Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why I'm disappointed in Katie Couric

Yes, this topic won, barely beating out Faculty, Teaching and Technology, which I promise to write about tomorrow, since I could probably write about that topic all day every day. :) I have some cogent thoughts about it and some good input in the comments to my last post on the topic. (Geeky Mom: Technology burnout)

I decided not to say I hated Katie Couric, because I don't. I don't know her at all and there are a couple of things I admire about her. But overall, I'm disappointed. But it's also a very sticky wicket. I've been waiting since about 1986 for a female anchor, so it's about time for that. And I hate that any criticism that's launched at her gets twisted into something gendered. Go to YouTube and search for Katie Couric. It's not pretty. For example, she did this contest for her sign off line and the Jimmy Kimmel show spliced together her real discussion of that with a flashing of her breasts. I ask you, would they have had Matt Lauer flash his audience as a signoff. I don't think so.

The fact that she had a signoff line contest is part of what bugs me about her. I know she wants to seem friendly and "indclude the audience" but have some guts and just pick something already. You've had three months. I mean really. Add to that that she said after one of the stories I saw, "I just love that story." She just doesn't seem serious enough. It feels like she's turned the news into a parlor game.

Part of me thinks, well the news format was determined by some white guys over the last 50 years. Maybe the news should change its format, but I don't think the direction she chose is the right way to go. It just doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel like journalism in the same way that Fox News doesn't feel like journalism.

It's a shame, really, that our first female anchor has to be someone who, in my opinion, is not a real journalist and about whom the country has some gender-based hangups that they probably couldn't get past even if she were a real journalist. There are some good female journalists they could have chosen--Martha Raddatz, Cokie Roberts, Diane Sawyer--to name a few. CBS's own Lara Logan is an excellent journalist though perhaps it's too early in her career to move to anchor.

I think, though, that most of my feelings about Katie are a bit amorphous. I'm not always sure why she makes me cringe. She seems phony in some way or trying too hard or something. I think agree with the following sentiment:

I wish I knew exactly why it was that I loathe Katie Couric so greatly. She has never personally attacked me or my family. She’s never done anything directly to offend me or anyone that I care about. She’s been nothing but an on air personality which, incidentally, has all but driven me mad for the last 15 years of my life with her plastic appearance and ridiculous hair styles. . . . There are few people in this world that have ever been able to have the effect on me that Katie has been able to have. Very few have been able to literally make me cringe at the sound of their name, and even fewer have made me want to scream at the sound of their voice.

Yahoo! 360° - Something to think about.... - Ding Dong ~ September 13, 2006

I long for real news again. Since ABCs gone down the path to 9/11 and CBS has become some kind of variety show, I'm watching NBC--I guess.

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