Media Blog

CBS Should Have Listened to Cindy Adams?

Gossip guru Cindy Adams warned CBS not to hire Katie Couric? An excerpt from her NY Post column today:

At the starting gun, CBS execs came to my house for lunch. I’m no sociologist, psychologist or anthropologist. Not even as savvy as a TV critic. Still, given these limitations, I laid out why it would not work:
A) The pre-publicity overkill was a partial executioner. Instead of a welcome groundwork, it sowed seeds of resentment. She was on bus bumpers, manhole covers, milk bottles, aspirin labels – everywhere. The network had to make the atmosphere Katie-centric but . . . hey, guys . . . a little humility? Let us find her, discover her graduated qualities, not have her advertised fabulousness stuck on every hydrant and jammed down our throats.
B) Her perkiness remains in memory even when disguised in those first outings to the degree that diabetics could only watch at their own risk. Her perkiness was what America loved. It’s what brought her to the party. It’s what nobody else has. It’s why she was a morning TV magnet. Tamping that down to dredge up gravitas was like shoving Pamela Anderson into a sports bra. Nice idea but . . . hey . . .
C) Couric used to put on blond braids, funny Halloween costumes, do silly stunts, wear puffy fluffy things, giggle lots, show bare legs in high heels. Easy, breezy. Not exactly Walter Cronkite’s thing. Eric Sevareid, maybe. Edward R. Murrow, who knows? Walter Cronkite, I don’t think so.
D) Her speech level is pitched too high. Harsh news, life’s gritty realities, Iraq’s body count must be delivered in lower notes. It adds to the story’s weight. If that’s sexist, sorry. It’s fact. What God giveth, CBS cannot changeth. Her girlish voice, girlish figure, girlish face is why we adored America’s sweetheart. Our Katie – not their Kenny.

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