You deserve your day today," Ann gushes...

"You made me love you . . . and don't be a stranger because I'll come calling," chimes in Ann who, did we mention?, did not get Katie's gig.

"You're starting to freak me out," Katie responds.

DeMoraes also caught Matt Lauer catching himself:

For his part, Matt tells Katie: "They call us co-anchors and I hate that; we're partners in every possible way." "Not in that way!" he quickly adds.

The only thing she skipped over was Harvey Fierstein's routine in the last hour, lathering his lust over Matt Lauer, rhyming "Lauer" with "shower."

Perhaps the most off-putting idea in this whole spectacle of hoary huzzahs and hosannas was that Katie was remarkable in changing and even saving people's lives. Yes, she did get a colonoscopy on national TV. But every network routinely hands out helpful health hints -- it's a ratings-grabbing morning staple. Handing out helpful information is something all the networks do, not just one woman. Policemen, firemen, soldiers -- these people save a lot more lives than your average anchorwoman. This spectacle -- a small sign of Katie's cutesy cult of personality -- underlines the sneaking suspicion that no one in television seems to have a healthy idea of how they are not the most priceless jewel of American society.

UPDATE: Here's the Harvey Fierstein segment of the show:

For years I've watched you through my shower / While dreaming how I'd like to scrub Matt Lauer...set your alarm clock to a decent hour / but how I'd love to wake that cute Matt Lauer.

Couric replied: "I love the Matt Lauer shower line especially. Didn't you, Matt?" Lauer replied: "Yeah, Harvey and I are going to schnuggle after the show."

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