Couric’s Notebook goes classical liberal

Because I am trying to be fair (you all know I wanted CBS to hire CNN’s Dehlia Gallagher for the Evening News gig and grow their own “star”) I checked out Katie Couric’s Notebook and found…the sort of classical liberal thinking by which I was raised, and which I have bemoaned as “lost.”

Roughly transcribing the video:

Bush has the hardest job in the world; no matter where you stand politically, you have to respect anyone who takes on that job. I was at the White House yesterday…It’s clear to me Bush has a deep respect for the office. People disagree about his policies, but we should all agree: he’s got one of the toughest jobs in the world in one of the toughest times in American history.

Now, that’s a remarkably fair, “classically liberal” way to look at a man who has been so demonized that many on the left no longer even see him as a human being. This is an example of liberalism as I was raised to understand it; you form an opinion but don’t completely shut your mind. You show respect for the a person, and you don’t let a difference of opinion – even a vehement one – get in the way of your own humanity or anyone else’s. Does that sound like what the world “liberal” has come to mean to you in the 21st century?

Confession: I have been getting emails all day that seem to be meant for CBS and Couric – possibly because I have written extensively on both the news program and Couric blog, readers are getting confused (or bleary – I suspect they’re reading every blog writing on Couric) and sending me comments on the show which are clearly meant for those folks over at Black Rock. The one email from the conservative was a little mean – something about a sinking ship – but the ones from the “liberals” were mouth-foaming, ALL-CAPS screams of pain because Couric had invited Limbaugh into the Free Speech segment and because she had not (or will not, I don’t know if the interview has even aired) bared her teeth, tilted President Bush’s neck back and taken a chunk out of his jugular vein. The impression I got from several of these emailers was that they would be satisfied with nothing less, in a Couric/Bush interview than Katie taking a blade from between her teeth and going Charlie Manson on him. If “I” have received such emails, I cannot even wonder what sort they’re getting over at CBS. I’m betting that this “Notebook” piece was a well-toned and mature response to those folk, and if it is (and even if it is not), I say good for you, Ms. Couric. I cannot tell you what music your brief statement was to my ears.

Is it possible – I can hardly dare to imagine it, so I’ll grit my teeth and close my eyes and wonder – but is it possible, that Couric can do what I had rather impulsively hoped she might when I wrote:

I am actually looking at Katie Couric and hoping that somehow she…(SHE, egad!) might be enjoined to undertake the huge and heroic task of recovering the credibility and respectability of the press, of fomenting a kind of rehabilitation of the craft. It would be a noble endeavor, and I have no reason at all to believe she’s capable of it. But…I recognise that Katie Couric has to have something on the ball – be it a forceful and determined personality or more – to get where she has. I’m really hoping that somewhere inside all of the “glam and gloss of Katie” there is that quality of strength and independence (like biting on a piece of tinfoil) that works for something beyond mere “success” – something like restoration and recovery.

Am I jumping the gun? Of course I am. Do I doubt that what I am hoping for is what is happening? Of course I doubt it – I have been so long in the wilderness waiting for the return of the sane newsfolk of my youth, I must doubt it, for at least a while.

But…I have a glimmer of hope. I feel like Noah after 40 days and nights on a filthy stinking ark in the company of every imaginable beast, bug and crank, who – having sent out a dove – is scanning the horizon and wondering…finally…is there at least an olive branch coming forth?

Related: Media Events Overtake News
Couric and Company; Reviewing the Blog
First Reviews of Couric
The Launch of the CBS Couric
Thoughts on the Eve of Couric
Not that Les Moonves cares what I think

About Elizabeth Scalia

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