By Frank Salvato
The ratings book has been published and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric didn't do very well. The evening news broadcast came in 3rd among the big three. As the golden chairs at CBS scramble to effect job security in the face of these dismal ratings we are being told that their failure is our fault. It would seem that we are biased against poor Katie Couric.
According to CBS News chief Sean McManus, we, the viewing public, are shallow, unenlightened chauvinists who simply aren't progressive enough to accept a female news anchor.
In an interview with the media industry publication Broadcast & Cable, McManus said:
Poor, poor Katie Couric. How horrible it must be to be scrutinized by the American public. What were we thinking? We should be ashamed of ourselves for not accepting Katie as she is; perky, toothy, adept at reading the teleprompter, semi-transparent in presenting her editorial biases. How incredibly caddish we have been. One can only imagine what we've done to this $15 million a year superstar's self-esteem!
If you are skeptical that this egregious behavior is taking place, you can lay waste to that skepticism with these words from one of the great defenders of the mainstream media elite – and no slouch when it comes to editorializing the news himself – Larry King, who said :
Putting Katie Couric's self-esteem aside for just a moment and completely dispensing with the elitist claptrap of McManus and King, the reason the ratings for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric have been so miserable has nothing to do with gender bias. Anyone who believes that probably watches the CBS News with Katie Couric and finds it fact-based and devoid of editorial bias.
The fact is Katie Couric has been ideologically biased since she tried to re-invent herself as a serious journalist when she hosted the Today Show on NBC. She has been oblivious to – or incapable of reining in – her gushing adoration for such divisive figures as Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Michael Moore and Cynthia McKinney. She has routinely exhibited a liberal, if not progressive bias in her reporting. She is openly pro-abortion, anti-war, pro-Clinton and anti-Bush. She is against the death penalty, pro-United Nations and once commented that Ronald Reagan was "an airhead" while declaring that Fidel Castro, an oppressors of millions, was a "charismatic leader. To say that Katie Couric displays a political bias in her approach to reporting the news is about as big an understatement as saying that Adolf Hitler was a little quirky around Jews.
The excuse issued by Sean McManus – and defended by Larry King – is nothing less than a manufactured falsehood meant to deflect criticism of the status quo and a job poorly done. One need only witness the serious attention that female journalists are receiving on other network and cable news shows to debunk McManus and King's divisive use of the "gender card." From Diane Sawyer, Megan Kendall and Campbell Brown to Jennifer Griffin, Paula Zahn and Carol McKinley, the American viewing public routinely gathers its information from female journalists, choosing to invest its trust in those who practice true journalism and whose integrity is less suspect than the nightly purveyors of intellectually dishonest, editorialized and agenda driven "news."
The fact that McManus and King, elitist stalwarts of the decaying mainstream media, had the gall to try and pass Couric's poor ratings off as the consequence of an insensitive, politically incorrect society only stands as testimony to their arrogance, their utter contempt for "the masses." It proves quite effectively that those who control the old guard news media are completely out of touch with the majority of Americans.
That being said, it's no wonder the elitists of the mainstream media find themselves nervously looking over their collective shoulder at the ever encroaching sound of the new media's approaching footsteps.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. His organization, Basics Project, is partnered in producing the first-ever national symposium series on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org