Jewish World Review April 21, 2006/ 23 Nissan,
Couric dissed by colleagues for the wrong reasons
Does Katie Couric lack the gravitas to take over the helm as
host and managing editor of CBS News?
Bernard Kalb, former CBS newsie, apparently thinks so. Kalb
seems positively exasperated about Couric's move from the "Today" show to
the "CBS Evening News": "You know there is a jarring juxtaposition right now
when you have this Edward R. Murrow [film] being shown around the country
'Good Night, and Good Luck' and the hiring of Katie Couric from the NBC
'Today' show. It is, in my mind, a clash of civilizations. Katie Couric is
identified with interviewing celebrities, you don't see her being identified
with the chaos of the world."
Kalb elaborated, " . . . It seems to me hiring a morning
celebrity to move to CBS News which was once known as the Tiffany network
when I worked there marvelous at what she does in the mornings with her
interviews with celebrities, et cetera, but I'm thinking of a world in
turmoil, a world in which you need a lot of firsthand experience. You had to
have had your foot on the ground to have met these various people in their
Never mind that, in addition to Couric's "celebrity"
interviews which include Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill
Clinton and then presidential candidate George W. Bush she served as
assignment editor and producer for CNN, as well as general assignment
reporter for NBC's Washington, D.C., affiliate.
For Kalb, however, color this insufficient: "This is a chaotic
world, and people going to the nightly news want to feel confident that
they're hearing the news from someone who is sensitive, who is on, more or
less, a first-name basis with some of the troubles in the world. I don't see
that in Katie Couric . . . "
CBS's Andy (Dan-Rather-is-"transparently-liberal") Rooney didn't
exactly throw down the welcome mat. On the Don Imus show, Rooney said, "I
think everybody likes Katie Couric. I mean, how could you not like Katie
Couric? But I don't know anybody at CBS News who is pleased that she's
Former CBS anchor Walter
(most-reporters-are-liberal-because-they're-"open-minded") Cronkite admitted
that Couric's salary made him jealous. Larry King asked Cronkite, "You have
any envy for want of a better word about $15 million a year?" "Well,
now, that is envy, yes," said Cronkite. "I place my envy right before you."
"What's the most you made there, if I may ask?" questioned King. "Under a
million dollars . . . " said Cronkite, "as the anchor man. And it was a very
satisfactory salary. I thought, at the time until the million dollar
fellows came in."
Now, how about a real concern about Couric that of her
liberalism. The Media Research Center compiled some of Couric's questions,
statements and opinions, including:
"Good morning. The Gipper was an airhead! That's one of the
conclusions of a new biography of Ronald Reagan that's drawing a tremendous
amount of interest and fire today . . . " Introducing "Today" on Sept.
27, 1999. Two days later, Reagan biographer Edmund Morris told Couric on
"Today" that he never called Ronald Reagan "an airhead," and that Reagan was
"a very bright man."
"Break out the band, bring on the drinks," NBC correspondent
Keith Miller reported from Paris. "The French are calling it a miracle. A
government-mandated 35-hour workweek is changing the French way of life."
After hearing Miller's report, Couric gushed: "The French, they've got it
right, don't they?" "Today," Aug. 1, 2001.
"The school lunch program, by all accounts, has been incredibly
successful, as has the WIC program, and obviously provides good nutrition
for children, which is so crucial for development and education. Since the
states won't have to adhere to any federal guidelines and they can basically
do their own thing, aren't you worried that we're going to go back to the
days when Ronald Reagan suggested that ketchup and relish be designated as
vegetables?"? To Rep. Duke Cunningham, Feb. 22, 1995. [Reagan never
Remember Andrea Yates, the mother who drowned her five kids?
Couric encouraged viewers to send contributions to Yates' legal defense
fund, while the screen displayed the address for the fund. Couric told
viewers any additional money would go to nonprofits that deal with
At the risk of causing further depression, please be advised
that Couric's "Today" show replacement, Meredith Vieira, seems worse. USA
Today said Vieira's critics call her an "anti-war liberal." Just anti-war?
Sure, she's admitted that on "The View." But she also moved into Cindy
Sheehan and Michael Moore-land, accusing Bush of lying us into war.
"Everything's been built on lies," said Vieira. "Everything! I mean the
entire pretext for war."
Seventy-four percent of Republicans, according to a poll a few
years ago, consider mainstream media biased to the left. And get this.
Nearly 50 percent of Democrats say "most journalists are more liberal than
So, Katie and Meredith, we'll be watching. Or at least some of
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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America."
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