June 11, 2007

Dan Rather takes a shot at Katie Couric... and the "tarted up" evening news.

On "Morning Joe":
I want to make clear that I have nothing against Katie Couric at all. She’s a very nice person and I have a lot of friends at CBS News. However, it was clear at the time and I think it has become even clearer that the mistake was to try to bring the ‘Today’ ethos to the evening news and to dumb it down, tart it up, in hopes of attracting a younger audience. And I just don't think that people at 6:30, or seven o’clock at night or even 5:30 in the central time zone , six o’clock when it’s seen, that that is what they want.... [T]he belief runs strong in the corporate towers of almost every news organization, print or over the airwaves these days, that if you go to celebrities, uh, it increases your audience.
I don't like the dumbing down of the news, but I see two important feminist issues:

1. Is Rather insinuating that having a female newscaster is part of the process of "tarting up" the news? I know he doesn't precisely make that connection, but, to me, it's just glaring that the word "tart" means prostitute.

2. Why on earth does it matter what time the news is on? If something is wrong for the evening news, why isn't it just as wrong for the morning news? I think what is unstated is that only women are watching those morning shows, so the standards are lower. We don't even call the evening news a "show," do we? It's not a show, it's a program!

If Rather is so concerned about seriousness, why doesn't he see the serious undertones of sexism in his remarks? And, hint to Dan Rather: Saying she's "a very nice person" is not going to immunize you from this suspicion.

UPDATE: Les Moonves picks up the Rather-is-sexist meme.

118 comments:

Mortimer Brezny said...

1. No. The "dumbing down, tarting up" is part of making it appeal to younger viewers. Rather goes on to explain this involves focusing on celebrities, changing the set, changing the graphics and lighting, and getting a host from a lighter, morning news show.

2. Rather explains that people at home watching the news at that time don't want to see infotainment. I doubt it has anything to do with gender. It probably has to do with when people wake up and when people get home from work and need to catch up on hard news that occurred when they were at work.

That said, some of Couric's outfits on the Today show were tartish.

XWL said...

Seems like if they were going to tart up and the news effectively they should go all out.

Naked News (you can find the website on your own) has been using that formula for years.

As I understand the FCC rules, there's no hard and fast rules against displaying female breasts in all their glory, just a tacit agreement to avoid doing so, especially during family viewing hours.

CBS could do a rebroadcast of their Evening News after Craig Ferguson in the wee hours of the evening, but replace all of Katie's on camera portion of the show with busty, lusty young ladies who strip through their on camera time.

It would be a ratings juggernaut, it would melt TiVos across the nation.

It might even out draw the regular broadcast of the news.

Couric is many things, but she's no tart, and the use of the phrase is ill advised on Rather's part.

And since we're talking about Dan Rather, can somebody over at HDNet hire away Barbara Walters camera operators? Seriously, they need to give him the full vaseline treatment cause looking at his face in full HD is very distracting.

(wrinkles and old faces aren't the problem, just his particular combination of rudiness, wrinkliness and puffiness are really hard to take in super clear and focused HD)

Revenant said...

You know you're old when you start referring to fifty-year-old women as "tarts".

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's kind of rich of him to say they 'dumbed down the news' when his last broadcast was over 'false but accurate' news. Then again, maybe that's the same thing.

But as for tarting up the news, I think that was more a slam on Katie as opposed to a female anchor generally. I think Rather resented the 'cuteness' factor Couric represents as opposed to someone who he thinks would be taken more seriously.

AJ Lynch said...

Yes, totally sexist remard. He is just another sore loser.

Rather was paid probably more than $200 Million in the last 25 years of his career to read the news.

Why the frig doesn't he take some of his own money and start his own news channel if he has all the answers?

Pride said...

Right on, Ann. Whether intended or not, Rather oozed sexism.

I don't recall Rather needing to read the news by relying on his genitals. Why should Couric?

The Exalted said...

you would find sexism in a pot of coffee.

rather wouldn't make these comments if connie chung were anchoring the program because (1) she's a respected journalist, and (2) she's not an idiot.

sorry if this post is too serious for you.

jimbino said...

Come on now! If you are Nature or National Geographic or PBS doing something serious about science, you have to find one of those 10 women in the country who can talk hard science, especially if she's photogenic. I can't imagine wanting to hire Einstein to present serious physics to the Amerikan people.

Peter Palladas said...

Naked News (you can find the website on your own) has been using that formula for years.

Bush, Putin, Clinton [either], Blair, Sarkozy....with no strides?

Can't see it catching on.

Joe said...

Dan Rather pretty much destroyed the CBS news on his own. Ratings were already declining when CBS brought Couric in. Even if she is objectively a good reporter, the move came off as a gimmick. To be fair, the replacements at the other network news haven't done so well either.

My theory is that Rather, Jennings and Brokaw all established themselves before cable news and the internet got big and retained viewership out of familiarity and personal loyalty. Once they left, that loyalty left with them.

In other words, there really isn't a damn thing CBS, NBC or ABC can do except chance upon an anchor who just happens to resonate with people.

amba said...

Very keen point about the language! A "show" vs. a "program" -- good catch.

Then again the critics at Bloggingheads are wanting us to get more serious and substantive -- or at least to go into the issue du jour in more depth. That's refreshing to me, that they expect and demand that of women. If/when we do it again, we should demonstrate that there doesn't have to be a man in the conversation for it to be meaty.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Well, men usually bring the meat, right?

Curtiss said...

Some say.........Dan Rather is as clueless as CBS news.

joated said...

Rather, like Gore and Carter, has become a bitter old SOB now that he has forced himself out of the limelight in a fashion that was not exactly classy.

Gore and Carter have become the same for the same reason. Gore's insistance in contesting the Florida resul, while not even carrying his home state, is the same as Rather's declaration that the papers may have been fake but the story they told was true. Gore is now attempting to edge his way back with the whole global warming thing. If the whole house of cards should collapse around him, as it would if the media would listen to the critics as much as the proponents of global warming as caused by man, his fall will look so much like the end of Citizen Kane it won't be funny.

Carter? His ineptitude in the face of the Iran-hostage affair and just about everything else while President, has made him just a bitter, bitter man.

Dave F said...

Two observations:

1) Women shouldn't be hosting new programs.
2) Men shouldn't be hosting news programs.

Watching paint dry is a more useful activity. Want news, then read. Want didactic iambic pentameter spoken to you? Then watch the news. That's all it's good for.

John Burgess said...

While I loath Dan Rather, I think he might be misunderstood here.

'Tart up' is very much a Britishism that is used with absolutely no sexual content. The phrase clearly originated with the sexual aspect tart=prostitute. But it has lost that meaning in many contexts.

You can 'tart up' a property to make it more attractive. You can 'tart up' a room before guests arrive. You can 'tart up' a dinner plate by adding parsley or some other decorative device.

Instead of being sexist, Rather is committing an entirely different sin: Being an Anglophile.

Revenant said...

By the way, does anyone else look at that "Meet the Meat" blogad picture and think "damn, that looks pretty good"? Mmm... rare...

Curtiss said...

"There's only two things that money can't buy: true love and home grown tomatoes."

Another Britishism from Dan Rather.

Steven said...

The continued spread of cable means that people can do something other than watch the news when watching TV; they have dozens of options, not just maybe four. So the locked-in audience for evening news which existed thirty years ago is gone; TV news now has to compete against sitcom reruns and game shows.

Second, against a basket of alternatives (radio, the Internet, and cable TV news), broadcast TV has few and narrow advantages. It is behind on timeliness (24-hr radio, cable, Internet), depth (newspapers, internet), raw expense (radio), convenience (radio), or pretty much anything else. People primarily interested in news content, therefore, are not especially likely to bother to watch the evening news.

Here's the thing. The second set of problems are fundamental to the medium. The evening news producers cannot change them. They will always have a 4:00 story after Headline News; they will always be harder to consume in a car than radio; they will always have less depth than the written word. They're stuck. People who want news have no reason to go to the evening news; you can go back to Cronkite-era seriousness and serious issues, and the audience just won't be there, because on every dimension something else delivers the news better.

So, as the people with the habit of watching the evening news break it or die, the only audience available to TV news will be people interested in watching TV, not necessarily getting the news. But, if you go for them too hard, in the meantime you drive your remaining audience of old people with the evening news habit to rival networks . . .

Luckyoldson said...

you can call it whatever you want, but the "fact" remains that the cbs news, with katie...is at it's lowest ebb in 20 years.

*john burgess 'loathes" dan rather??

*tc: got a little time on your hands??

Luckyoldson said...

dan rather will be honored long after any of the idiots on this blog.

he's done a great job for decades and i respect him.

jane said...

Rather blather. Doesn’t much matter that the morning show “ethos” is about chit chat and the evening news program about Chet chat. Now that viewers realize most of the “real news” is packaged, politically programmed, unreliable and shallow, what’s the big deal about perky Katie? A lower voice and button-down gravitas is only staging and all news anchors egotistical twits, including Rather and Couric.

Ah, except Brit Hume.

Fen said...

Lucky: "Dan Rather will be honored long after any of the idiots on this blog. He's done a great job for decades and i respect him.

[snicker]

Luckyoldson said...

fen,
talk is cheap.

why not post YOUR extensive resume...and we'll compare it to mr. rather's.

*and be sure to highlight your many important accomplishments.

[laughter]

Luckyoldson said...

jane...oh, god yes...good ol' brit huuuuuuuume.

pretension personified.

PatCA said...

"I want to make clear that I have nothing against Katie Couric at all," yada yada.

Somebody's jealous.

Luckyoldson said...

hey, fen-fen...i googled your favirite website and now i understand where you get all of your insane bullshit...instead of actually reading books, periodicals or even newspapers:

Talk Shows:
Alan Nathan
Blanquita Cullum
Bob Barr
G. Gordon Liddy
Glenn Beck
Howie Carr
Hugh Hewitt
Jim Quinn
Laura Ingraham
Mark Levin
Michael Reagan
Neal Boortz
Rush Limbaugh
Sean Hannity
Tony Snow

no wonder you sound like a fucking loon.

Fen said...

why not post YOUR extensive resume...and we'll compare it to mr. rather's

Well, for starters, I didn't knowingly use forged docs in a hoax to affect the presidential election. I beat him out on that alone.

Rather is nothing more than a stuffed shirt, a male counterpart to the perky Couric. I'm not suprised you worship him.

Fen said...

i googled your favirite website and now i understand where you get all of your insane bullshit... instead of actually reading books, periodicals or even newspapers: Talk Shows:

Huh? I don't listen to talk shows [or watch FOX]. Learn to google better.

Seven Machos said...

The Luckoldson gambit re: Iraq: if you are for the war, you are required to evidence your foreign policy or, preferably, your military credentials. If you are against the war, as Lucky is, no such evidencing is necessary.

The Luckoldson gambit re: CBS News: if you don't like Dan Rather, you must evidence your extensive resume, whatever that means. If you like Dan Rather, as Lucky is, no such evidencing is necessary.

The Luckoldson corollary: everyone on the right listens to right-wing talk radio.

Your act is cheap and dumb, Lucky.

I urge everyone here to ignore this idiot.

jane said...

May I just say to ignored persons that Fen's right about Dan the Man and that Brit doesn't have a swelled head, just a brainy bulge under his hatline? I fully admit that I watch Fox twice a month when I remember to catch its Sunday AM news "show." I'm a true knuckle-dragger, of course.

Luckyoldson said...

yeah...there's no doubt fen and the rest of the delusional wingnuts here have been right about everything from the iraqi fiasco, bush, gonzales, rummy, cheney, torture, renditions, habeus corpus, wiretapping, etc.

and that's probably why the republicans won that last round of elections...

...oh, wait...they didn't win...the democrats won. just as they'll win in 2008...as bush's approval ratings continue to plummet.

*and be sure to not forget these numbers: 3,511 / 25,830...

Luckyoldson said...

jane,
have you visited the creation museum yet?

Luckyoldson said...

7-nachos,
why do you and the rest of the wingnuts here always deny listening to the right wing radio assholes...when, based on your comments we all know you do?

are you ashamed?

*i would be, too.

Luckyoldson said...

fen,
when are you posting your resume so we can compare it to mr. rather's?

nothing there?

Seven Machos said...

Those are some less-than witty comebacks, Lucky. Do you have anything to add about the feminist interpretation of Dan Rather's comments? Are you able to engage in conversation at a substantive level? Or are you just a total moron who spouts fifth-grade-level drivel at people who vote for candidates who are different than your candidates?

Luckyoldson said...

7-nachos:
some stats from the "war" you support:

As many as 1 of every 10 soldiers from the war on terror evacuated to the Army's biggest hospital in Europe was sent there for mental problems.

Between 8 and 10 percent of nearly 12,000 soldiers from the war on terror, mostly from Iraq, treated at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany had "psychiatric or behavioral health issues," according to the commander of the hospital, Col. Rhonda Cornum. (That means about 1,000 soldiers were evacuated for mental problems.)

The hospital has treated 11,754 soldiers from the war on terror, with 9,651 from Iraq and the rest from Afghanistan, according to data released by the hospital.

and of course: 3,511 dead / 25,830 wounded.

*why aren't YOU there???

jane said...

I'd love to visit a creation museum, if it has exhibits on the music of the spheres and beyond quantum metaphysics.

Seven Machos said...

Resume: Luckyoldson:

.

Luckyoldson said...

7-nachos,
oh, please.

rather doesn't like what's happened to the nightly news...everywhere.

and by the way, here's the response (no one has commented on)...from that other famous "left wing, sexist" zealot:

Scarborough: "No doubt about it. And, again, with CBS News and with Katie Couric, so many people are trying to kick Katie around. But I think that you're exactly right.

I think that the big problem here was a miscalculation that at beginning, you that somehow you're going to bring in 35-year-old viewers if you gave ‘em celebrity, if you gave ‘em, again, the 'Today’ show ethos, and that’s just not working.

And Rick Kaplan is over there now, and from all I understand, Rick is trying to bring a harder edge of news to it, but a lot of people watching you and then watching Bob Schieffer have already left. And it seems to me like it's a great challenge."

duh.

Luckyoldson said...

jane,
oh, c'mon...admit it...you've been there, haven't you?

pet the dinosaurs?

Seven Machos said...

Lucky -- Were I you, I would watch less television and accuse people of listening to right-wing talk shows less. I would wager that few people here listen to a single talk radio show or watch nearly as much news television as you apparently do.

I would try to engage people substantively at a higher intellectual level. There are valid reasons to be against the war and to like Dan Rather and to be on teh left poltically and culturally. You don't make give them.

Luckyoldson said...

c'mon, everybody...aren't you going to jump on scarborough?

one-trick-ponies.

Luckyoldson said...

7-nachos says i should:
"engage people substantively at a higher intellectual level..."

here??

with fen...sloan...pogo, etc???

get real.

Seven Machos said...

Lucky -- No one here ever watches that show or listens to the radio shows...that you watch and listen to and browbeat everyone else for watching and listening to.

Do you see the irony?

Luckyoldson said...

7-nachos,
the clip i posted isn't from scarborough's show...it's straight from a right wing blog. (http://newsbusters.org/blog/2264)

the people here merely neglected to post the "response" ro rather's comments.

standard procedure.

jane said...

"pet the dinosaurs?"

Sorry, Lucky, I don't pet and tell.

Seven Machos said...

Nobody here goes to Newsbusters except you, pal. This is a place of stimulating, intellectual conversation most of the time, except when idiots like you swoop in and spoil the entire conversation.

Lucky is the Jimmy Swaggert of Althouse. Preaching about sin, sin, sin, and how awful it is, when, really, he is the only one in the whole audience getting blow jobs from whores.

Luckyoldson said...

other examples of the use of the term:

The Tarting Up of TV Guide
(http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,957836,00.html)

Tarting Up The Gray Lady Of 43rd Street
(www.time.com/time/magazine/article)

Tarting It Up
(www.tartingitup.com/)

Scotland on Sunday - Tarting up Tartan Week is a must, says Salmond
(scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=906682007)

*how shameful...

Luckyoldson said...

7-nachos,
newsbusters is where the article was posted, you moron. i merely googled it so i could see the "ENTIRE" interview...not just what you people are blathering about.

and do you even know from where the term "tarting" is derived???
(marked by a biting, acrimonious, or cutting quality)

did you attend high school?

Luckyoldson said...

nacho-man,
i have no problem with "sin."

it's right wing morons who make me queasy.

Seven Machos said...

I really wouldn't be surprised if Lucky is Dan Rather. Let's consider the evidence:

1. He is defending Dan Rather, apparently on journalistic merits. No one but Dan Rather would do this.

2. His About Me statement declares: "Right now I'm carving a new G.W. dummy so I can shove my fist up its ass." This is on a par with someone who would report obviously fraudulent documents as legitimate in an attempt to undermine an election.

3. He has searched the world over for uses of the phrase "tart up." Weird.

4. He thinks that anyone on the right listens to goofy talk radio shows.

Seven Machos said...

...Analogy goes completely over head...

Luckyoldson said...

nacho,
i love the fact that you're terribly upset about something you "think" dan rather meant...yet feel perfectly comfortable throwing out terms like "blowjob" and "whore."

rather disingenuous.

Luckyoldson said...

nacho-man,
like i said: i'll put dan rather's life's work, accomplishments and reputation up against any of the yahoos here.

*oh, and think about picking up a dictionary.

'night all...say hello to rushie and sean.

Seven Machos said...

Where is the part that I have said that I am upset with Dan Rather? How does throwing out terms such as "blowjob" and "whore" affect how I feel about Dan Rather? What possible logical connection exists here?

Your arguments, such as they are, Lucky, are truly laughable. They evince real, nearly tangible stupidity.

But, yes, Lucky, ask me again if I have graduated high school. Or accuse the righties here of listening to certain talk radio shows. Show us again your brilliance.

jane said...

"rather disingenuous."

That's what we've been saying. If only Lucky could find his shift key for proper nouns.

Methadras said...

Seven Machos said...

The Luckoldson gambit re: Iraq: if you are for the war, you are required to evidence your foreign policy or, preferably, your military credentials. If you are against the war, as Lucky is, no such evidencing is necessary.

The Luckoldson gambit re: CBS News: if you don't like Dan Rather, you must evidence your extensive resume, whatever that means. If you like Dan Rather, as Lucky is, no such evidencing is necessary.

The Luckoldson corollary: everyone on the right listens to right-wing talk radio.

Your act is cheap and dumb, Lucky.

I urge everyone here to ignore this idiot.


It's good to see that at least some people have been able to recognize this fools schtick.

Methadras said...

Luckyoldson said...

nacho-man,
like i said: i'll put dan rather's life's work, accomplishments and reputation up against any of the yahoos here.

*oh, and think about picking up a dictionary.

'night all...say hello to rushie and sean.


You do understand that this proclamation is nearly a non-sequitor, don't you? Your aberrant and vehement dislike? or shall we call it hatred with those on the right, who just happen to be talk show hosts says what about you?

Fen said...

SevenMachos: The Luckoldson gambit re: Iraq: if you are for the war, you are required to evidence your foreign policy or, preferably, your military credentials. If you are against the war, as Lucky is, no such evidencing is necessary.

Even funnier, when you reverse his fallacy against him...

you're against the war, so why aren't you staging a hunger strike on the steps of Congress

...he only becomes more confused and hateful. He just doesn't get it.

My favorite Rather quote:

"If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I’d like to break that story" - Sept 16th, seven days after the "story" had been broken by FR and LGF.

http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2004/09/18/cbs_theatre.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34153-2004Sep19.html

Fen said...

And Mary Mapes on Good Morning America:

Mapes: "I'm perfectly willing to believe those documents are forgeries if there's proof that I haven't seen."

Ross: "But isn't it the other way around? Don't you have to prove they're authentic?"

Mapes: "Well, I think that's what critics of the story would say. I know more now than I did then and I think, I think they have not been proved to be false, yet."

Ross: "Have they proved to be authentic though? Isn't that really what journalists do?"

Mapes: "No, I don't think that's the standard."

Remember, Mapes was labelled "brilliant" by her peers. How did someone like her climb so high up the CBS ladder? And does anyone really believe the Memo Hoax was the first time CBS cheated us? There must be dozens of more "Mapes" lurking the halls of CBS. So I don't blame Couric so much - she's been lashed to the wheel of a sinking ship.

hdhouse said...

Ann said:

"1. Is Rather insinuating that having a female newscaster is part of the process of "tarting up" the news? I know he doesn't precisely make that connection, but, to me, it's just glaring that the word "tart" means prostitute."

The prostitute attribution to "tart" would be slang usage. The acerbic, bitting, caustic application makes more sense.

I sat on a plane next to Couric from NY to Atlanta bout 12 years ago. She had the aisle and I came late and had the window. I excused myself for disrupting her comfort and she kinda half stood and let me pass. Upon seating, I didn't say anything like "hey aren't you Katie Perky"? but simply commented that I hoped LGA wouldn't be backed up this morning to which she replied (I swear verbatim) "I hope you aren't going to talk ALL the way to Atlanta".

That's TART.

Pogo said...

Re: "I hope you aren't going to talk ALL the way to Atlanta"

Now that's pretty damn funny, house.

It would be easy to feel sorry for Couric and CBS, witnesses to their flagship being bested by fleeter vessels, knowing their glory days are long past. It must be scary to think they'd get better ratings (and lose nothing but pride) putting a game show in that slot.

But CBS and Rather tried to swing an election in the old manner of Hearst, but no longer owning the only press, failed. I certainly cannot forgive them for that.

And Rather is at his Gore-y best here. Certainly he knew "tart" would carry the whore connotation, much as he knew the documents were false. Plausible deniability didn't work then either.

CBS News, we hardly knew ye.

Roger said...

I side with those who suggest DR is a bit embittered by his departure, and that colors his view of the current situation. I think, however, that the decline of CBS is simply coincidental with the general decline of network news. The days of uncle Walter are over and done--going the way of buggy whip manufacturers.

It looks to me like CBS made a marketing decision to go for a younger demographic and failed. The only question is when they pull the plug on the current format.

We should do the BBC newsreading format and get away from the anchor as rock star. These guys and gals are simply news readers; recall that Peter Jennings didn't even finish high school! They are simply personalitiesd who project gravitas on camera as they read the words that scroll down the teleprompter.

Wade Garrett said...

Certain news stories appeal to men moreso than women, and some appeal to women moreso than men. One problem Rather has spoken about in the past is how the news has gone from 'serious' news like politics and foreign relations to softer, human interest stories and paranoid Dateline NBC-style "XYZ can hurt YOUR FAMILY" stories that basically amount to calculated attempts to scare women. Combine that with the increased emphasis on lighting, attractive sets and moving the host around the studio, and you've got yourself an entertainment SHOW, instead of a news PROGRAM.

I don't blame Rather for anything he said.

knoxwhirled said...

I have a lot of friends at CBS News.

Somehow, I think not.

vet66 said...

It seems to me that many of these egomaniacs: Dan Rather, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, etc., all go the Shakespeare route "Out damn spot" to no avail.

Trying to bring others down to their level in no way makes them less culpable or exonerates them from their failures. Lacking self-esteem all, they only shine the light of reason on their own petty shortcomings.

Dan Rather: A true sexist.

Al Gore : Delusions of grandeur.

Bill Clinton: A womanizer.

Jimmy Carter: A peanut farmer.

What do they all have in common?

1. Dudes past their prime.
2. Dudes trying to burnish a tarnished image/legacy.
3. Dudes with a broken moral compass.

vrse said...

God, you're so out of touch it is sad.

vet66 said...

vrse;

Out of touch with your reality? I plead guilty!

As for it being sad: "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee!"

rsb said...

from hdhouse concerning Couric's "I hope you aren't going to talk ALL the way to Atlanta".
I love that - I always pegged her for a phoney. CBS would have been smart to keep Bob Schiefer on until he retired.

jane said...

I fly from and to Atlanta all of the time and hope I'd have the presence of mind to only ask a Couric seated next to me what she did for a living. Although, shouldn't we give her props for flying commercial, even if imperiously or brusquely?

rsb said...

that would have been the perfect rejoinder for someone like her

Rex Kramer said...

An evening news show that is formatted to show off Couric's legs is indeed tarted up. And Katie knows it.

John said...

"Right now I'm carving a new G.W. dummy so I can shove my fist up its ass."

It's a thin line between love and hate, I guess.

Dan said...

Sexist, sure, but not entirely wrong.

"Tarting up the news" brought to my mind Lara Logan, the new and coincidently attactive chief foreign correspondant. I watched the Couric's first broadcast and at the top was a long feature with Logan going to a clandestine interview with the Taliban. The piece was obviously shot months earlier (plants were in bloom) and the camera focused more on Logan walking around than on what she saw. I was surprised she had no less than three costume changes. This isn't great news production and I would think it would piss feminists off.

On morning news, I agree standards shouldn't be different, but aren't they? My god, Couric's main job qualification for taking the morning job was perkiness. Ann Currie's becoming a star through her powers of empathy. Morning news execs seems to have decided (based on good research I presume) that "news" for women has nothing to do with Russia or the Middle East. The morning's Big Story at 7:15 has to do inevitably with celebrity, a grieving family or a plucky boyscout who wrestled a mountain lion for survival. Then we move on to two hours of breast-feeding and skin care tips.

I'm honestly curious, if demographics and ratings tell us this is what women prefer to news, what does the good feminist defend?

jane said...

This woman prefers hard, honest-as-you-can-get news, domestic and international, and there are many like me. But where to get it? Even male-anchored evening news is getting fluffy, sentimentalized, insanely spun and tabloidish for both partisan and commercial marketing reasons. We could blame the emotive female condition/demographic for this, but “it’s all about feelings” is irresponsibly enshrined and institutionalized within the Democrat Party, replete with men and rad feminists. Centrist to conservative wimmin who may value their intuition, whimsy, empathy and good skin very much appreciate attempts at rationality and objectivity in the news and science. But we're living in a post-normal, Progressively-normed society in which fact, logic and analysis are squishy, mutable, touchy-feely commodities and we're left so unsatisfied, whether by Couric, Rather, Keller or TV Court.

Luckyoldson said...

hdhouse said...

"The prostitute attribution to "tart" would be slang usage. The acerbic, bitting, caustic application makes more sense."

*of course it makes more sense, rather has only been a journalist for about 56 years and knows exactly what the term means...but you don't really think these right wing nutcases care, do you?? (when i posted the dictionary definition of the term, they thought it strange that i would reference another viewpoint other than their own.)

these people are like jackels and once they pounce on something or someone, all logic and reason go out the window.

*oh, and always keep in mind that NONE of them listen to right wing talk radio or watch Fox News.

sure...

Luckyoldson said...

jane said..."This woman prefers hard, honest-as-you-can-get news, domestic and international, and there are many like me. But where to get it?"

bbc & pbs would be a good start.

Luckyoldson said...

john,

hey!!!!

stealing MY lines now?

get your own material, weasel.

*and what is it with that "hate" word you love to use? the correct word would be "INEPTITUDE"

Luckyoldson said...

vet66,
as for carter, clinton and gore...

...two of them were presidents of the united states, one was vice-president.

what have YOU done lately??

*and, as for being what you call "egomaniacs"...you consider bush rather "humble??" (AS IN: i be the "DECIDER!!!")

what a hoot.

Luckyoldson said...

well, before the wingnuts pile on...adios (can i say that without fear of arrest?)...i've got a great tee time and have to meet up with friends who do actually read, listen to the radio...and...watch tv.

John said...

Lucky, I deal with inept people all day long. And I guarantee you, I've never had fantasies about fisting any of them.

Putting a line like that in your profile is more telling than you suspect.

Remind me to stay out of any bars you hang out in.

jane said...

"But where to get it?

bbc & pbs would be a good start."

Thanks, Lucky, but LOL. I've tried the Brackish Broadcast Company and Public Brickcasting System news. When I'm overseas, listening to the BBC in hotel rooms makes me cry (emotional woman). At home, PBS and NPR are good sources for learning how the other half half-thinks. The Lehrer Newshour tries to be balanced, but the wording, framing and timing of questions is subtly agenda-driven. I don't bother much with Fox for the same reason, only it's not so subtle, just like the alphabet and other cable views-as-news outlets.

At least the Internet's news biases can be balanced by reading all over the spectrum for primary sources and convincingly reliable info and assessments. Which is NOT to say the truth always lies in the middle---

jane said...

Boy, there just has to be some perverse significance to writing "the truth always lies/ doesn't always lie..."

Pogo said...

CBS should just get it over with and have Rosie O'Donnell read the 6 p.m. news, with Michael Moore as foriegn correspondent, and Al Gore doing the weather.

Not gravitas, perhaps, but gravity. Lotsa gravity.

jane said...

And gravy!

Fen said...

I just wish Lucky's shrink wouldn't subcontract his therapy out to us. We're not a PPO.

Oligonicella said...

Ann, you like words. Tart is a noun, but he (whom I care not one whit for) used it as a verb.

Webster's
–v.t.
4. tart up, Slang. to adorn, dress, or decorate, esp. in a flamboyant manner: The old restaurant was tarted up to look like a Viennese café.

Don't looke into things for sexism.

Synova said...

"...two of them were presidents of the united states, one was vice-president.

what have YOU done lately??"


LOL! Now Lucky can't complain about Bush unless *he's* been a president too!

Way too funny.

Ann Althouse said...

Og: I don't get it. There's some barrier between nouns and verbs for you, so that, for example, "whore" used as a verb doesn't refer to a whore?

Synova said...

About CBS, seems to me that the idea was that the anchor has more than a news reading role. I don't know what the anchor does but there was news about Couric making this change or that change to the news.

But if she's a serious journalist (which she very well may be) she's overshadowed by the morning shows she was on.

They'd be better off hiring a pretty girl or boy with a great voice to *read* the news. People think that someone else writes the stories and makes the decisions anyway.

Synova said...

I don't read "tart" has having much to do with being a prostitute but I'd definitely read it was implying unseriousness.

dick said...

Amazing. Tart can refer to a pastry or a taste sensation or a prostitute or fixing up something to make it look good even if it isn't, yet Ann takes it as sexism immediately even though the primary and original meaning was a pie. Sorta like the guys taking the Rohrsach (sp) test and everything reminds them of sex.

Pogo said...

THIS is CBS
Rosie O'Donnell: On the national front, Chimpy still won't admit to blowing up the twin towers, and he's hassling the Iranians who just want peace. Michael?

Michael Moore: Thanks, Rosie. Here in North Korea, cherubic children are flying kites and eating candy and everyone is smiling. And in Cuba, health care is free and wonderful, and everyone is in love, and the flowers pick themselves. Al?

Al Gore: Michael, It's HOT HOT HOT. Devastation everywhere, floods, hurricanes, melting polar bears. We're on the eve of destruction! Yeeaarrgghh!!

jane said...

Pogo, whatever happened to Gore TV? Couldn't it weather the market?

As to Rather's blather: "Dumb down" and "tart up" can have fairly neutral connotations, but when Rather uses those expressions wrt to Couric the woman who usurped his throne (all in his mind since he fell off the jewel-encrusted gilded anchor’s seat with Mapes’ able assistance), there’s a sense of him criticizing that “dumb blonde/ sells-herself-broad who exhibits no dignity or journalistic integrity given the lightweight to sensational tripe on her ‘show’.”

Fine, but Hurricane Rather has never seemed particularly brilliant with his touched-up hair and his selling himself for fame, profit and party by affecting forced smile dignity and faked integrity and using man-in-the-street anecdotal wisdom, push polls, cherry-picked facts, and Kinko copier fiction to give America his best partisan to inflammatory news brokerage. He’s one to talk and denigrate. He’s no reputable journalist or gentleman.

Dewave said...

Dan Rather? Dan "fake but accurate" Rather??

He's possibly the only journalist on earth who has no credibility with which to criticize Katie Couric.


I don't know whether it's sexism or not: it could simply be a combination of idiocy and envy. But it's Dan Rather so...probably a combination of all three?

Luckyoldson said...

jane-i-think-i'm-a-writer says:

"...Rather has never seemed particularly brilliant with his touched-up hair and his selling himself for fame, profit and party by affecting forced smile dignity and faked integrity..."

i suppose that must be the reason he's been a respected journalist for over 55 years...because of his "touched up hair"..."fame, profit and party"..."forced smile"...and "faked dignity??"

(and to think the poor guy was the anchor for CBS news for ONLY 24 years...)

duh.

*and when are we going to see the resumes of those here who think mr. rather is a failure?

Luckyoldson said...

Dan Rather is one of the most awarded figures within the journalism community. He has received numerous Emmy Awards, several Peabody Awards, and various honorary degrees from universities.

*it must of been that "touched up hair"

Fen said...

suppose that must be the reason he's been a respected journalist

Lucky, you're the only one here who respects Dan Rather.

And is attack on Couric is sour grapes. He wants to distract from what everyone is whispering - CBS is losing viewers because people like Rather & Mapes destroyed any credibility it had left.

Luckyoldson said...

based on the ratings from last week, maybe katie should go topless with a tart stuffed between her tits:

"World News" averaged 8.1 million viewers last week

NBC's "Nightly News" had 7.5 million viewers

CBS "Tart News" had 6 million viewers (but 22 million orgasms)

Luckyoldson said...

fen,
they're ALL losing viewers, and rather has been gone from cbs for at least 2 years, which is an eternity in television.

*oh, and the NBC's "Nightly News" 7.5 million viewer total is its fourth- lowest figure since at least 1987 (5.3, 12)

try reading more and blathering on less.

Fen said...

He has received numerous Emmy Awards, several Peabody Awards, and various honorary degrees from universities.

...and Jimmy Carter has a Noble. Big woo.

Mike said...

Fen, don't make eye contact with the ranting man on the street corner. Just act like he's not there.

Fen said...

Lucky: i suppose that must be the reason he's been a respected journalist for over 55 years...because of his "touched up hair"..."fame, profit and party"... "forced smile" ...and "faked dignity??"...(and to think the poor guy was the anchor for CBS news for ONLY 24 years...)

Lucky, the problem is that Dan Rather and CBS have been cheating their viewers for decades. They finally get caught red-handed and you beleive, like a spouse in denial, that its the one-and-only time.

Fen said...

LOL Mike. Noted.

/ignore troll-Lucky

Luckyoldson said...

c'mon, boys and girls...let's see those resumes that can rival mr. rather's.

show me what ANY of you have ever done that even remotely resembles or equates to the accomplishments of mr. rather.

the fact that you're mostly right wing nutcases, still fully supporting g.w. bush...

still calling for a "WIN" in iraq...

still saying gonzales should stay...

still saying plame wasn't covert...

only illustrates how out of touch you are with reality...and doesn't mean a thing regarding mr. rather's professional career.

he's respected by his "peers" and i'm sure he could give a rusty fuck what a bunch of yahoos here think one way or another.

and that's exactly why you represent about 30% of america...and will get blown out in 2008...again.

Luckyoldson said...

fen says: "Lucky, the problem is that Dan Rather and CBS have been cheating their viewers for decades."

this from someone who worships the fox news network.

duh.

vet66 said...

"BLOWN!"

Interesting choice of words for 2008. That is precisely what will happen if the appeasers, negotiators, apologizers, and bumper sticker wienies with $400 haircuts win the election in 2008.

The Dems are probably already working on a position paper that blames the Bush Administration for anything that happens in 2008. Meanwhile, the Islamic terrorists keep chipping away at western freedoms/values while CBS blithely continues it's downward spiral.

Wade Garrett said...

Vet,

That answer was both stupid and way off-topic. Way to go.

Luckyoldson said...

vet,
get yourself a good shrink.

Synova said...

The answer was off topic but it was a reply to what Lucky was going on about.

It really amazes me, sometimes, to realize that some people simply insist on believing that "mad at Republicans" in 2006 translates to "happy with Democrats" in 2006. It just doesn't.

I mean, really, if Lucky was so confident about just how incredibly marginalized conservatives and those concerned about security are... why go on and on?

Or maybe it means something that Congress has such a low approval and the things that kept Republicans and independent voters from ensuring a continued Republican majority are the things that the Democrats seem to be pissing on so much.

The anti-war vote did not win the majority for the Democrats. Republicans acting like Democrats did. It was a punishment vote (or punishment "stay at home".)

And in the mean time Lucky is *still* calling for equal credentials before anyone is allowed to criticize Rather. Which test makes G.W.Bush darn near unassailable.

Don't it.

hdhouse said...

vet66 said...
"BLOWN! - Interesting choice of words for 2008. That is precisely what will happen if the appeasers, negotiators, apologizers, and bumper sticker wienies with $400 haircuts win the election in 2008."

Ahh Vet...rather a $400 haircut than a two-bit brain I always say...and next time you are in combat (or picking invisible bugs out of the air) wear a helmet.

And to you Faux Noise lackeys with your endless and worthless attacks on network news..just remember that ALL of Faux Noise falls within the margin of error for viewers.....that means on any given night on any given program it is entirely possible NO ONE is watching...not likely but possible.

Now if you peabrains could start to discern news with a litmus other than "I think there is an agenda in here somewhere - let me find it" type of conspiracy theory garbage, ... well I wonder where you do get your "facts" such as they are.

From some of your posting on this thread, I'm kinda convinced Fen bends over and Pogo gleefully pulls it out of you know where.

hdhouse said...

and to "Synova said...
calling for equal credentials before anyone is allowed to criticize Rather. Which test makes G.W.Bush darn near unassailable."

But Synova....who wants to compete with someone who is dead set on finishing last? I know you try and use big words but didn't you mean "the asshole" and not "unassailable"? Try it in your sentence. It makes more sense.

Words sure are toys to those who's life is full of little building blocks..."don't it"?

Fen said...

hdhouse: From some of your posting on this thread, I'm kinda convinced Fen bends over and Pogo gleefully pulls it out of you know where.

Fens Law: If the Left is frothing, you must be on target.

Thank you for confirming our analysis of CBS and Dan Rather.

Luckyoldson said...

speaking of REAL "news"...

Fox spent half as much time covering the Iraq war than MSNBC during the first three months of the year, and considerably less than CNN, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The difference was more stark during daytime news hours than in prime-time opinion shows. The Iraq war occupied 20 percent of CNN’s daytime news hole and 18 percent of MSNBC’s. On Fox, the war was talked about only 6 percent of the time…

geeee, i wonder why???

Luckyoldson said...

house,
you didn't know fen and pogo were an item?

guess who's on top.

jane said...

Why is it lefty-Dems go all ad-homo-nem in debate?

Oligonicella said...

Al: 'Og: I don't get it. There's some barrier between nouns and verbs for you, so that, for example, "whore" used as a verb doesn't refer to a whore?'

That would be correct, you don't get it.

Webster's

whore:
–v.i.
2. to act as a whore.
3. to consort with whores.
–v.t.
4. Obs. to make a whore of; corrupt; debauch.

Notice the definition itself refers to the prostitute in all cases.

tart:
–v.t.
4. tart up, Slang. to adorn, dress, or decorate, esp. in a flamboyant manner: The old restaurant was tarted up to look like a Viennese café.

Looks like your reading in. I'll take Webster's word over yours on etymology.