It turns out retired CBS News anchor Katie Couric had at least one fan during her failed attempt to lift the network's evening newscast out of the ratings cellar: Gail Collins, former editorial page editor of the New York Times turned feminist columnist. Collins devoted her Saturday column to Couric’s significance as the first female nightly news anchor: "Katie Couric Moves On."
After hailing Couric’s (of course) "historic Sarah Palin interview," Collins declared Couric a "total success," ratings be damned. How so? By managing "not to screw things up." (The soft bigotry of low expectations?)
From my perspective as a charter of the progress of American women, Couric was a total success. The first great mandate for a First Woman is not to screw things up for the Second Woman or the Third. On that count, Couric did great. She was under incredible scrutiny and pressure, and she held up her end. There was never a point at which American viewers turned to each other and said: "Well, that certainly didn’t work out."