Regardless of what happens in the presidential elections next month, one woman in particular has proven she’s worthy of the national spotlight.
Katie Couric, who practically was being ushered out the door by CBS a few months ago, is now the most-watched, most-quoted news anchor in the business. As StuntDouble predicted in September, the campaign has allowed Couric to prove her mettle as a tough, smart interviewer — and woman.
The New York Times reported Friday that Couric’s interviews with Sarah Palin have been viewed almost 6 million times in the past two weeks. The interaction not only gave us insight into who Palin is and what she believes, but also a glimpse of why Katie ended up at the CBS Evening News in the first place. Interviewing has always been her forte, but the evening news broadcast didn’t take advantage of that ability. And even though renewed respect for Couric hasn’t translated into a ratings boost for CBS yet, it has given her more self-assurance about her role.
“It’s nice to have people acknowledge you have a skill set,” she told the Times. “There was a period of time when I was being assaulted from all sides. I never obviously intended to show it, but maybe I didn’t have as much confidence on the air.”
Couric also has been successful with the webcasts she’s hosted after events like the Republican and Democratic conventions and the debates. And CBS has extended the reach of Couric’s interviews with the candidates to its website by excerpting highlights via the Presidential Questions series.
Of course, the best proof of Couric’s comeback may be that she was spoofed on Saturday Night Live. Katie said she laughed at Amy Poehler’s portrayal of her, but called her mother afterward to ask if she really blinks that much. “Only when you’re tired,” her mom said.
One thing is certain: These days, nobody around CBS is asking when Katie is going to leave. And I, for one, am gratified that in an election where sexism has been the norm, at least one strong, smart woman has emerged a winner.
What do you think? Has Katie Couric earned her place among the network news pros? Where do you get your election news?