By John Ziegler
On April 15th, the “prestigious” (and apparently now openly liberal) USC Annenberg School for Communication will be presenting CBS “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Journalism.
Now, for there to even be such a thing as an prize for “Excellence in Television Journalism,” in an age where a desperate thirst for ratings has caused most TV “news” to become little more than glorified infotainment, is a bit like passing out awards for fiscal responsibility to members of Congress. But for Katie Couric, the poster child of news as “infotainment,” to be the recipient of such an “honor” is like giving John Murtha or Barney Frank a trophy for frugal spending in Congress.
But what makes this situation so particularly galling is the specific reason why Couric is being honored for her “excellence in journalism.” Couric is being presented with the award for “Special Achievement for National Impact on the 2008 Campaign.”
What was it that Couric did that was so “special”? The judges singled her out solely for “her extraordinary, persistent and detailed multi-part interviews with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.”
Of course, there is no disputing the fact that the perception created by Couric’s interview and the ensuing media and entertainment coverage of it clearly had an enormous impact on the 2008 presidential election. But is this the kind of “achievement” that journalism is supposed to be honoring?