July 09, 2007

Couric's re-dresses

The Couric drumbeats march on, this time somewhat orchestrated by the anchor herself. New York magazine's cover piece this week doesn't say a lot new that hasn't been covered. What I do like is how some in the cyberspace world are questioning whether a man could slap a female staff member on the arm repeatedly if he were mad at her, as Couric admit having done to a male staffer in a meeting. She's a smart woman, she should know how some are tightly defining sexual harasment these days. It's curious how Couric's problems have been turned into Slapgate already.

Is the
New York magazine article evidence she's Couric falling? No I don't think so. Instead, she's repositioning herself in a public way so she can move on after the 2008 election. She doesn't seem to want the anchor job anyway, according to this piece and others. She doesn't mind blaming her problems on people who can't adjust to change, her huge salary, or her celebrity style. Plus, she needs to defend herself against articles like the recent cover story on National Enquirer. She's using the media in ways reminiscent of Princess Diana, perhaps.

Media Bistro asks a good question: "Did this slapping incident happen after the newscast? If so, that suggests that Couric isn't reading her copy before she goes on air..." The evidence is piling up that she is often just reading off the teleprompter. That's why the plagiarism story slipped through the large holes in the fact-checking seive at the managing editor's news desk (Couric's by the way).

Drudge thinks that if Hillary wins the White House, Couric will want to stay on, or CBS will perceive that women in power are a good thing, part of a trend, etc. I hope that women in power are thought of as just fine, thank you. But that's not a reason to keep Couric beyond the elections.

Finally, I want to comment on Couric's friends complaining about how others are complaining about Couric's clothes (they wouldn't do that for a man, etc.). Sometimes people do complain about men's clothes; Dan Rather's odd sweater vests come to mind, in relation to this case. More importantly, clothes do convey significant messages, unlike what some feminists want to believe. It is probably smart that Couric is rethinking her wardrobe for her role as a serious newscaster. Men's clothes don't vary as much, so there's somewhat less to scrutinize. Women have more options. Consequently, it's harder to dress as a woman. But you still have to try.

And then there's Second Life where I have been spending too much time recently and where it's hard to find clothes that aren't sexy. Curiously, many women dress quite suggestively. Is it because they feel safer? Are they revealing their true selves? Do they forget to change after a night out (because SL clothes don't need cleaning)?

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