September 6, 2006, - 9:14 am

NewsLite: Stiff KatieCast is Part Unethical Advertising, Part “The View”

By Debbie Schlussel
Welcome to the girlie-man news, hosted by . . . a girl. A girl with a strained, horse voice and very little gravitas or authority. A girl who plugged a new, company-owned product–Morgan Spurlock–but unethically didn’t disclose the connection to viewers.
Last night’s inaugural “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,” got off to a valley girl newsmagazine start. Instead of hard news stories, like those with which ABC and NBC began, we were treated to “Hi, Everybody. I’m so happy to be here.” Since when are Katie Couric’s feelings “hard news”–and the lead story at that?
Then, right on to CBS reporteratrix with make-up and a South African accent, Lara Logan. Still no hard news. But we did get to see her being foolishly led on a wild goose chase by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. A whole three minute-plus piece, and all we got out of it was her silly “Am I allowed to smile?” question to the Taliban fighters. Again, this is news?

katiecouricelmo.jpg

CBS Evening NewsLite with Katie & Elmo

Memo to CBS News execs (that means you Rome Hartman): Trying to attract the young Internet crowd? Long, boring pieces reported by a chick with an accent won’t cut it. Ditto for a long, useless interview with lefty New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. If we wanted to see “Disgrace the Nation” hosted by Katie, we’d watch the Sunday Morning shows.
Friedman as new national security expert? If Katie was really interested in the successes of our military strategy abroad and homeland security here, a better choice would have been a top law enforcement official or military expert. Not the obnoxious, token Jewish friend of King Abdullah of Saud.
But it gets worse. Remember Ross Perot’s idea of instant democracy by computer voting? Meet instant news editing/programming by computer voting? Katie invited viewers not only to pick guest commentators in the new “Free Speech” segment, but also to suggest what her new sign off should be. Since voting about CBS News is so important to her, why didn’t we get to vote on the host of the show? Don’t kid yourself into thinking she or CBS cares about your opinion.
If they did, do you really think America would have voted for fake-u-mentary maker Morgan Spurlock as the first “Free Speech” commentator? No. But Spurlock was chosen in an unethical choice by CBS, whose sister company, Viacom, owns Comedy Central, to which Spurlock is under contract to develop a political talk show replicating “Politically Correct” (the now defunct ABC show hosted by Bill Maher).
It’s ironic that a FAKE news maker like Spurlock is the first commentator on a new, revamped news show. In fact, it’s ominous. As I wrote in the Wall Street Journal, last summer, Spurlock’s TV “documentary” F/X series, “30 Days,” recruited me to be on a show about Islam. But before production had even started, he decided how the participant in the documentary would feel and what conclusions he would reach. Good to know that Katie & Company consider that news. And good to keep in mind while watching anything on this “newscast.”
Spurlock’s comments were so absurd, they were hilarious. He told viewers that he and they are in the center of America, the “middle of the road.” If that’s middle of the road to him and/or CBS, clearly they are out of touch. Spurlock is far-left. Not just liberal. But off the deep end of the far-left. While millions of Americans continue to patronize McDonald’s, he went to the extreme and made a phony “documentary,” “Supersize Me,” lambasting the chain.
Listening to this out-of-touch, goateed, oversized leprichaun from West Virginia claim that he will never get on national TV because he’s too calm and reasoned in his views is not only hilarious, it’s a flat-out lie. Again, he’s got a development deal with Comedy Central for a show to do exactly what he claims he can’t. And he just finished season two of fake-umentaries on F/X.
Is going to a high school, using expletives, and ridiculing disabled children and fast-food workers “reasoned,” “calm,” etc. to you? Hardly. But that’s exactly what Spurlock did at a suburban Philadelphia high school, just months ago–shocking administrators and parents. Whatta hypocrite this guy is.
Thanks, Katie, for disclosing CBS’ contract with Spurlock. Oh, yeah, she didn’t.
Then, there were the “View”-like segments of so-called news. The Entertainment Tonight segments. Photos of Tom and Katie’s new baby is news? Nope. But Katie showed us an old news-clip of Prince Charles’ baby photos to justify it as the news that it wasn’t.
And how about the Peter Gabriel song and human interest snapshot photos, another new feature of CBS News-Lite with Katie? No news there, either.
I switched back and forth to the other newscasts, and voila, news. I learned about the President’s speech on the War on Terror, 5 years after 9/11, from NBC and ABC. I heard about new figures and facts released about the Taliban’s continued strength in Afghanistan from them, too. ABC’s Brian Ross had an interesting interview/expose of the Pakistani’s lax policy of sheltering Bin Laden. NBC discussed new sources of oil-drilling in America and offshore.
CBS touched briefly on the oil story and the Prez’s speech. But those were light blips that got a lot less time than the closing shots of Katie’s legs in a mini skirt, at the end of the Katie-Cast.
Legs? Male viewers can see more, younger versions of that on FOX News Channel, almost 24/7 (minus the few hours of Greta, Sean, Bill, Brit, and Shep). Reporteratrices asking Talibanis if it’s okay to smile? E! could have sent Carmen Electra–and done it in less than 3 long minutes. Product plugs? It’s better done by Ricky Bobby. And he didn’t pretend to deliver the news at the same time.
Katie may have gotten a huge ratings bump, last night. But that’s what you get at the scene of a horrible accident: A lot of gawkers.
After that, the gawkers quickly return back to their normal lives. Watch Katie’s gawkers to grow tired, real fast.
It’s just not possible to take this chick delivering girlie-man news, seriously.

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11 Responses

i was awful, debbie you need to go on the free speech segment ,i will watch that otherwise, if katie is not doing the news topless i will be watching the test pattern, NETWORK NEWS IS DEAD!!!!!!!

PNAMARBLE on September 6, 2006 at 10:15 am

i was awful, debbie you need to go on the free speech segment ,i will watch that otherwise, if katie is not doing the news topless i will be watching the test pattern, NETWORK NEWS IS DEAD!!!!!!!

PNAMARBLE on September 6, 2006 at 10:17 am

Debbie, Iím glad I didnít watch it. I didnít think it could get worse after Dan Rather, but I guess it did.

Rocky on September 6, 2006 at 10:46 am

Laura Logan goes behind the enemy lines with the Enemy and this is good journalism. I think Laura Logan is a traitor. I could care less about the Taliban and what they think.
Logan should have given our Military where they were and gave them a heads up on the interview so when she finished we could kill them all.
Do you think that Edwin R Murrow would have gone behind the enemy lines with Japan or the Germans to get their viewpoint?
The MSM are a bunch of traitors IMHO

ScottyDog on September 6, 2006 at 12:16 pm

I think the “Communist Broadcast Service” made an excellent choice to pick up the reins of far left liberal journalism. Some say Katie took it for the money, others for the prestige. I say she got her bubble burst when Matt told her she wasn’t the only girl at the dance anymore…

Gunny on September 6, 2006 at 3:11 pm

Debbie,
Thank You so much for suffering Katie’s debut news “show” so we didn’t have to.
It’s the poineers like yourself that take the arrows.
Please let me know when I can buy you lunch as a partial payment for your suffering.

P. Aaron on September 6, 2006 at 4:45 pm

While I am in total agreement as to the Katie fiasco, don’t put Murrow up on such a pedestal, please. He was a hard-core Leftist.
No, he would not have sympathetically interviewed Nazi leaders during the war, but his defense of Laurence Duggan, for example, betrayed his true feelings.
He was a patriot of convenience because his buddy Uncle Joe was on our side. (Just like Cronkite, and most of the rest of them.)
It was *always* the Communist Broadcasting System, folks.

Red Ryder on September 6, 2006 at 4:52 pm

Didn’t watch it either. Katie and the dumb butts at CBS will find that the largely male audience that watch the evening news (FOR NEWS), unlike the morning fluff that produced Katie, is not going to put up with this trash. I promise you it won’t last!

Phoenix on September 7, 2006 at 12:07 am

I haven’t watched CBS news since October 1971. Mr. Rather made up some story about a riot in the city of Pittsburgh after the Pirates won the World Series. I was in downtown Pittsburgh. The game ended late on a Sunday night (game in Baltimore), it was chilly, and with Pennsylvania’s Blue Laws you can’t even get a drink on a Sunday. Pittsburgh is a small town, if something happened on one end of town, you know about it on the other. If anyone at CBS had checked with the Police & Fire departments, they would have realized no riot, nothing happened.

Burt on September 7, 2006 at 8:49 am

On Katie Couric’s first night, the jacket she was
wearing was buttoned up so tight, that she reminded how Curley of the Three
Stooges used to wear his clothing, too small, too tight, buttoned up high.
The difference, Curley meant to dress that way to accentuate his belly, not so sure about Katie.
I watched about five minutes of her first newscast, and was bored stiff, what a snoozer.

Retired Lawman on September 7, 2006 at 11:08 pm

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