June 13, 2007

Tell Me You Didn't See This One Coming

So yesterday Dan Rather complained that Katie Couric has "tarted up" the evening news and made it less serious, which is why no one's watching.

Okay. Bad word choice, Dan. Can you tell me why using "tarted up" in conjunction with a diatribe about a female news anchor making the news "less serious" might be a bad idea? Think hard, dude. I'll wait. Ann Althouse blogged about this yesterday. As for me, my reaction was more, "Oh, here we go," than "Dan's misogyny is showing," but then I'm a bit of a cynic, and think that Dan Rather is careening merrily downhill into drooling senility.

And word choice aside, there's no way this was ever going to end well. Not when you have the trifecta of crazy bitter ex-employee, ratings crisis, and a whiff of gender baiting.

So now it's on. No less a luminary than Les (ha!) Moonves jumped on the Evil!Misogynist! Rather! bandwagon with a quickness. However, since he immediately used that stance as a springboard to blame all of evil!misogynist!America for CBS News' crappy ratings, you'll have to forgive me if I don't take his gallant outrage on Couric's behalf at face value.

So, since we have reached the point in this country where any criticism of one gender by the other always devolves into cries of Evil! and Victim! and You Just Don't UNDERSTAAAAAANNNDD!, let me lend you the power of my estrogen--which immunizes me somewhat against the automatic charge of misogyny--and tell it like it is:

Katie Couric was the wrong person for that job. And it's not because she has breasts. She just sucks as a news anchor. You don't spend your entire career cultivating the image of approachable perky person and then try to ratchet up the gravitas by haranguing a cancer patient's husband. At a certain point, your image is your image, and you need to accept it and work with it.

This has been the perfect storm of a network with no clue how to recover from a devastating professional embarrassment (ahem, DAN) deciding that a 180 is the best way to go and then realizing their mistake too late and trying to fix it in the ham-handed way that's so typical of large organizations.

But, you know, why bother with all those details when you can call Dan Rather a misogynist and blame America for being stupid?

Posted by Big Arm Woman at June 13, 2007 03:20 PM | TrackBack

The naked news format is supposed to be good, if they're not trying it already.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at June 13, 2007 04:49 PM

The Rather meltdown continues...guy needs to let go--his career isn't coming back.

Posted by: Nathan Tabor at June 16, 2007 01:28 PM
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