Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Katie's REALLY BIG SHEW!

Did something tonight I haven't done in years. Tuned in to a network TV newscast.

Yeah, I bought into the hype. Just had to watch Katie Couric on her first night.

I'm not a fan, but all in all, she didn't do too bad. Like Art Buchwald said in his Washington Post column today, it doesn't really matter whether it's Katie or Brian Williams reading us the news.

CBS News introduced two new segments. I really liked "freeSpeech." It is what it sounds like -- folks spouting off on a particular issue for a minute or two.

The other I didn't like. Called "Snapshots," it was introduced with footage of Ralph Edwards showing photos of the newly born Prince Charles. So far so good.

Then Katie shows us a photograph (on the cover of tomorrow's Vanity Fair) of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' new baby. Yawn. I don't care about either of them or their kid, frankly. I was much more interested in the segment on the price of gasoline.

Network news has gone the way of my beloved afternoon newspaper. It's obsolete. Anybody with a mouse and a keyboard already knows what's going on before Katie, Brian or Charlie open their mouths at 6:30 p.m. Others have flooded to cable news shows on Fox News or CNN. A few of us still like to read the newspaper, now almost all printed in the morning, at the end of the day.

Things took a downturn at the end of the program. Katie couldn't come up with a sign off. So instead she showed some famous ones.

You, of course, can guess what the first one was.

"Good night, and good luck."

Then there was Huntley and Brinkley saying good night to each other, Cronkite's "That's the way it is" and Rather's "Courage." Even Ted Baxter's "Good news and good night" was there.

Katie suggested viewers log on to the CBS web site with suggestions. I shook my head, let out a sigh and flipped to the Tigers game.

Can you imagine Murrow asking viewers for a sign off?

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