Wednesday, September 06, 2006

exhale america. katie's in control.

Well, our long national spell of breath-holding is past. Inhale deeply, for finally that which wise men sought and prophets foretold has come to pass. Katie Couric is officially the anchor of the CBS Evening News. Column inches have been filled like Al Roker at a Golden Corral and words have rained down like toads on the eve of the apocalypse. I should have a strong opinion.

But I don't. Any phrase describing my reaction would have to include the phrase "rat's ass." Who cares? Do you really know anyone who thought this was a big deal, other than your weird cousin who pleasures himself to old rebroadcasts of Rush Limbaugh? It matters to those guys, since the knowledge that the High Priestess of Liberals and Soccer Moms is filling Cronkite's old chair sends a frisson of such masochistic pleasure through their central nervous system that I expect several precincts to experience a shortage of KY Jelly. But anybody else? Not so much.

Local news still has some relevance, for the weather and sports if nothing else, but national broadcast news is wheezing like Dennis Hopper trying to sing "Tears of a Clown." It simply has no relevance, only inertia. My parents and in-laws still watch because they've always watched, but I haven't watched network news in a good ten years and I'm not that young. I don't know if my younger brother has ever watched it. Couric's Botoxed, zombified countenance is not going to lure me back or convince him to give the stuff a try. News really only matters when you're committed to it, and network decisions to treat news divisions as profit centers pretty much guarantees the continuation of the trend away from any sort of real analysis and toward tepid health and lifestyle segments clustered around a 45-second "expose" about the fleecing of America. Hey, isn't Scrubs on Comedy Central?

That's the real story to me. Professional who are supposed to know what they're doing have invested millions of dollars and their own future employment on something about which most people simply do not care. There seems to be a furor over Couric's 13 million viewers on opening night. Chet Huntley wouldn't have wiped his ass with 13 million viewers. Game over, folks, game over.

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