By John Burtis
Friday, august 4, 2006
In its last gasps a large animal is known to thrash around. Dinosaur fossils are often found in a classic death pose, with their heads bent backwards and their tails twisted up.
I don't mean Fidel Castro, who may be thrashing around in one of his first rate national health care beds right now, relying on the tender ministrations of a group of doctors feverishly working over him at the point of drawn Tokarev pistols and a few aK-74 rifles to insure medical accuracy and to lessen the chance of those dreaded "slip ups," which might foreshorten his colorful and revolutionary life.
Rather it is with CBS, who's twisting itself all out of shape preparing itself for the fabled return of its precious sojourning diva, the sainted Katie Couric, now that she's all calmed down and no longer scaring the very dickens out of the flying public with her riotous antics aboard underway aircraft during her conniption fits over a quick return for lost companions and pets.
at least the boyos in the glass house hope she's back on an even keel because they've got big money riding on her.
"Hey," one of them hollers from the back of the cubicles, "Have we got the key woman insurance in place yet? In case some bozo throttles her during one of her tantrums? Yeah? Whew!"
as they used to say under Barnum & Bailey's big top, it's all show business. and if you don't know what it is, it's jazz.
But CBS is slowly bringing things together for her arrival, with a peppy new song by James Horner, fresh from the Titanic overture, which all the honchos at the network hope isn't a precursor of future success. It'll be heavy on the subwoofers, though, to lend gravitas to the pert little canary.
Yes, serenaded by the hip new introductory music, Ms. Couric will open her nightly commentary and paper thin news coverage in a fancy new set if she can't read it through foolscap, it ain't news, said a wag - graced with enormous new flat screen arrays focused on her new anchor desk, which has yet to arrive, while her staff cools their heels in the "Newseteria," slang for the network's eatery.
It was recently announced that CBS will be losing millions on the Evening News and that the lost revenue will be made up by draining dough from other parts of its vast antediluvian broadcasting swamp.
It is, after all, of critical importance to the nation's liberal survival, that all her meaningless truck, the outright progressive slant she provides, the utter softball phrases she'll be draping the favored liberal personae in while she shrilly dins any positive conservative thought, that she has been selected to replace that man of easy honest virtue Dan Rather. and Katie Couric achieved this singular distinction after a lengthy, open and competitive examination, and a nationwide search.
But as costs balloon and viewers continue to disappear, how long can the network continue to pour increasing amounts of money and all that jazz into a support network for a mashed potato soft non-journalist like Ms. Couric?
and what will CBS do if Ms. Couric, new to the dinner time crowd, a decidedly different demographic than the breakfast bunch, fails to energize the base? Will she be kept on out of fear of the feminist angle? Can she be sacrificed for the bottom line? Will she be left to wither on the dying vine?
Today, so vast is the declining mainstream television audience, so enlightened are its dematerializing viewers that Foster's Beer, that brewer of australia's finest lager, which comes to you in that giant oil can of a metal beer container, the very beer which made sailing in Ozzie-land such a distinguished pleasure, will cease advertising on the dying dinosaurs all together and will begin putting their ads on the internet exclusively.
Even as Foster's abandons the media's sinking sloop, Katie is being piped aboard CBS amid the same fanfare accorded Captain Edward John Smith of the Titanic and Captain Piero Calamai of the andrea Doria.
Just as the sinking of the andrea Doria, coupled with the arrival of jet aircraft spelled the decline of the great ocean liners, it now appears, with the growing loss of viewers and revenue, that the swan song of the mainstream media's evening news may now be sung by that perky little diva, fresh from her histrionics on that benighted aircraft - Katie Couric.
The dinosaurs are dying among us and they are from that familiar family: CBS, NBC, aBC and CNN.
and someday, in the not too distant future, we will watch today's talking heads with the same curiosity which we observe the grainy newsreels of the greats, William L. Shirer and Edward R. Murrow.
Unfortunately, today's "commentators," like Katie Couric, can't even hold a candle, let alone a flash light, to those old pros.
Katie was a dinosaur long before she began her famed listening tour. Her extinction began when the networks forgot about any semblance of the truth, and began wrapping it with what Winston Churchill termed a "bodyguard of lies."