« Vichy on the Potomac | Main | NC Attorney General Says Duke Lacrosse Players Are Innocent, Announces All Charges Dropped »

CBS's New Scandal - Katiegate


Newsweek reports on the latest black eye for the Tiffany network, Katie Couric's plagarism scandal.

April 10, 2007 - CBS certainly got something different than it bargained for when it stole America's Sweetheart from the "Today" show last year. Not only has Couric failed to draw her loyal fans to her new network: "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" remains a distant third behind NBC and ABC. Now, Couric is embroiled in an embarrassing flap with The Wall Street Journal over plagiarism, the ultimate journalistic sin.

The problems began when an April 4 installment of "Katie Couric's Notebook"--a daily essay by the anchor that appears in video and audio form on CBS News' Web site, among other places--was uncomfortably close to musings by Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow on the fading allure of library books. Opining in his March 15 "Moving On" column headlined "Of the Places You'll Go, is the Library Still One of Them?", Zaslow wrote of libraries' appeal to kids: "It's a last-ditch place to go if they need to find something out." Couric likewise observed in her April 4 "Notebook," "It's a last ditch place to go if they need to find something out." Amplifying his point, Zaslow wrote, "Sure, there are still library-loving children, but books aren't necessarily the draw." That also was Couric's viewpoint, almost verbatim: "Sure, children still like libraries, but books aren't the draw." Couric, through a spokesperson, declined to comment. Seven other sections of "Katie Couric's Notebook" closely matched the wording in Zaslow's column.

The most interesting part of the piece is the tidbit that Katie's Couric's Notebook is neither a notebook, nor actually Katie's...

In an interview with NEWSWEEK, a CBS spokeswoman acknowledged that the network fired the producer of "Notebook." She declined to identify the producer. Couric apparently faces no repercussions, because she doesn't actually write "Katie's Couric's Notebook"--though many of the entries are presented in the form of first-person essays, as was the controversial piece. Addressing her audience, Couric began: "Hi everyone, I still remember when I got my first library card."

As the graphic capture of the piece above shows, in addition to plagarising Zaslow's WSJ piece Couric and CBS are presenting the work as Katie's own words. Couric is clearly listed as an author at the eponymously named blog and the story appears under her byline implying she wrote it. One needs look no further than the case of The New York Times' Rick Bragg afair (here and here) to see that taking credit for the work of others is a big deal.

CBS's Public Eye blog, which is supposed to give insight into the behind the scenes at CBS, doesn't seem much interested in exploring the deception (see their inital post) - leaving it to others to discover and report. They followed that up by rehasing coverage elsewhere, gently sidestepping the fraudelent nature of Couric attaching her byline to the piece in electronic print. Apparently byline integrity isn't really a big deal at CBS anymore...

Say what you will about Dan Rather and Rathergate (or Memogate), but he never shied away from the responsibility that goes with runing a story under his own byline. Clearly In all the time that has elapsed since then CBS has learned very little...

Addtional coverage at Regret the Error


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference CBS's New Scandal - Katiegate:

» Old War Dogs linked with Bill's Nibbles // Open Post -- 2007.04.11

» Bill's Bites linked with Bill's Nibbles // Open Post -- 2007.04.11

» The Florida Masochist linked with The Easter Thursday Knucklehead Festival Part Two

Comments (24)

Clearly In all the time ... (Below threshold)

Clearly In all the time that has elapsed since then since that entails.


I get someone to write my c... (Below threshold)

I get someone to write my comments...

I hit publish before comple... (Below threshold)

I hit publish before completing the last line...

Bush/Haliburton/Chen... (Below threshold)

Bush/Haliburton/Chenney/Isreal connection in 4...3...2....

I could tell it was a lie..... (Below threshold)

I could tell it was a lie...her lips were moving.

I am amused by this simply ... (Below threshold)

I am amused by this simply because I have never taken Katie Couric seriously as a reporter and was taken aback when she was given the job of anchorperson at CBS. I first heard of KC's Notebook while listening to a CBS radio station. I guffawed at the end when she said "I'm Katie Couric and that's a page from my notebook".

While I'm thinking of it, does CBS disproportionately pimp out their "journalists" to entertainment shows, or is it just me? Case in point: Julie Chen hosting "Big Brother" and the interviews with the contestants of Survivor on their Early Show.

Truly embarrassing day for ... (Below threshold)

Truly embarrassing day for the left. First "Fitz-Fong", then Katie-Gate...

There's a reason Europeans ... (Below threshold)

There's a reason Europeans call them news "presenters". I don't understand how people can lend so much gravitas to a job which requires one to read a teleprompter, something most of us could have done in first grade.

What's the matter Katie....... (Below threshold)

What's the matter Katie....did they give you the wrong answers again?

The Democrat perpetual fr... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

The Democrat perpetual fraud take Double beat down today. Nifong and Couric sitting in a tree, doing what they do the best , frauds ly-ing. LOL

Down with the democrat criminal frauds.

Makes you wonder how many o... (Below threshold)

Makes you wonder how many other pieces she has plagerized since she started this gig.

No lover of the Left here b... (Below threshold)

No lover of the Left here but I do think this is being overblown a bit. I mean, really, has anyone thought an anchor was anything more than an empty suit figurehead simply reading cue cards in decades? Didn't Will Ferrel make an entire movie pointing what nimrods they all are?

Mildly embarrassing for Katie sure--as it points out that she isn't any different from the other fake newspeople they've put on the air in ages.

In one sense it is showing CBS is taking steps in the right direction. They went from creating stories on bogus documents (Rathergate) to now creating stories from real documents. Granted, stolen documents from another real reporter, but at least this seem to have substance.

I hear their next move will just be broadcasting Blog pages 24/7 in a rotating fashion without anyone speaking.

"Hi everyone, I still re... (Below threshold)
Who's John Galt?:

"Hi everyone, I still remember when I got my first library card."

Sure you can. But, can you tell us if you ever actually used it?

Just think.....a couple mor... (Below threshold)

Just think.....a couple more false reports, she can write a book about global warming, the 9/11 conspiracy and bingo.....she's presidential material.

Who's less interesting to h... (Below threshold)

Who's less interesting to hear about, Katie Couric or Don Imus?!


Publicus, Couric is a talki... (Below threshold)

Publicus, Couric is a talking head, Imus is a talking head but something good could come from Imus. The FCC is involved and if they punish or ban him that will/should lead to banning the rappers who use the exact same terms to describe black women, which is a good thing. They'll be back to the street corner, no TV or Radio allowed. Think they won't slit the throats of Je$$ie and $harpton if the millions dry up? Another really, really good thing.

Looks to me like an easy wa... (Below threshold)

Looks to me like an easy way to dispose of a complete failure of an anchor.

One day I think I might wak... (Below threshold)

One day I think I might wake up and discover that the media power's response to this controversy was, "sorry Katie, but you must go. That's the way it is." Same as Mike Barnicle. Same as -- well, same as anyone who has been caught red-handed passing off someone else's words as her own.

Then I snap out of it. Apparently there are degrees of intellectual fraud that depend on the perpetrator and the audience.

And the scotch market receives another boost.

Scrapiron:I haven'... (Below threshold)


I haven't heard anyone say that the FCC should/would/could ban Imus.

However, being a free market economy, the market, his sponsors are voting with their dollars and rapidly jumping ship.

Nice to see a conservative ... (Below threshold)

Nice to see a conservative blogger for the Washington Post is held to a higher journalistic standard than the anchor for the CBS Evening News.

Wasn't that Ben guy fired for alleged plagiarism?

I didn't even realise that ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I didn't even realise that Perky was still on CBS...go figure.

This would have been only m... (Below threshold)

This would have been only mildly embarrassing except for one thing - take a look at the last line of Couric's report. What does it say? It says "That's a page from my Notebook." *** MY *** Notebook. Not the producer's notebook!! As it stands, then, this line is a completely false statement, and undermines everything before it. And as a consequence, this will now bring into question the veracity of anything she presents on her news show as ** her's ** in the future.

This is a BIG deal!

And as a consequence, th... (Below threshold)
Bill M:

And as a consequence, this will now bring into question the veracity of anything she presents on her news show as ** her's ** in the future.

But then this is SeeBS, so veracity really has nothing to do with it. It's not even a passing acquaintance of the Tiffany Network.

How long before she's trots... (Below threshold)

How long before she's trots out the old anal scope and assumes the position to get sympathy and ratings?
BTW: To all of you cbs news watchers: We beat the ruskies, bubba clinton was impeached, and the Red Sox finally won another World Series...in case you missed it watching cbs.






Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links


Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login

Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy