Before starting her new job as anchor of the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric is going on a "listening tour" of the country. As Kathleen Parker writes in the Orlando Sentinel, this looks very similar to the "listening tour" that Hillary Clinton did in New York state in preparation for her Senate run.
The decision to send Couric around the country on a "listening tour," scheduled to wrap up Monday, was a poor calculation. First off, the free-associative mind goes straight to that other trailblazing female, Hillary Clinton, who launched a listening tour before running for U.S. Senate.
Katie, Hillary, Katie, Hillary -- two liberal peas in a pod? The question burrows in the mind and wants to stay.
And what's with this listening shtick, anyway? Couric isn't running for public office. Being an anchor isn't an elected position, though viewers ultimately will vote with their remotes. But shouldn't a newsperson be about the news rather than about the person?
The fact of the tour, which is taking Couric to six cities in order to expose her to what the media like to call "Ordinary Americans," merely confirms what those same Americans already dislike about the media -- and especially about media personalities on the celebrity level of a Couric.
That is, Couric and others who decide what Americans should know are out of touch with real (preferable to "ordinary") Americans -- the ones trying to raise families with familiar values, who volunteer to serve in the military, and who believe that the media are working against the country's best interests.
If you only talk to others like you, which is the case for many journalists inside the media centers of New York and Washington, you begin to think that everyone thinks -- or should think -- as you do. The joke in the green room, where talking heads gather before the food fight, is the guy who says, "I've been out there! I've got the pulse (of Ordinary America)."
Which means he flew to Topeka that morning, parked himself at the counter of the Roadkill Cafe during lunchtime, interviewed a few locals, and flew back to D.C. in time for "Scarborough Country."