The MSM seems to be focusing on the replacement of Katie Couric's producer as a story about her poor ratings.
Six months after Katie Couric's much-ballyhooed debut as "CBS Evening News" anchor, the network signaled on Thursday an overhaul of her flagging newscast by hiring one of the industry's most experienced hands to oversee her program.
But despite Couric's ratings being at the predicted "bottom of the toilet bowl" range, it appears there's something else behind this move. The new producer is Rick Kaplan. He's being billed as:
"...among the most experienced, and most traveled, producers in TV news, having worked for ABC News, CNN and MSNBC as well as CBS over a 35-year career. He has won more than 30 Emmy Awards and has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, like Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel and Diane Sawyer"...
But conveniently left off his resume is this:
[Kaplan] has been a close friend and political adviser of the Clintons all the way back to the 1970s, when the future president was Arkansas attorney general and Kaplan was producing Walter Cronkite. During the 1992 campaign, while he was executive producer of ABC News' "Nightline," Kaplan repeatedly advised Clinton on how to handle the revelation of the then-Arkansas governor's affair with Gennifer Flowers. A Newsweek report found Kaplan, while he was CNN president, apparently assisting Al Gore during a debate rehearsal for the 2000 presidential campaign. Golf with Bill, overnights in the Lincoln Bedroom, a personal two-and-a-half-hour tour of the White House by the president for his 21-year-old daughter are among the perks Kaplan has enjoyed. His response to press questions about the conflict of interest: "It's nobody's business."
To say nothing of his laundry list of unethical and biased approach to journalism, which includes:
• Vanity Fair reported in 1998 that Kaplan in October 1994 killed an ABC "World News Tonight" segment on the Clintons' Whitewater scandal featuring an exclusive interview with an Arkansas state trooper who claimed a Clinton aide had tried to silence him, and that Kaplan discouraged other Whitewater coverage. • It also revealed Kaplan advised Bill on how to bounce back from his disastrously tedious speech to the 1988 Democratic National Convention, in which he was practically booed off the stage. • The magazine also reported that Kaplan even once hired Hillary "to work on coverage of the 1980 Democratic convention." • According to a CNN producer quoted in the Washington Monthly in 1993, Kaplan arranged for Bill to appear on New York's Don Imus radio program during the 1992 campaign.
I think this is less about Katie Couric and more about Hillary Clinton. CBS is preparing itself to become a daily commercial for her campaign and they've hired one hell of a campaign manager to do it.