RUSH: Perhaps the funniest news story out there today comes from our old buddy David Bauder at the Associated Press. It explores the reasons why Katie Couric’s ratings are in the toilet. (By the way, still no response from CBS News to my magnanimous offer to sit for an interview on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric to jump-start those ratings. Still no response, but my offer stands. I don’t expect to hear back from them.) Do you know why Katie’s ratings are the lowest that CBS has ever had in the evening slot? Do you know why? No, no. It has nothing to do with her. It’s not that she’s not good at it. Well, it’s something to do with her, but it’s something she can’t control. It’s sexism, folks. It’s pure bigotry. You people in the audience just will not watch a woman do the news. You just won’t do it. It’s your fault! I can read the whole story to you here, but that pretty much sums it up. You people are a bunch of bigots. You’d rather watch a bunch of doddering old men with saliva dripping down the corners of their mouths than you would watch a babe or a woman do the news — and, of course, what’s absurd about this is that the chickification of the news in this country from local to national newsrooms and networks has been accomplished. They’re all over the place. They’re producing. They’re reporting. They’re anchoring. We have anchorettes. We have info babes. They’re all over cable news. In fact, most of them are blonde.
Where does this supply come from? There’s an endless supply of them out there: One blonde goes, another blonde comes in. They’re all over the place out there and it hasn’t hurt the cable network people at all in terms of the news. In fact, Bauder even admits this: ‘With all the women in television news on both sides of the camera, you would think sexism was an issue relegated to the 20th Century. Yet recently a CBS News executive, herself a pioneer for women in the industry, said she believed that Katie Couric was having trouble catching on with the public as ‘CBS Evening News’ anchor because she was the first solo female anchor for a network nightly news show. CNN’s male chief was also caught referring first to a woman’s looks when asked why she got an important anchor job. And ‘The Daily Show’ aired a wickedly funny segment on all the women in cable news who are — there’s no other way to put it — babe-a-liscious. ‘It saddens me,’ said Deborah Potter, a former CBS News reporter who is now executive director of the News Lab think tank. ‘I wish I could tell you I was surprised, but I guess I’m not. The people who do the hiring still look very much like the people who did the hiring 30 years ago. They still make decisions based on what they find appealing.”
Well, what the hell does that mean ? They hired a woman over there! Of course the Neanderthal attitude of 30 years ago is what she’s referring to. What is she talking about?
‘I wish I could tell you I was surprised, but I guess I’m not. The people who do the hiring still look very much like the people who did the hiring 30 years ago. They still make decisions based on what they find appealing.’ Then how can this be an indictment? They went out and hired Katie. They hired a woman. Now, did they hire somebody that they think is attractive? That doesn’t happen in the news business, does it? They go out and hire somebody that’s ugly for ratings? When was the last time you ever heard of that happening, anywhere in television news? In fact, NBC has this sitcom, ‘Ugly Betty.’ The critics love it because most people are ugly. It’s a delve into reality. ‘Linda Mason, who was the first female producer at the ‘CBS Evening News’ 30 years ago and now is the news division’s standards chief, speculated that a tradition-bound audience was reluctant to get the day’s news from a woman.’
Boy, is that ripe for mining! (Laughing.)
‘Couric has twice set records in the past month for smallest ‘CBS Evening News’ audience in at least 20 years. The network hardly believed she’d have lower ratings than predecessor Bob Schieffer at this point in her tenure. In an interview with the CBS News Web site Public Eye, Mason said she had no idea that a woman delivering the news would be a handicap. ‘I’m afraid that Katie’s paying a price for being the first woman,’ she said. ‘But I think it’s a great trail she’s blazing, and I think if the broadcast continues to be as good as it has been … people will start to watch. It takes time, I think. But I was surprised that there was an obvious connection between a woman giving the news, and the audience wanting to watch it.” See, you viewers are sexist. This is typical of the Drive-By Media. Their work is always flawless; it’s always perfect. It’s you who are their problem. You’re not reading their newspapers as much anymore and you’re not watching their TV news, because you’re sexist or because you’re uppity or because you’re bigots or because you think you’re smarter than you are.
None of it is ever their problem!