Katie Couric’s Credibility As An Anchor

Mister D: Everybody loves Katie. Maybe she can help bring peace in the Middle East. And God knows she has more credibility than George Bush ever did. It wouldn’t hurt him to sing a duet with Bette Midler, altho I don’t think Bette could get thru the dang song without hurling! 🙂

New York Daily News
Richard Huff
Katie’s topic for ‘Today’: Credibility

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

If the reports are to be believed, CBS News bosses are seriously making a run at Katie Couric to become the new anchor of the “CBS Evening News.”

But, before they sign the undoubtedly massive contract with Couric, CBS News executives might want to think about this: There are folks who think she has a credibility problem.

Well, actually, Couric and her “Today” cohort Matt Lauer. However, let’s just focus on Couric for a moment, since she’s the one being spun for the CBS gig.

I wasn’t aware of the Couric-Lauer animosity until I recently wrote that NBC left them twisting in the wind by not informing them of the balloon crash during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which they were hosting on NBC. The move, I believe, risked their credibility as journalists.

“What I thought was interesting was that they were considered newscaster anchors,” wrote Jimmy Hiler, one of the readers who responded. “I had never thought of them that way. Their program seems more entertainment than news, and the news points during the program are usually covered by someone else.”

That was one of the few nicer notes.

“These two have absolutely no credibility to lose,” wrote Allan Jones.

“With regard to losing credibility with viewers, that would require Katie and Matt actually having credibility. Unfortunately, that was lost loooooong ago,” wrote Allen Shaver.

“The idea that Couric and Lauer are newscasters, rather than in the entertainment business, is an insult to real newscasters,” added Claudia Brown.

I could go on and on with the letters, which were surprising in nature, considering the No. 1 ranking of the “Today” show. A show doesn’t do that well for so long without millions actually finding the hosts endearing.

Still, whether it was a coordinated letter-writing attack by an anti-Couric/Lauer faction, or just people reacting to my column, the reactions revealed that there were some negative feelings toward the “Today” duo.

Before Couric became the morning-show host, she earned her stripes reporting for NBC News. She rose to national fame during the first Gulf War, when she was stationed at the Pentagon.

Since then, she’s interviewed world leaders, celebrities and occasionally wore feather boas to interview a relationship expert. Recently, she sang with Bette Midler.

This is not to say Couric couldn’t make the transition to evening news anchor. She could – it’s been done before. As everyone knows, Tom Brokaw made the jump from “Today” to “Nightly News” years ago.

There is a difference, though, and this may be fueling the anti-Couric wave: I can’t recall Brokaw ever wearing a Halloween costume on air.

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