Asked to comment on CBS anchor candidate Couric and "liberal" media, Wash. Post's Connolly mocked Couric's shoe budgetDecember 12, 2005 4:55 PM EST ››› JOE BROWN
In a discussion about rumors that NBC Today host Katie Couric might be tapped for the job of CBS Evening News anchor for a reported $20 million yearly salary, Washington Post staff writer and Fox News contributor Ceci Connolly was asked to comment on columnist Cal Thomas's claim that it didn't matter who among available candidates is picked because "[t]hey're all liberals." Fox News Watch host Eric Burns said to Connolly: "Ceci, you're here for Neal [Gabler] this week. Neal would be all over him. You have to be all over him for [saying] 'Everyone's a liberal.' Go."
Connolly's response? "I wanted to ask whether or not that $20 million includes shoes. I mean, that's a critical question for her [Couric]."
Connolly was on the show in place of Fox News Watch panelist Neal Gabler. Media Matters for America recently highlighted remarks by Gabler in which he strongly criticized Fox News and Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and John Gibson for their talk of a purported "war" on Christmas. Referring to what he assumed would be Gabler's reaction to syndicated columnist and panelist Cal Thomas's invocation of the conservative mantra of a "liberal media," Burns urged Connolly to be similarly "all over" Thomas. Instead, she responded with a reference to what she asserted to be Couric's penchant for shoes.
From the December 10 edition of Fox News' Fox News Watch, with host Eric Burns and panelist and Newsday columnist James P. Pinkerton:
BURNS: Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Katie Couric? Will the Today show host be the next face of CBS News? Jim, if the answer's yes, from the reports that I hear, they'll get her at a bargain, $20 million a year for seven years. Can you do better than that?
PINKERTON: Well, look, I think the broadcast Evening News has been in a long slide for two decades now, and I think that it would be a mistake for them to just assume they can just replace Rather with just some regular person. As John Maynard Keynes said, "For most people most of the time, it's better to fail in a familiar land than to succeed in an unfamiliar land." And Katie Couric would be unfamiliar. And I think it's worth a shot. I think it's brilliant for them, in terms of a new face, in terms of her and her audience. She's aging out of her morning-show audience, and the evening-show audience is older. I think it would be better for her too, career-wise.
BURNS: What do you think?
THOMAS: I think it makes absolutely no difference who they put in there. They're all liberals. They all have the same template through which they filter the news. The only known national broadcast conservative of whom I'm aware is John Stossel of ABC. And as I said in a column I wrote, knowing no authority greater than myself to quote, it -- he had as much chance of getting that job as I did.
BURNS: Ceci, you're here for Neal this week. Neal would be all over him. You have to be all over him for "Everyone's a liberal." Go.
CONNOLLY: I wanted to ask whether or not that $20 million includes shoes. I mean, that's a critical question for her.
BURNS: They're not at that stage of negotiations yet.
CONNOLLY: Seriously, though, one person we forgot to mention, and I think is noteworthy, is Bob Schieffer, who has been filling that chair for some time and has actually gained 190,000 viewers in the period. That says to me that there is still a role for serious, experienced journalists in those chairs.
Media Matters for America has identified numerous examples of misinformation from "serious journalist" Bob Schieffer.