Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Katie Couric, Newsreader

Here’s an amusing little contretemps…. Ms. Couric caught plagiarizing from the Wall Street Journal. Technically, since all network anchors do is read what’s put in front of them, Ms. Couric isn’t the plagiarist, it was one of her producers, which CBS fired.

However, this points to something that the MSM doesn’t want you to know. TV Anchors do not do much, if any, reporting. They are paid to look nice and read the news in nice, authoritative tones.

The real work is done by some poorly paid news crew (writer, cameraman, sound, editor, etc.) (well, poorly paid by the anchorman standards anyway), while the newsreader basks in the limelight and cashed big checks.

Two minor observations – a) what ever happened to the vaunted MSM layers of editors and fact checkers? And b) if you are going to steal material, why not try to find a source slightly less prominent that the Wall Street Journal?

Perhaps Ms. Couric should insist that her pieces go through turnitin.com first.

Update (14 April 2007): Andrew Ferguson provides some additional smackdown:

“Just last week a spokesman for CBS News revealed that an episode of ‘Katie Couric's Notebook,’ a one-minute video commentary distributed daily to CBS affiliates and posted on the CBS website, ‘was based on’ a column by Jeffrey Zaslow that had appeared in the Wall Street Journal. ‘Was based on’ is a euphemism used by TV people meaning ‘was stolen from.’ According to the spokesman, Katie ‘was horrified’ to discover that the words that had come out of her mouth and had been published under her name were in fact the work of someone else.

No, wait--that can't be right. When she spoke and published the words, Katie had to know they weren't her own. When the words came out of her mouth, she thought they were the work of someone she had hired to put them there.”