The Washington Post on Tuesday published a book review of Ed Klein’s critical Katie Couric biography by reviewer Louis Bayard, who found the entire exercise of writing a Katie book distasteful, unnecessary, and sexist: “You may also wonder if the same book would have been written about a male broadcaster,” Bayard argued early on. He suggested Klein was a female-bashing brute:
Klein has made a second career of leaving knuckle prints on famous women. Hillary Clinton got what was coming to her in "The Truth About Hillary"; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis apparently needed three Klein volumes to be brought down to earth (four, if you count "The Kennedy Curse"). And now it's Couric's turn to be publicly caned for the crime of projecting a persona at variance with her true self -- or perhaps for "her unabashed bias in favor of liberal causes," or maybe just for being "the most popular female broadcaster of her generation."
The Post reviewer completely rehashes the Couric camp spin that it’s old news that a woman who climbed to the top of the media mountain can be described as ambitious, whoop-dee-doo:
One might question how Klein became editor of the New York Times Magazine without ambition, but the docket keeps unspooling: "The publicity about her $65-million Today Show contract (which should never have been made public), her leg-baring short skirts (which should have been vetoed by her producer), her celebrity friends (which should have been downplayed), her divalike behavior (which should have been reined in), her made-for-tabloid romances (which should have been kept under wraps) -- all this undermined her Girl Next Door image and damaged her Q scores."
Bayard even claimed that the anchorman/anchorwoman is an outdated oracle, already on its way to the ash heap of media history:
No one could be happier about the whole CBS misadventure than Klein, who devotes a good quarter of his book to it. "At heart," he concludes, in a tone somewhere between sorrow and anger, "Katie was not an anchor." But who is this mystical "anchor" he speaks of? And can we make it go away? Does a mature society really need someone popping up four or five minutes a night to pat our hands and express the hope that we had a good day?
As it is, the very premises that undergird broadcast news are being undercut every day by the blogosphere, which revels in the greatest number of voices and which will almost certainly leave future generations wondering how we could have placed our trust in a single smiling entity (connected via earpiece to omniscient producers). We are becoming our own news anchors, and maybe it's time. Maybe it's time, too, for Edward Klein to find an ambitious woman he likes.