If you thought Katie Couric was reporter cute, get ready for a dose of sugar that might cause your glucose levels to crash through the roof.
How best to describe Couric’s new talk show—called simply Katie? Well, if you’re an insomniac who has tried watching 3-am television, you are familiar with this kind of faux talk-show where various guests shill for a variety of products and services from skin care products to How-to-Make-a-Million in Five Short Minutes schemes. The formula involves an over the top, curiously enthusiast host, rapt in attention, and bursting with curiosity and good will.
Here, Couric is selling the feminine experience, such as it is—complete with the gooney excited audience of middle class stay at homers, who clap and squeal with every I Am America’s Sweetheart wink and grin from Couric—and a set whose background and lighting is all pastel pinky, and soft focused—to the female guests whose crisis de jour centers on fashion, body image, and feelings.
It’s an Oprah TV cocktail without the booze shots. Didn’t Anderson Cooper try this formula already?
The parade of entrepreneurs—from Jessica Simpson and her post-baby bod selling Weight Watchers, to Heidi Klum marketing her line of children’s fashion, to a self-help maven who challenges us to ‘Dare Greatly’ and take Life by the horns—this is familiar daytime Pabulum.
Is this the same Katie Couric who stared down VP-candidate Sarah Palin and unflinchingly asked her to list the newspapers she read or what she knew about Russian politics? (I can see Russia from my house!)
Where is the Katie Couric whose husband died from colon cancer and whose campaign for cancer screenings, made me schedule a much dreaded appointment for a colonoscopy?
I don’t know, but as I watch the screen flickering its dreamy lighting into Couric’s talk show set she gets ready for a commercial break she perks:
“How do you allow yourself to be vulnerable and ‘own’ it?” the bright as a bushy-tailed Katie asks rhetorically into the camera, as she breaks for commercial.
- Courier companies that make an appointment to deliver your package at a time convenient to you. Say between Monday and Thursday, anytime between 8 am and 8pm—(and then don’t show up.)
- Terms and Conditions documents that contain about 10,000 words in size 5 font which you don’t have the legal torts background or time necessary to read, study and analyze.
- Company reps who ask if you read their Terms and Conditions after you call them to complain that you are not receiving the service promised in their advertisements!
- Companies that hire people who hate their jobs and hate their customers because they are overworked and underpaid and make you yell at them, where normally you are as sweet as pie!
- Telephone sales people who call you at home to talk you into buying rug cleaning services when you keep telling them honestly you don’t have rugs, only hardwood. “I don’t HAVE rugs. Yes, but I don’t’ have any rugs. No, no rugs of any kind. That’s right, all bare floor. Sure when one day I get a rug I’ll call you. “ Sheesh!
- Companies that claim they respect your privacy and confidentiality, then hire snooty customer service reps who before they agree to help you, demand your name, address, phone number, birthdate, social insurance number, your credit card number, expiry date on your credit card, the “secret code” on your credit card, your account number with them, the so-called secret pin number of your account, where you last made a purchase, your mother’s husbands brother’s name, his sister’s bank account, the first telephone number you ever had, your bra size…
Following a recent vacay to the sunny island of khaki pants and bearded revolutionaries, NDP MLA Jagrup Brar made some favourable comments about Cuba’s official policy to provide a more equitable distribution of food and education for its citizens than the corporate capitalist model here in B.C., as well as Cuba’s seeming avoidance of gun violence through legislative controls. Former cabinet minister and proud right wing politician Bill Bennett (currently supporting Premier Christy Clark) seized on these comments and cobbled together a press release that apparently suggested NDP MLAs aspired to a Cuban-style communist governance for British Columbia.
Mike Smyth, Province columnist who has been guest hosting for Simi Sara on CKNW’s talk show, became animated with this juicy tidbit and called on NDP MLA Shane Simpson for an on-air telephone interview to demand whether he had been to Cuba himself, why he visited that country, and whether he liked it. (FYI - If you are from another province, territory, or country, this kind of political red baiting is perfectly normal here in B.C.)
Anyway, Smyth fired a series of questions at Simpson, which seemed designed to ‘catch’ the MLA off guard so he would say that he liked and approved of Cuba and therefore its political system, which one supposes would confirm to CKNW listeners that Shane Simpson is a ‘Commie’. The force with which Smyth asked the questions was worthy of interrogators in the McCarthy hearings.
Now, American citizens as you likely know, are not permitted to vacay in Cuba for any reason, even if they sympathize with the poor and like khaki clothes. In other words, if you want to exploit a Third World economy for a cheap vacation and take advantage of the US embargo on the Cuban economy, the US government won’t permit you.
Canucks in Khaki
Here in Vancouver, people are rushing off to Communist Cuba all the time and no one ever questions their motives. But all of a sudden during this radio broadcast, we were made to feel guilty that we go to Cuba, enjoy Cuba, and that we might, just maybe, approve of universal health and education programs, and a broader distribution of wealth. I don’t know enough about Cuba to know if it’s truly successful for a more equitable distribution of wealth and services, and I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting that country myself, but one thing is for sure–I am not ready for American-style politics that makes it illegal for me to visit a particular country, like it, and feel good about saying so.