Day By Day

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Exorcism of Katie C.

The long knives are out for Katie Couric.

She was installed as evening anchor at CBS News with great fanfare and great expectations, but has not delivered the hoped for numbers. If she were a male anchor there would be no problem -- she could be summarily dumped. But Katie is a woman whose rise to prominence has been marketed as a triumph for women everywhere. She cannot be removed without good reason.

CBS has therefore embarked on a Clintonesque campaign of personal destruction aimed at portraying Katie as unstable and bizarre. Whispers about her conduct and mental state have been circulating for months. Now there is a major faux-sympathetic hit piece in New York Magazine revealing that in a fit of frustration she "slapped around" a male staffer [here]. This in turn has been taken up by magazines and talk shows and gossip columns [see here for instance].

The campaign is well underway and, despite assurances to the contrary, the end is nigh.

I have never cared much for Ms. Couric. I seldom saw her Today show appearances [I never really got over Dave Garroway's departure] and it has been many decades since I watched CBS's evening news broadcasts [or ABC or NBC or NPR's for that matter]. But I sympathize with her now that her corporate masters have set loose the dogs of personal destruction. Whatever her inadequacies Katie does not deserve to be demonized.

You go, girl.