April 11, 2007

The Empty Suit Parade

Katie Couric's ascension to Dan Rather's seat promised a change in mood, if not an improvement in substance over the man who continues to insist that the Bill Burkett memos were genuine. It turns out that Couric also produces memos and articles that lack genuineness, as a plagiarism scandal exposed her as ghost-written on her own "notebook":

Katie Couric did a one-minute commentary last week on the joys of getting her first library card, but the thoughts were less than original. The piece was substantially lifted from a Wall Street Journal column.

CBS News apologized for the plagiarized passages yesterday and said the commentary had been written by a network producer who has since been fired.

The CBS anchor "was horrified," spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said. "We all were."

The "Katie's Notebook" items are distributed to CBS television and radio stations, including WTOP (103.5 FM and 820 AM) in Washington, and posted on the news division's Web site. Genelius said it is "very common" for the first-person commentaries to be put together by staffers without Couric's being involved in the writing, but that she does participate in topic selection. Her recent commentaries have ranged from the Iraq war and the paucity of female columnists to the movie "300" and many girls discarding dating for "hooking up."

I'll bet they're horrified. As Howard Kurtz points out, the "Notebook" piece originally accompanied a video of Couric talking about her memories of that first library card, which makes it clear that Couric participated at least indirectly in the plagiarism. It certainly qualifies as a deception, as she knew that the words were not hers, and the folksy reminiscence was clearly phony.

Plagiarism is the secondary scandal here. CBS has apologized for lifting the material, and the Journal has graciously accepted it. The primary scandal is the marketing of Couric as a journalist, attempting to boost her credibility and her likability with these articles written by staffers. They want to prop her up as a replacement for Rather, who despite his many faults actually worked as a reporter for many years before the anchor gig.

The irony comes from the fact that even with all of these efforts to build Katie into a reporter, the public still finds Couric and CBS less than credible. Her ratings tanked shortly after joining CBS as the anchor as the Tiffany Network switched to softer news on her arrival. Now that the plagiarism has pulled back the green curtain, Couric is exposed as an empty suit -- emptier even than her colleagues on network news broadcasts. She's the new gold standard for phoniness.


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Comments (56)

Posted by quickjustice [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:39 AM

Just when we thought Couric couldn't get any phonier, she somehow manages to surprise us yet again!

Myrna Blyth had her number a couple of years ago: http://www.nationalreview.com/blyth/blyth200504270754.asp

Posted by BarCodeKing [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:45 AM

Next she'll tell us that she grew up a poor coal miner's son...

She needs to get a life. Her OWN life. She's as authentic as Saudi Arabian beer.

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:48 AM

I wonder what yesterday's Fox News Bashers will say about this one. Will it be authenticity trumps the truth when it comes from the liberal MSM?

Posted by hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:55 AM

Katie is simply carrying on the proud MSM tradition of 'false but accurate' as a news standard.
I have yet to watch one episode of CBS Evening News withher as the news reader. Her prejudices and biases and power to determine what news is presented and how make it clear to me that there is nothing to trust in her performance.
This only shows how phony she really is.
Faux news indeed.

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:56 AM

Jerry -- they'll just say "Fox does it too, and besides this is just small potatoes, it doesn't count"?

Question: How could Couric not be involved in a story about her own first library card? At the very least, she would have to have been interviewed by the staff writer.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:57 AM

I don't think you'll find many stepping up to the plate for Couric. She seems best suited as perky morning host rather (no pun intended) than the person sitting in Cronkite's seat.

And perjury is one of the cardinal sins of journalism. That producer was quickly and properly fired.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:02 AM


I mean plagarism... perjury is bad too though.

And RBJ,

The producer probably lifted the WSJ op-ed, brought the piece to Couric and suggested (or she suggested) adding a personal anecdote to it.


“Her prejudices and biases”

What prejudices and biases are you referring to?

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:14 AM


And I agree that Fox might but that goes to the heart of my [unaddressed] post yesterday. The media, whether it is a news source that I tend to agree with or not, is unchanged from the days of William Randolph Hearst. It is all about selling a point of view and sensationalism. I don’t know precisely when we, the audience, lost that perspective and started believing that the news vendors were giving us objective truth but it is about time that we regained perspective on what the news business is all about. The 1976 movie Network says it all.

Mr. Shipley: The term is plagiarism not perjury. Perjury is making false statements in court or a sworn deposition. Plagiarism is claiming somebody else’s work as your own. The former is a felony and the latter is at worst subject to civil action for violating copyright laws.

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:15 AM

Why haven't they fired Couric? She was a willing participant in a self-serving journalistic scam. Where is all the liberal outrage over this blatant dishonesty?

I suppose if Rather can get away with peddling obviously faked documents in an attempt to smear the President, perpetuating this fraud is such small potatoes it won‘t generate anything more than a yawn.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:21 AM

Thanks for the lesson Jerry!

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:27 AM

This dingbat makes $15 million per year to read the news, one half hour each evening.

She doesn't have the time to put together some meaningless little fluff story about what she ate for breakfast that morning, etc?

This sounds like a "job Americans won't do". For $10,000, she can subcontract her job to a sweatshop in India.

I for one, would be more likely to watch the Sweatshop newsreader than Katie. Might get some truth and wisdom out of the Sweatshop Anchor.

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:27 AM


I saw your correction only after my post came up.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:28 AM

"She was a willing participant in a self-serving journalistic scam."

She was? Where's ANY evidence that she knew this was lifted from the WSJ?

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:30 AM


You beat me to it! But I think rbj nailed the response:

"Small potatoes. Fox is worse. Nothing to see here. Move along."

You're also right about journalism for fun and profit. This is what bothers me about the pretentiousness of the media (all of them): they act like being a journalist is some sacred trust and that they and they alone have the sole ability to define and tell "the truth", when in reality they are in it for the money just like everybody else. They peddle sensationalism or politically-motivated tripe in the pursuit of ratings; what "serious" journalist would spend more than five minutes talking about Anna Nicole Smith?

Pompous blowhards.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:37 AM

"You're also right about journalism for fun and profit."

This is cable news to a "t." Network news is pretty damn close as well.

That's why, as I said yesterday, PBS is the best source for news on TV.

Anyone who thinks I'm a crazy liberal for saying this, watch McNeil/Leher NewsHour tonight and tell me it's not the best news reporting you'll find anywhere on TV.

Newspapers are also subject to selling papers for profit, but they are light years ahead of cable news.

If you look at the Internet, network and cable news and you'll find 90% (if not more) of the news comes from newspapers.

That's where you'll find real journalism. Now, that's not to say you won't find good journalism on TV or the internet, but it's fewer and far between.

Again, PBS is the standard here.

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:52 AM


The problem with cable news isn’t that it is on cable but that it’s 24 hours. There isn’t really enough real news to fill the airtime so it defaults to repeats, fluff and pretentious commentary. I noticed this phenomenon when all news radio debuted in the late 60’s/early 70’s. There is great incentive for 24 hour news outlets to sensationalize and manufacture “news” to hold an audience.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:56 AM

I"t certainly qualifies as a deception, as she knew that the words were not hers, and the folksy reminiscence was clearly phony."

Tom, it was a deception, as even if she didn't knew that the words were from the WSJ, she did know that the words were not hers.

This is supposed to be the CBS News Anchor. Not some children's show host. Wasn't Cronkite "the most trusted man in America". What's Katie supposed to be, "the cuddliest newsreader in the blue states".

BTW, I do agree that PBS news is good, but I'd rather read my news than watch it on TV.

Posted by krm [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 9:11 AM

I hope this doesn't mean the public will now be subjected to more colonoscopy footage.

I now wonder whose colonoscopy the public saw before.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 9:18 AM

"I hope this doesn't mean the public will now be subjected to more colonoscopy footage."

I disagree krm. I believe that was TV journalism's finest hour.

TV "journalists" need to be subjected to more anal exams and need to do less naval gazing.

Posted by exhelodrvr [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 9:46 AM

I think you mean "navel gazing." THey would actually benefit from going on deployment and doing some "naval gazing."

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 9:48 AM

A favorite quote from an episode of The Unit:

"There's no truth in the news and no news in the truth."

I sent a email to Fox yesterday berating the All Stars' discussion of Imus. I said there were more important topics for them to analyze such as Anna Nicole Smith. /s

Posted by richard mcenroe [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 9:50 AM

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 10:01 AM

When Katie has the sheer gall and effrontery, not to mention EGO, to plagerize something like a WALL STREET article...

How Dan Ratheresque of her - HOW epitomizing the MSM

Posted by Paxety [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 10:07 AM

You folks just don't understand how TV news works. I spent 15-years as a TV news producer. I'll assure you that almost none of the copy read by any anchor on any network or station is actually written by that anchor. Much of it has not even been read by the anchor before airtime. Anchors are too busy talking on the telephone, meeting with the General Manager trying to get a raise, or taking long lunches (dinners) to actually write anything. The poor, underpaid news producers and writers write all that copy. What you hear a 60-year old male news anchor say was probably written by a 22-year old female making $20,000.

Posted by HopsMaltYeast [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 10:49 AM

Perhaps the unnamed CBS producer was Kosmo Kramer from the Seinfeld show.

Recall that Kramer sold his stories to J. Peterman to be used in his memoirs.

1997 episode 148 (The Van Buren Boys)

Posted by ed_in_cda [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 10:55 AM

About 5 years ago, Katie Couric saved my life. She doesn't know it but I am alive today because of her campaign to raise awareness about colon cancer. Mine was caught literally in the nick of time.
She may not have picked the best career for making honorable friends, but she picked the right career to save more than a few lives of those who were willing to listen to her message.
I would like to think that prople can recognize a decent human being when they see one, especially the people who frequent this blog.

Posted by Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:05 AM

Expect Couric to be replaced by 2008.

Posted by David [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:20 AM

I still find it difficult to believe that Couric could not find the time to write on a daily basis what would amount to a long post on this thread.

I would much rather read the writings of the news writer making 20K than Couric making millions.

Does this remind anyone of Murray writing for Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show? I thought the news division talked occasionally with the entertainment division to avoid precisely this kind of thing happening. It seems the news division enjoys providing storylines to the sitcom department.

Posted by Mr Lynn [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:21 AM

Great post, Paxety!

Where's Ted Knight when you need him?

/Mr Lynn

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:37 AM

Mr. Lynn:

Couric is much better eye candy the Howard Beale or Ted Baxter.

Posted by viking01 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:52 AM

Any truth to the rumor she's claiming Ken Starr made her do it?

When all is said and done she'll probably go for damage control on 60 Minutes saying "I'm a changed woman" similar to what Clinton told his dupes back in 1992.

The Ted Baxter analogy is right on target excepting that Ted Baxter was benevolently incompetent while Katie is maliciously incompetent. Like SanFran Nan her greatest skill is screwing things up to appear almost busy behind the glassy eyed stare and motor mouth.

Courage, Katie, courage. Pffffffffft.

Posted by justamomof4 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:58 AM

CBS presents Dan Rather, Katie Couric . . .and give a warm welcome to John Blackstone - a source of unqualified journalism.

John Blackstone interviewed John Walker Lindh (taliban johnny's) parents,Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh recently.

Watch this video

CBS News' John Blackstone provides his own preposterous spin with comments such as: (see marker 7:32)

"Even though Lindh never took part in terrorism or fought against America . . ."

This passes as journalism?

Posted by Del Dolemonte [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:08 PM

Tom Shipley sez:

"That's why, as I said yesterday, PBS is the best source for news on TV.

Anyone who thinks I'm a crazy liberal for saying this, watch McNeil/Leher NewsHour tonight and tell me it's not the best news reporting you'll find anywhere on TV."

I watched PBS for news for years, but turned away in disgust after they went sharply to the left, which happened about the same time they started partnering with the BBC. The majority of their reporters and analysts are left-wing, as are the majority of their reporters.

I will give PBS credit for using the NY Times' Iraq reporter John Burns in some of their coverage of the war, but in general, every night the "News Hour" is basically DNC talking points read by Jim Lehrer.

Which isn't really a surprise, as PBS was busted several years ago for selling their membership list info to the DNC.

There is no one "best source" for news on TV. Which is why they're losing viewers by the box car load.

Posted by burt [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:13 PM

Do read the earlier referenced story at Ace of Spades:

(Tom Shipley -- Yeah, the Principled PBS

Posted by: richard mcenroe at April 11, 2007 09:50 AM)

It gives a very interesting story about an important documentary that you probably won't see.

Posted by Ron [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:14 PM

To be positive, Katie does have a nice leg, though.

Posted by Susan [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 1:07 PM

This reminds me of the Joe Biden plagarism scandal. Both used someone else's personal remembrances as their own.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 1:11 PM

CBS would have to turn their 'news' program into a reality show if they hope to improve kc's ratings.

Posted by james1776 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 1:12 PM

For heaven's sake, this is network news. Does anyone expect network anchors to do anything more than read the 'news' collected by others? If the networks were really interested in ratings, they would fire all their 'talent', and hire the youngest, hottest folk thay can find who can read, dress them as minimally as possible, and have them read the 'news' produced by others.

At least the eye candy would be worth the viewing.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 1:26 PM

"hire the youngest, hottest folk thay can find who can read, dress them as minimally as possible, and have them read the 'news' produced by others."

I've seen a couple British newscasts that seem to follow this philosophy.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 1:30 PM

Katie Couric IS to C-BS, what Edsel IS to automobiles.

Insiders, forming their "yes" circles, go "big" on the name. While customers don't appear in the showroom.

No customers? No sales.

Now, what about bottom lines? It seems big companies can go on "forever." But at some point? There's a notice-able change that bubbles up to the top. Like stink.

Whose responsible for the millions spent on Couric? Who thought she could be taken from daytime TV where she was a newsie/soap opera fixture. And, move her into a chair that dan rather reduced in status, anyway?

And, Peter Jennings IS dead!

The worst you faced from competition stops as soon as your top anchor drops into a box.

Are these hand-wringing stories about Katie Couric supposed to drive up her watchability?

I doubt if the ploy will work.

HOWEVER, I'm going to venture a guess as to why this crap is not discounted; and removed from the shelves.

Start with this. Spending the money on Kouric STOPS your ability in the marketplace; of buying better inventory. It is here that a lot of businessmen just go and hang themselves. They also look for lawyers adept at taking them into bankruptcy.

What does bankruptcy courts protect?

Ah. Turns out just like you can sell healthy human organs, to those who are sick; you can "sell" parts of a business that's worth something. Even if what they do brought them to terrible straights.

What's the best lessons you can wring out from failures? Why, of course, discussing the nature of RISK. And, why it is some people, who look ordinary (if not downright ugly), end up making it big in the "houses of risk," where most people leave stripped.


Has more failures writ large in those dreams than anything else.

Meanwhile? What would puzzle most people? Well, it's like Jennifer Anison; when Drudge was having a good Sunday night program. And, he ripped into the hollywood types for spending the millions to let her "open" pictures.

Gee. It's one thing to bomb on your first attempt. But Anison? I think she got 8 starring roles, that took the films she made down the toilet.

One thing fer shur. C-BS has not recovered.

Nor, will any of the nutworks.

Because the audiences have left.

That's okay. Even bigger fish have been slaughtered by marketplace conditions.

Take Sears. A company that saw an opportunity; because we had NEW telephones. Going out to all the spots across America. With a building in Chicago, full of ladies answering telephones. And, taking your orders.

BIG FAT CATALOGS; with lots of descriptions. And, hand drawn pictures, also made their ways around our USA. You didn't even need your own phone to place an order. You just had to have a mailbox. Where the post office would officially deliver.

You didn't like what you got? You re-packed it. And, returned it. And, in Chicago the profits flew in.

Give people a new way to buy stuff. Make it convenient. DO. NOT. RIP. THEM. OFF.

And, you can watch things grow. IF you're willing to take risks.

To start a Sears? You bet. RISKS.

Once it got going? It attracted talent.

Then? It slid down the hole.

You can managing successful things, very, very, well. Monkeys can do it.

But if you want to hire TOP CEO's, you need the ones who aren't monkeys. You need the ones who have an ability to take a sliding profit line. And, stop it from going down.

Most firms just go down.

Too many monkeys.

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 1:41 PM

Interesting observation: Have you noticed that all but one our friends who were bashing Fox News yesterday have absented themselves from this discussion? Could it be that they are afraid to confront this issue after one of the flagships of their beloved “unbiased” MSM was caught in the act of presenting a phony story? Kudos to Tom Shipley for participating in what can be considered an awkward thread given the vitriol that was spilled yesterday.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 2:29 PM

I think jerry's got this one nailed just perfect. The problem isn't Katie, its our ridiculous expectations for her.

Over the years I've often thought that most people really aren't very good consumers of "news" to begin with, and the simultaneous advent of television and college level "Schools of Journalism" have totally transformed the honorable craft of journalism into an artform performed by an overeducated and self-appointed elite. At least in the old days, most "journalists" used to call themselves reporters and were way too busy to indulge in agendas to save the world from itself. They were a bunch of low-life ink-stained wretches who hung around the police station waiting for some rich swell to get busted at the local bordello so they could plaster his picture all over town. They were bottum-feeders and piranha, but they at least had the common decency to not pretend to be anything else.

Today, television and journalism school have made them all a bunch of pious frauds who strut across our screens every night in $3000 suites, botoxed faces and hyper-sprayed hair, masquerading as servants of the public and purveyors of the facts. And this is where we expect to get our view of what's going on in the world???

Yeah, and my retirement plan is PowerBall, too!

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 2:29 PM

Tom Shipley said:

Where's ANY evidence that she knew this was lifted from the WSJ?

Couric certainly knew that what she was reading and presenting as HER thoughts -- “Katie’s Notebook” -- were not her thoughts at all.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 2:41 PM

Well jerry, we all mentioned numerous examples where non-Fox news sources slipped up or flat out mislead, and the only thing we received back was one example regarding a story about Obama.

We didn't need to prove Fox was better than CNN, et al, they had to prove it was so bad, that Democrats were justified in boycotting it.

They failed miserably. Not that they'll admit it.

Posted by Gregg22 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 2:41 PM

What strikes me is that no one affiliated with her program recognized the piece as originating in the WSJ. Is there a better example of close mindedness than this. The producers, writers, and anchor don't read the editorial page of the WSJ...If they did certainly they would have recognized the plagerism. These people seek no opinion that does not confirm their own. Perhaps this is the most damning trait of the MSM.

Posted by Jam [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 2:42 PM

Her bias has been pretty well documented for all the years she resided on the Today show. The icing on the cake was her tearful questioning of a Democratic strategist the morning after the 2004 election where she asked, How could this have happened? in her wailful tone! She was visibly upset that John Kerry had lost. It was disgusting! She has a credibility problem b/c of exhibitions like that. I do believe that a female anchor can make it, it just has to be the correct female. She has no credibility with male viewers, I think. Most people like to at least entertain the illusion that their news is being delivered by someone who is unbiased. That is impossible with Katie Couric b/c we already are well acquainted with her politics from the Today show.

Now plagarism? Wow! Her credibility, or what was left of it, is now in the Sh*tter!

Posted by ERNurse [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 2:43 PM

Expect Couric to be replaced by 2008.

Yeah- by Rosie O'Donnell.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 2:59 PM

"Yeah- by Rosie O'Donnell."

New CBS Ad - Rosie is not just a colonoscopy advocate - Rosie is a colonoscopy!

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 3:11 PM

That reminds me of a Dennis Prager quote about news networks presenting a "proctologist's view of America."

Posted by viking01 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 3:41 PM

Greg22 makes an outstanding point. This wasn't lifted from the Hooterville News. This was lifted from the premier financial newspaper in a city which exists largely because of Wall Street!

That See-BS is so completely out of touch with anything except Howard Dean's fax du jour to West 57th Street speaks volumes about that network's separation from the real world around them.

The "fired producer" scapegoat is entirely predictable. Like the infamous White House Travel Office scam of the last decade accountability usually befalls some innocent, unknown, unnamed desk warmer (s) instead of the "The Grin" herself Katie Couric bearing any culpability.

I doubt Rosie O'Donut will be going anyplace else anytime soon. She's too busy serving as Baba Wawa's indirect mouthpiece for gutter thoughts, words and deeds.

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 4:00 PM

in regards to the statement of pbs's newshour being the best--it used to be. i have watched that show since the mid seventies. it has not been the same since MacNeil left many years ago. all the fill in and permanent hosts are acknowledged libs. where the newshour has gone wrong is not so much what they cover as what they choose not to. all the political reporting, especially when gwen sits in, is right there with wolf at cnn.

however i still watch the other segments that are non political because, as has been said, it's some of the best on tv.

lastly i have asked them, with no response why they have not done more "slice of life reports" on hospitals opening, schools being rebuilt, water being delivered etc in iraq and afghanistan. in five years of reporting they have done less than a handful. when MacNeil was there he always brought the silver lining to the table. he is missed. plus, and more importantly there was no need for the gwen's of the world to sit in.

Posted by viking01 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 4:54 PM

I think what has discredited PBS and NPR as sources of legitimate information is their choosing advocacy over simply reporting what happens. Tiresome political promotion is cloaked under the guise of analysis whereby that "analysis "spouts the usual Leftist mantras of global warming, WalMart bad - unions good, oil companies bad - SUVs bad - etc. Sometimes Charlie Rose comes across as a bigger DNC advocate / Clinton peddler than washed up clown Letterman debating O'Reilly or smooching Obama.

Then, just as infects the old news networks, there is the political inbreeding. Ifill arrives from (ABC?) and Judy Woodruff departs to CNN. Political strategist Stuffinenvelopes replaced Brinkley. Totenberg of infamous Anita Hill sabotage of Clarence Thomas arrives from ABC at both PBS and NPR. Political mercenaries like Gergen are promoted as giving a "Conservative" point of view whilst the Mark Shields types hop back and forth between analyst roles versus advocacy roles with blinding rapidity. Add to that the usual Beltway blow hards like Daniel Schorr and Eleanor Clift and the entire mess devolves into a screechy circus best left to the Begalas, Carvilles, Ann Lewises and Bill Schneiders of the world. Howard Stern without the profanity yet with the lowest common denominator raging in full force.

I agree that when Robyn McNeil left the NewsHour went into a steep credibility dive. McNeil never seemed to have an axe to grind unlike Jim Lehrer.

Posted by Barnestormer [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 5:46 PM

A thought about Tom's and Michael's divergent views of Couric's culpability: Isn't it plausible that she didn't know the piece was plagiarized? After all, how can anyone accuse Katie of reading too widely, especially the WSJ?

But how could she not know it was fiction? My interpretation: "False but Accurate" remains a CBS standard, but maybe they've drawn the line at theft (at least when caught red-handed).

Posted by Gbear [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 6:34 PM

Can't Be Straight strikes again!
CBS would lie for credit if you were paying cash for the truth.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:38 PM

Why beat a dead horse? No one liberal or conservative I know watches Katie. I think she's attractive, thats her only plus. Incidentally, if people did not watch CBS News, or read THE NewYork Times, they would be out of business. Its c-a-p-i-t-a-l-i-s-m. If calling all the msm "liberal" makes you wingers feel warm and fuzzy, then be my guest. Hint: there not going away anytime soon. Heres a radical idea.....if you don't like their bias........TURN THE FREAKING DIAL.I know bashing CBS is a fun,cute,exciting little game so have fun with it.

Posted by Corky Boyd [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:02 PM

The issue here isn't plagiarism. It is the fact that Katie Couric, a highly paid CBS News anchor, gave a phoney first person account of something that never happened. It matters not whether the story was writtien by a 22 yo producer. Ms. Couric willingly and knowingly participated in a fraudulent story.

CBS News still has a problem with the truth.