Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#128 In which our hero has a problem with Katie Couric.

Tomorrow is Katie Couric’s last day on The Today Show. My morning ritual generally doesn’t include watching TV, since The Scientist and I each take a child and prepare them for the day. However, every once in awhile we turn on the TV and watch The Today Show. And once upon a time, (before children, when my only early morning decision was to shave or not) I had time to watch TV in the morning… enough in fact, that I developed a problem with Katie Couric.

First, it appears that America loves this woman. Which is fine, whatever, but I just don’t get it. I mean, yeah, she’s perky and if you like perky than by God you just found your poster child. I don’t think I’ve ever been called perky, certainly not first thing in the morning, so that’s one strike against her. People also seem to find her attractive, but I think her face looks like a bad street fair caricature. Now, if you’re looking for hotness on The Today Show set, lets go over to the news desk and Ann Curry. Mmm-mmm!

But honestly, I fell as hard as the next guy for the friendly banter between her and co-host Matt Lauer. They seem to genuinely like each other, and it makes for an enjoyable companion to my bowl of cereal.


Katie Couric does one thing that drives me crazy: she interrupts people. Mainly people she is interviewing. And given that The Today Show is an interview-based show, she is given ample opportunity to cut people off and talk over them. I hate this. HATE, HATE, HATE!

Not only is it rude, but it’s arrogant. Couric is always jumping in and summing up the speaker’s point for them, as if it say, “This is only a three-minute segment, pal, so let me just finish your thought for you before I barrel ahead to the next bullet point on my list.” The fact that her conclusions aren’t always right seem to have no bearing on her interview style. She also has the ability to make the interview more about her than the person she’s actually interviewing.

Now, not so long ago a friend accused me of Schadenfreude, which is a German word that roughly translates to “taking enjoyment in the misfortune of others.”

Isn’t that just about the greatest word you’ve ever heard?

And it’s true! Maybe I’m a huge prick because of this, but I do take enjoyment in the misfortune of others. Not all the time, and not all people, but certainly some. People I don’t like. Stupid celebrities. Incompetent politicians.

Katie Couric.

I should probably cut her some slack… today’s paper has a story about her. She has two daughters, like me. Her husband died at 42 of cancer; I’d be devastated if anything happened to The Scientist. But I can’t help but think that if I were speaking to Couric it would go something like this:
ME: Y’know Katie, I’ve been thinking that I should --
KATIE: --Cut me some slack?
ME: Um, yeah, right. I can sympathize on the loss of your --
KATIE: -- Husband? Yes, that was quite a blow.
ME: I’m sure it was. And with --
KATIE: -- Two young daughters? Yes, it’s a real parenting challenge for me.
I can’t tell you just how much I hate being interrupted. So yeah, I suspect I’ll be enjoying a little Schadenfreude when Couric moves to head the CBS news desk. Because she’s going to go down in flames.

I mean, I just don’t understand how anyone thought this would be a good idea. For the past 15 years, America has come to love Couric as the giggly, smiley co-host of The Today Show. We’ve turned to her for a fun morning dose of joy. We haven’t turned to her for hard news.

I mean, sure, she does serious topics on The Today Show sometimes; but as she goes through the grim-faced motions of telling us about a mine collapse or bird flu outbreak, America is really just gritting her teeth waiting for Couric to get to the fun cooking segment or interview the author of the new Chicken Soup for the Goth Teenager’s Soul.

And this interrupting bullshit… how do you think that’s going to fly with Vladmir Putin or Hamid Karzai? These are guys who can have people killed for interrupting them. There’s no fun in the evening news, and no-one wants to see a joyless Couric deliver stories of death and destruction night after night.

Here’s my prediction: something will change within six months of her debut as lead anchor. I don’t think she’ll be fired outright, but I suspect she will be paired with a co-anchor. An older, somber man who can handle the heavy stuff, leaving her to deliver the lighter, slice-of-life stuff.

But man-oh-man, those first six months are going to be a train wreck.

Viva Schadenfreude!


Anonymous Catch All said...

Although I hate perkiness as much as the next guy, I clearly recall Couric's coverage of 9/11, of which she did an excellent job. I think she'll do just fine at her new post.

11:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - Katie would never be found in a room at my Fantasy Motel.

And, er..."bering"? "wreak"?

What the hell is happening to you?


4:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, make that "baring". (What has happened to me?


6:41 PM

Blogger craig said...

I contend that immediately after Sept. 11, people wanted to be comforted, and Katie Couric was a familiar face. I don't think it will go as well night after night. But we'll see.

And about the spelling? That's an unwanted side effect of quick and easy blogging... the ability to post without proofing thoroughly first -- a problem when leaving comments, too, apparently. : )

6:50 PM

Anonymous Diane said...

awesome word. I Schadenfreude quite a few people, mostly because they are so mean to me.

11:06 AM

Blogger dave said...

Could you imagine Katie Couric and Oprah having a converstation?

OPRAH: Katie, welcome to --
KATIE: -- your show, I'm so --
OPRAH: -- happy to be here! I know. Let's talk abou --
KATIE: -- my new job. It's wonderful, but --
OPRAH: -- you'll never be as rich as me.

7:27 PM


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