Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Just Kill Me


At the end of a long and mostly innocuous article in the New Yorker about the ups and downs of NBC's Today show, Ken Auletta relates a "late lunch" he had with Katie Couric. Couric was "worried" that hard news didn't appeal to viewers. During a brief chicken-and-egg discussion between Auletta and Couric ("are we giving people what they want?" "Or are people watching what we give them?"). Couric then forthrightly declared, "I always felt it was our responsibility as journalists to explore issues and talk about subjects and have serious stories that people need to know about to be informed citizens." Admirably put, I thought. Then Couric recounted a story of which she was especially "proud," a "terrific story" that was "honest and very well produced."

In this year of endless blood flowing in Iraq, of Rovegate, of the ongoing venality of an administration with almost no constraint on its dishonesty, what was the story in question? You guessed it – Couric's exclusive interview with Jennifer Wilbanks, aka, the "runaway bride."