The Anchoress explores “Katie Couric and the Gravitas Issue:”
An early childhood hero of mine was Nancy Dickerson, a true broadcasting pioneer; she was CBS News’ first female correspondent, and she ably “anchored” the afternoon newsbreaks when I was very small. Remembering Dickerson (and for that matters Barbara Walters) I do have to reiterate how unseemly I thought it of Couric (and Moonves) to try to blame her lack of success on the sexism canard, especially when — as Kandra points out — we’d been watching women anchor news on the cable networks for years.
For that matter women had already been corporate heads and had acted as Secretary of State (a somewhat more exalted position than the anchor of a 30 minute news broadcast) long before Couric’s “breakthrough.” At the point of her ascension, it was not simply “enough” for Couric to be a token woman breaking through (as Gail Collins’ or Eleanor Clift’s careers might arguably be assessed); she needed to be good at the job, too, and she simply wasn’t.
Blaming the nation for her failure, and charging that we just weren’t ready for the wonderfulness of her apparently unique womanhood, was insulting to viewers in precisely the same way it is insulting to Americans — who elected President Obama by a wide margin — to be told that any problem they have with Barack Obama or his policies are simply “racist.”
What both Couric and Obama do not understand is how unseemly it is to cry “victim” while on the pinnacle.
Which dovetails well with Glenn Reynolds and his readers’ remarks on President Obama, who is guaranteed to play the victim card should his own primetime gig suddenly become canceled next year, interspersed with a South Park-sized cloud of Carteresque smug of course.