Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Snap judgment: Snap judging Katie Couric's debut

I don't watch the morning or evening network news and didn't start last night so much of this Katie Couric hoopla has gone right by me. My only opinion of Couric, the carefully presented celebrity personality, is that she reminds me of a chipmunk. A fairly attractive chipmunk, but a chipmunk nonetheless.

The CBS-manufactured hype surrounding Couric's first night in the CBS Evening News anchor chair has compelled just about
every television critic and cultural commentator to go through her debut with a fine-toothed comb -- with some of them drawing fairly broad conclusions.

While I understand it wasn't the reviewers' decision to make this an "event," as an event, was it really any different than the first game of a just-up-from the minors hot-shot shortstop with a long career in front of him?

Maybe not exactly the same-- there were also non-Couric changes to the newscast's format -- but a lot more like the shortstop than the movies, television shows, books or even political speeches these journalists would typically be reviewing. Rendering some of the more definitive conclusion I read out of place, and almost inappropriate.

Also, since much of the controversy surrounding Couric focuses on whether or not she has the gravitas to pull off the evening news, isn't a day in which the biggest story was the death of a crocodile hunter a tough one to solve anything relating to this debate?
Cronkite had the Vietnam war and Watergate to prove his mettle. If he didn't he wouldn't be Cronkite.

I'm not crying for Couric's mostly poor to mediocre early returns, but if the punditocracy thinks Katie Couric's performance on the CBS Evening News is worthy of their attention they should also revisit the topic in a few months when she has established more of a body of work.

*After reading about ten reviews, it seems like half the reviewers got this, and held off straying too far from straight reporting, and the other half reviewed like it was the final word on Katie Couric and nighttime news.


Paul said...

Katie Couric (and the rest of her talking-head colleagues) can bite me!

Crazy Eddie said...

Listen, I'm not the biggest fan of Ms. Couric, but is it really necessary for all these media clowns to slip her under a microscope and direct ill-will towards her?

It's simply because she's a woman.
Growing up with three sisters, I can sympathize with unfair sex-laden comments...