Couric: still America’s sweetheart?
First, she was expected to step into the shoes of Dan Rather and single-handedly stem the slide in evening news ratings. Now, in the wake of a backlash over her interview with presidential nominee John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, a story claims Katie Couric has enemies in her own newsroom. Are pundits piling on?
"The atmosphere around Couric has turned poisonous" says the National Journal. "For a while, as her ratings surfed the bottom, she enjoyed some free-floating sympathy. But now the tone has shifted into the kind of popular animus normally reserved for corrupt public officials."
It's a Fox News column that reports that some of Couric's bad PR is coming from CBS insiders, and suspects one major source is veteran journalist and temporary Rather replacement Bob Schieffer, unhappy with his dwindling airtime on CBS Evening News.
A CBS news blog called Couric & Co. responded to Couric criticism after the Edwards interview. However, it has yet to address any rumors of tension in the newsroom.
The UVA alumna, typically praised for her compassionate interview style (most recently on display at Virginia Tech), was publicly criticized for "grilling" the Edwardses in late March.
Ironically, Couric became a spokeswoman for cancer awareness when her husband died of cancer in 1998. Three years later, her sister and former Charlottesville Senator Emily Couric died from cancer, inspiring the newswoman to help fund UVA's planned Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center.
A tidal wave of criticism surfaced online after the Couric-Edwards interview, with websites like the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post among others jumping on the bandwagon.