Mag Complains Couric's Sex a ‘Challenge’ Yet Focuses on Anchor's ‘Shapely Legs’

May 11th, 2007 12:17 PM

CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric is profiled in More magazine this month by Amy Wilentz in a piece called, “Katie’s Leap Year” highlighting the “challenge” of Couric’s gender in a male-dominated profession.

The challenge is so great, according to the author, that it leaves Couric, “walking a transgendered tightrope” and “It’s surprising that [Couric] doesn’t have a baritone voice or whiskers by now.”

The story begins with “significant role model” Couric speaking before a group of “hopeful young women” for National Women’s History Month, trumpets “black-and-white photographs of women who achieved milestones: Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride and Margaret Sanger”, and reveals Couric’s intention to be viewed, “as a relatively intelligent person who deserves to be at the helm” of the "Evening News." Yet by the end of the story, Wilentz reveals little more than three references to Couric’s legs including, "famously shapely legs", "legs crossed Indian-style" and Couric’s own, "I’m still getting my sea legs."

What's more, Wilentz points out almost every article of clothing Couric wears, including “a low cut orangey top”, and that Couric “has set her cell phone to ring with the tune of the Pussycat Dolls’ ‘Don’t Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me’”.

The author points to Couric’s interviews with top officials like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as events that have not delivered in the ratings but maintains she is, “America’s best interviewer.”

Wilentz also says some of Couric’s own infusions of “humor” and “warm asides” have not raised ratings for the self-described “conductor at the nightly news.”

Couric’s interview with Dr. Rice won the "Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis" in 2006 at the Media Research Center’s Dis-Honors Awards for this exchange:

Katie Couric: "A passionate student of history, Condi Rice believes turmoil often precedes periods of peace and stability. And she rejects the notion that the U.S. is a bully, imposing its values on the world."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "What’s wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very liberties and freedoms that we enjoy?"
Couric to Rice: "To quote my daughter, ‘Who made us the boss of them?’"
— CBS’s 60 Minutes, September 24.