Los Angeles Times TV critic Mary McNamara sounded like she had stars on her eyes as she reviewed the new World News with Diane Sawyer on Friday:
In a world dominated by YouTube moments and professional hysterics, Sawyer exudes an alarming level of elegance.
You can hear the Times, like an echo of Charlie Gibson clucking "let the cables" do the ugly scandal news. Sawyer, the new face of the liberal media aristocracy, exudes class and intellect and verve, unlike the Perky One:
Where Couric has developed a brand of bouncy determination, a seasoned extension of the intrepid girl reporter, Sawyer has always been the Katharine Hepburn of the newsroom, classy in white collared shirts, radiating a passionate but still clearly intellectual concern for what is happening in the world around her....
With her classic features and low-pitched voice, she emanates an intellectual pedigree that she actually possesses -- Sawyer has indeed covered wars and interviewed most living heads of state, she is married to director Mike Nichols, she does hang out with Meryl Streep. A living, breathing member of the much-derided media elite, Sawyer still tries her best to seem like one of us, her voice near breaking as she stands on the tarmac in Port-au-Prince wondering when someone was going to actually deliver all that food and water to the Haitians.
She isn't one of us, of course; the Everywoman points all go to Couric, which is what makes Sawyer's higher ratings so interesting. Like Cooper, Sawyer is smart and seemingly sincere but sleek too, removed from the mainstream by her own physical perfection and gilded life.
Amid all the fear and messiness as the old media surrender, spitting and flailing, to the new, Diane Sawyer is a beacon, proof that you do not always have to stoop to conquer.
This writer is clearly stooping to please the ABC publicity department.
AP's David Bauder at least noticed that not everyone is starstruck:
Sawyer hasn't received the ratings "bump" that often occurs when viewers check out something new. During her month on the job, Williams has slightly increased NBC's edge on ABC to 14 per cent from the average of 11 per cent before she took over this season, according to the Nielsen Co.