When the folks at CBS shooed Katie Couric out the door, one could almost hear the harrumph with which Scott Pelley was reinstalling the Old Regime of Ed Murrow. Unlike Couric, Pelley wasn't debuting with celebrity interviews and updates on Tom Cruise's baby. CBS is going back to biased Dan Rather basics, treating Couric's tenure as little more than a palate cleanser.
With Couric off the news grid in pursuit of cloning Oprah Winfrey's success in feel-your-pain afternoon chat, who will be the public face of soft and marshmallowy News Lite? Coincidentally, NBC's Meredith Vieira retired from "Today," and NBC was contractually obligated to promote longtime morning news reader Ann Curry.
How light is Curry? Last October, while narrating a story on how Russia implausibly unveiled a new set of inflatable weapons designed to fool spy satellites, Curry added her own touch: "Wish all weapons were like that."
Since joining the show in 1997, Curry has demonstrated that the network news types shouldn't be too fast to point and sneer at their own cartoons of Republican women like Sarah Palin as too dim to be a national leader. When political reporter Chuck Todd laid out the Super Tuesday primary map in 2008, Curry couldn't find the state of Illinois on a map. (She pointed to Minnesota.)
Sometimes political correctness is the issue, not factual correctness.
In 2003, Curry questioned an author of a book urging families to learn more about the history of Thanksgiving and to appreciate being American. She insisted, "You know, there are some American Indians who feel that Thanksgiving should be a day of mourning, not a day of celebration because of what happened to their people."
In her interviews, Curry has almost patented a sappy style of liberalism lite, especially on the environment. In 2007, she promoted a Ben & Jerry's executive using a "people-powered blender bike" to make smoothies.
Curry added: "You really care and have, for years, cared about global warming." As Curry pedaled the blender bike, she exclaimed, "You see, you can save the environment! It is possible!"
Perhaps she could make enough electricity to power the "Today" show if she bicycles during all her interviews?