Fresh From Her Royal NBC Farewell, Couric Says She'll End 'Pretentious' News

This just in from Reuters, dateline Las Vegas: "Addressing the annual convention of CBS affiliates, [Katie] Couric predicted that the 'pretentious era' of the evening-news anchor is going to be a thing of the past." The headline, at least on the New York Times website, is "Couric Hopes to End 'Pretentious Era' in News."

Um, a peek at an online dictionary says "pretentious" is defined as "Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious. See Synonyms at showy." Didn't this woman just sit at the center of a wildly extravagant three-hour tribute to her greatness on Wednesday morning? And to get up the next day, and say this?

The story began by reporting Couric hopes to bring a "humanistic, more accessible'' approach to her job when she takes over as anchor and managing editor at CBS. The question that emerges: if she's a fresh change from pretentious, who exactly is she knocking by comparison?

"The audience is more sophisticated than we give them credit for -- they don't want a mechanical Ted Baxter,'' said Couric, whose last day as co-anchor of NBC's ``Today'' was Wednesday. "I'm a serious, caring, compassionate person. I hope that comes out. ...People want a multidimensional (news anchor) and not someone they can put in a box.''

Couric, who was speaking during a Q&A session with "60 Minutes'' correspondent Lesley Stahl, added that she "resents'' being asked how difficult it will be to make the transition from the "lightness'' of morning news to the more "sober'' evening news. "Anyone who watches 'Today' knows that I've done more hard-hitting interviews than any evening news anchor,'' she said.

But the problem for Katie is that she often seemed like she had her face buried in her notes even in the hard-hitting interviews, wearing her pretentious cat's-eye serious glasses. And now she's knocking the other evening news anchors as lightweights in comparison to her? The Queen of Ego has arrived at CBS.

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