I dutifully watched Katie Couric's first appearance as the lead anchor for the CBS evening news. Being a woman who has some experience in the news business, I want to jump up and down on my metaphorical couch in praise of Katie, but I just can't bring myself to gush all that much.
To start with, I found the news content a little stale. I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, did anything happen in the news today?" as I watched the first, very long segment on the state of things in Afghanistan. Don't get me wrong, it was an interesting piece, but hardly lead material.
Then there was the interview Katie did with a liberal columnist who slobbered all over her. I could deal with that until Katie made a comment with the statement, "..and we're all looking forward to the fifth anniversary of 9-11..." I understand that she didn't actually mean to say that we're all eagerly anticipating the anniversary of one of the worst acts of terrorism on our country, but you'd think that for someone with all her experience she would have been able to reach for the right phrasing.
Speaking of phrasings, I found myself playing catch-up as she shot-gunned through three or four stories in a row with nary a breath. I couldn't tell you what the stories were since Katie's poor pacing left me bewildered as we went into commercial break.
The moment that sealed Katie's fate for me in terms of future viewing was the big story on the first photos of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' new baby, Suri. We get enough of that schlock in the tabloids and I would go as far to say it has no place in a serious newscast.
I found out today that I wasn't alone in my criticisms:
Tom Shale's column in the Washington Post
I want to give Katie a chance, but I find I yell at the TV, newspaper, Internet, and radio enough when it comes to news reporting and newscasts. For that reason, I will go back to watching Charles Gibson on ABC tonight. There probably will be a good percentage of people who won't join me simply because they prefer the lighter side of evening news that Katie will present. For all my negativity and criticisms, I do want Katie to succeed. I just hope that she can find a better balance and angle than what a 17-share of the market saw last night.
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