Breaking: “Meredith Vieira’s shift to co-anchor of “The Today Show” was a smarter career move than Katie Couric’s arrival at CBS Nightly News!” according to
Forbes‘ annual ranking of the World’s Most Powerful Women everyone in media.
And while Vieira pulled in at number 55, Couric ranked at a paltry 63, which was just good enough to place her three spots behind First Lady Laura Bush and just behind her arch nemesis, Diane Sawyer, who clocked in at 62.
Absent from the list was Vieira’s former View co-host, Rosie O’Donnell, though it should be noted that Barbara Walters ranked 75th overall (and 12th in pay) on Forbes‘ “Celebrity 100″ earlier this year.
Meanwhile, despite being able to bounce a quarter off her derrière, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saw herself get “bounced” down to 4th place, losing the top spot to German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Apparently being in third place is really bad. Katie Couric will go to Iraq and Syria for a 12-day trip the week after Labor Day.
This leaves Charlie Gibson as the only major news anchor who hasn???t visited a war torn country lately. He’s also the only anchor not to wear Stephen Colbert???s wristband. Of course, when you???re number one in the ratings, you can do whatever you want.
Katie herself is excited about the upcoming field trip:
I’m curious about very basic questions regarding living conditions, about how much fear there is in the street, about how the soldiers really are doing.
Please be safe! Moxie doesn’t mean anything outside of the green zone.
How is mudslinger Ed Klein able to rationalize writing “such salacious details” about Katie Couric knowing she’s a single mother of two daughters? “Those kids have been reading about their mother for the last 2, 3 years, explains Klein. “I’m only saying what they already know.”
Yes, because everyone knows unsubstantiated gossip is totally justifiable when it’s 2-3 years old!*
Meanwhile, bonus points to Klein for admitting that his entire bio consists of nothing more than tawdry rumors that have been previously reported and, presumably, disproved. Sounds like real groundbreaking stuff!
* Also, three years ago daughter Caroline was only 8! But apparently it’s never too early to start reading recycled rumors about your mother’s supposed promiscuity.
Remember the other day when we told you a long, and slightly boring story about how Stephen Colbert broke his wrist then turned it into a drawn out pseudo-feud with Brian Williams? Well, in his new perch at the NYT (”All the news that’s fit to print…eventually”) Brian Stelter is on hand to breathe new life into the already week-old piece. And he’s armed with a sort of stupid quote from the ubiquitous HuffPo editor Rachel Sklar, and this poignant observation about broadcast news.
Brian Williams, the ???NBC Nightly News??? anchor, and Katie Couric, the ???CBS Evening News??? anchor, both played along. But Charles Gibson, anchor of ABC???s ???World News,??? did not, and some media observers interpreted his recalcitrance as a statement that real news shows are not to be conflated with parodies.
Wait, they’re not? Well, damn! That notorious prankster Walter Cronkite must be turning over in his grave right about now.
From the oft-polluted mailbag: “CBS News staffers are thrilled that Katie Couric has taken a brave and bold stand that no one has ever taken before. The CBS diva told her executive producer Rick Kaplan to lighten up on his notoriously noxious cologne. Kaplan is legendary for wearing what seems like an entire bottle of manly scent every day on his Shrek-like 6′8″ frame. CBS News is only the lastest news division to suffer the HazMat effect of Kaplan’s scent. ABC, CNN and MSNBC have finally been detoxed. Now it’s CBS’s turn, suffering the “Old Spice attack” as it’s been called. Indeed, ABC News colleagues during the first Gulf War jokingly donned their protective gas masks not to survive Saddam’s chemical attacks but to endure Kaplan’s powerful scent. Couric told Kaplan to knock it off with the cologne because whenever he hugged her she carried his stink with her all day. Couric couldn’t take it anymore. Kaplan replied that he had no idea his cologne was so strong – he claims that he doesn’t have a good sense of smell.”
Yesterday, we told you about the upcoming unauthorized bio-slash-hatchet job on Katie Couric (written by professional mudslinger, Ed Klein) that claims she and her former Today show colleagues weren’t exactly sitting around, braiding each other’s hair when the cameras were off. In fact, Klein goes so far as to suggest that relations between Couric and Lauer were decidedly unfriendly, and claims Lauer even threatened to quit Today if Katie’s $65 million contract were renewed.
Naturally, we were taking all of this with a grain of salt (seeing as Klein has about as much credibility as Joe Isuzu*) until we came across this interview Matt Lauer gave to Good Housekeeping magazine, in which he admits to being a “cheesy dad,” a point he illustrates by sharing the following cheddar-laced anecdote.
Star reports (quoting unidentified sources and unnamed friends) that Vieira already wants to jump ship. “Meredith told me she’s already planning her exit strategy so she can leave Today with her dignity intact,” Star quotes a pal. “For her, it’s been a noble experiment that hasn’t worked as well as she had hoped.”
When reached for comment, a beleaguered Katie Couric (the often maligned anchor of CBS’ third place Evening News broadcast and the subject of a scandalous unauthorized bio) sarcastically replied, “Yeah, Meredith. This must have been a really difficult year. For you.”
Is Katie Couric a domineering prima donna who would do anything to claw her way to the top?
‘Absolutely!’ proclaims known muckraker Ed Klein, whose new unauthorized bio depicts Couric as a manipulative power-hungry shrew.
Armed with the testimony of various unreliable sources, Klein asserts that Couric alienated her Today show colleagues, willfully destroyed the marriage of a prominent CNN exec, and stood by her ailing husband, Jay Monahan—who died of colon cancer in 1998—purely out of “fear of negative publicity.”
It’s been almost twelve months since Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira joined CBS and NBC respectively, which means it’s time for their one-year evaluations!
But who will weigh in on Katie’s performance? Marketwatch’s thrice-weekly columnist Jon Friedman has the answer!
“Since Couric generated more heat than Vieira in the past year, she’ll get the lion’s share of scrutiny from the usual suspects: critics, pundits, bloggers, journalism-school professors, retired network executives and former anchors.”
And, of course, from the self-proclaimed media critic whom CJR has pointedly nicknamed “The Man Who Knew Too Little And Wrote Too Much.”
Muckraking author Ed Klein (best known for his unauthorized bio of Hillary Clinton) is almost ready to unveil his latest hatchet job. His subject? Katie Couric.
As if Katie Couric doesn’t have enough tsuris these days, Ed Klein says in an interview that his new book about the CBS Evening News anchor includes details “that will knock readers’ socks off.”
Of course, Klein made similar claims before his last unauthorized biography, about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in 2005. Though a best-seller, The Truth About Hillary was eviscerated on both sides of the aisle for its personal attacks and reliance on anonymous sources.
And while Klein is being top-secret about the contents of “Katie: The Real Story,” we’re not sure what everyone’s so worried about. Worst case scenario: Klein digs up enough unsubstantiated dirt on Couric’s personal life to make her a gossip column fixture, discredits her as a news journalist based on rumored incidences of plagiarism and relegates the once top-tier CBS Evening News broadcast to a distant third place.
Um, correct us if we’re wrong, but didn’t all of this already happen?
TOO bad no one had a video camera going Saturday night at the piano bar in Nantucket where Katie Couric was singing her heart out…Couric sang the Neil Diamond classic “Sweet Caroline” and joined in as her group closed the place down with “America the Beautiful.”
WTF, no drunken rendition of “Star Spangled Banner” or incoherently slurred “God Bless America?” Lame!
A chick who had no problem whatsoever undergoing a live, on-air colonoscopy (and whose cell phone ring is the slutty girls’ anthem, “Don’t Cha”) kicking of her heels and belting out…the patriotic words of 19th century poet, Katherine Lee Bates.
Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like Katie?
• Keith Olbermann tells the LA Times he had a “conversation” with “the large people at CBS before they went and decided to go to Katie Couric.” A smug CBS exec responded, “See?! I knew we had a good reason for picking Couric.”
• Rapper/idiot Kanye West describes Karl Lagerfeld as a “living legend” in the August/September issue of Complex magazine. Which he also edited—presumably, badly.
• “Don Imus has a cockroach’s knack for survival,” writes New York magazine, who—incidentally—is having the Best Lede Ever.
The CBS Evening News anchorwoman’s May 16 “exclusive news” – that Hurricane Katrina victims are getting sick over the FEMA-provided trailers they’re living in – wasn’t exclusive, nor was it news (in the sense that news is new). MSNBC had a story back in July 2006, and Dan Rather reported the story on his unwatched HDNet show two weeks before Katie. Dan Rather beat Katie. Now that’s gotta sting. [Mervin Block]
Lest you thought you’d heard the last of Dan Rather’s disjointed meanderings on the subject of Katie Couric, the former newsman pointedly rehashes his feud with CBS, reiterating that “the tendency [with evening news broadcasts] is to dumb it down and sleaze it up.” Also, he predicts that the odds are in favor of Katie Couric…continuing to be a lousy anchorperson.
Mr. Rather today said he doesn???t know whether Ms. Couric is the right person to lead ???Evening News,??? noting it will take more time to determine whether viewers embrace her.
???It???s been a short time,??? Mr. Rather said. Asked whether he thinks Ms. Couric will work as anchor, he said, ???The odds are longer now.???
True or not, you have to wonder what exactly Rather hopes to gain from all this (other than an unvitation to Les Moonves’ annual Christmas party). Either way, though, we’ll be watching Couric more closely. Well, not, like, literally “watching” her (like most people in the 25-40 demographic, 6:30pm is generally reserved for Happy Hours at the local dive bar near our office).
But we’ll definitely notice if she does another whiny, “why, me?” cover story in New York magazine.
Ever wondered what meal Anderson Cooper fantasizes about, what unsolicited advice an embittered former CBS producer has for Katie Couric, and who’s really watching Larry King? Then, come right in! And let Intern Wendy provide you with a refresher course on everything from Katie Couric to bull-fighting to cannibal stew.
• “She’s gone from being sort of an exuberant presence to someone who looks like they’ve been kidnapped and drugged and are making a hostage tape. It has nothing to do with her being a male or female, it’s just not comfortable to watch.” Mary Mapes, offering Katie Couric a little constructive criticism, Morning Joe, July 17
• “You’re—you???re officially a wolf observer now. Or excuse me, you’re officially a wolf watcher now. And is that your first wolf?” Doug Smith, getting all the juicy details on Anderson Cooper???s “first time,” Anderson Cooper 360, July 12
• “If you see some great videos of some bulls goring people, tell us about it at CNN.com/360,” Anderson Cooper, clearly siding against the matadors, Anderson Cooper 360, July 12