itself super-imposed on history in the making, it can be rather
disconcerting. Such was the case the other day with the
earth-shattering revelation that the Katie Couric "experiment" as
anchor of the CBS Evening news had gone down the tubes.
At the same time that was making news, a reporter was weeding
through a 2007 book, Reality Show, which chronicled the courting of
Ms.Couric by the wizards at the network that Uncle Walter built.
"Reality Show" by the noted journalist Howard Kurtz was an
insightful read into the inner machinations of how all the current
anchors got to be where there were but the stuff on the first female
anchor was prophetic at best and deeply revealing at worst.
Seems the former Today Show co-anchor had a major gene missing
from her reporting DNA namely news judgement or the lack of same.
Item: The 2006 election saw a seismic change in the political
landscape in the nation's capitol. With a war-crippled President Bush
in the White House, the GOP witnessed the loss of both the U.S. House
and Senate. Democrats winning control was a mando story and Ms.
Couric's rivals realized that. Brian Williams at NBC and the
bespeckled Charlie Gibson over at ABC lead with the story.
The CBS anchor lead with the death of CBS correspondent Ed
Bradley had died the day after the earth shattering election. Not only
did she ignore the D takeover in the lead, she devoted half of the news
cast to the passing of her colleague.
Bradley must have been spinning in his grave at the lack of news
savvy on her part.
Item: The balance of Democratic power in the Senate hung by a
one vote thread so when the Democratic Senator from South Dakota
suffered a potential career and life-ending stoke, this was major news.
All of the networks were sensitive to the fate of Tim Johnson but
this was more than a personal story, it had far-reaching political
ramifications. If Johnson could not serve the GOP would have as many
votes as the Democrats and Vice President Cheney could break the ties.
Once more the boys at NBC and ABC got it and once more the
anchor at CBS did not.
Ms.Couric started her newscast with, "I'm Katie Couric. And
it's beginning to look a lot more like Christmas in the checkout lines...",
she waxed on about a story that deserved to be in the rundown but not
at the top of the newscast.
Kurtz reports that "Couric later concluded that they had made
the wrong call."
Perhaps the only amazing part of this story is that she lasted
as long as she did.