Did incoming CBS News anchorette Katie Couric drop 20 pounds instantly?
We're only days before CBS-TV will begin using former "Today" show host Katie Couric as the anchor of the CBS Evening News beginning on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 6:30pm EST. But, as you can see from the picture I posted at the top of this blog post, CBS is apparently trying to manipulate the image of their incoming perky star.
The picture on the left (Media Bistro featured a blurb about this along with the original picture at their web site on May 18th) is the one CBS used to pre-promote Couric back in May this year when she was gleefully announced as the replacement for long-time, yet heavily embattled CBS news anchor Dan Rather. You might recall that Rather was publicly scorned for his role in what has been referred to as Memogate (aka Rathergate) in 2004 when he tried to smear President George W. Bush's reelection bid with a fake story about the Republican president's service in the National Guard.
Well, now Couric seems to have her own scandal of sorts with what I am dubbing Weightgate because of what CBS has done with that same photo of her in the September 2006 issue of their publication called Watch! magazine, which has a circulation of about 400,000 copies that are distributed to CBS employees and on American Airlines flights.
CBS made Couric the cover story for September's Watch magazine
If you download this PDF version of the magazine, then you will see the newly doctored photo of Couric that is at the right at the top of this post.
Two of the EXACT same photos that are obviously VERY different!
HOW AND WHY WOULD THIS HAPPEN?
Well, according to this Washington Post story, it was the fault of "an overzealous employee in its publicity department" who got PhotoShop-happy to help improve Couric's physical appearance.
A CBS representative said neither CBS News management nor Katie Couric herself knew about the altered photograph. CBS News President Sean McManus even expressed to the New York Daily News that he was "surprised and disappointed" about this unfortunate mishap. In the end, though, both McManus and Couric laughed it off as a good joke.
"There is more of me to love," Couric remarked about her weight.
Katie Couric is starting off her career at CBS News with a bang
What are we to make of all this? Sure, CBS News and Couric say that they were oblivious to this seeming faux pas. But somebody HAD to know the picture was changed all for the sake of presenting Couric in a certain image that fits the mold of what Couric SHOULD look like. This goes back to the warped image of what a woman should be I have blogged about before. It's sickening that even someone as famous and recognizable as Katie Couric isn't good enough to just be herself, but that even she has to have a creative nip and tuck done with her picture. Can you imagine how that makes HER feel?
Sheez! How much more degrading can you get? "Oh, I'm sorry, Ms. Couric, you were WAY too fat in that original picture, so I just wanted to spruce it up and make you look, um, better!" The person that did this unbeknownst to anyone (HA! If you believe that, then I've got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn, NY!) should be given his walking papers and publicly humiliated immediately for what he or she did. This is part of what's wrong with our society we live in.
Pretty soon, the expectation level of "the look" we are all supposed to have will become too unreasonable and unattainable if we aren't there already. Just ask this NBC actress about this issue after she was asked to lose weight after her pregnancy. It's inescapable in our culture and we need more people rejecting the notion that you have to weigh a certain amount or look a certain way to be accepted. That's just WRONG WRONG WRONG!
I heard CBS wanted to make Katie Couric's tenure in her anchor position a new, daring, and risk-taking adventure. But with Weightgate looming large over their heads right now, it certainly looks like more of the same from them (They don't call it "C"..."BS" for nothing).
Good luck to Katie in her new position, but she better watch that weight of hers or else CBS might be putting her on a diet soon. But then she could start livin' la vida low-carb! :D You're welcome to join us anytime, Katie!