Couric: The Fluff Factor?

We found ourselves pondering that elusive quality known in the news business as "gravitas" when we came across Comedy Central’s Emmy campaign ad for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.

"We had fake news years before CBS hired Katie Couric," it read.

It’s only the latest indignity to be hurled at "America’s sweetheart." Ever since the notion of Today host Couric as the new anchor of the CBS Evening News became a reality, media critics have been questioning whether the "perky pre-dawn princess" has the sand for the job.

"Do we really want someone who chirps and skips?" asked the Seattle Times. A "morning sweetie" to "swoon and giggle" her way through the day’s events?

Funny. We didn’t see this sort of hand-wringing over the ascension of Couric’s fellow morning maven, Good Morning America’s Charlie Gibson, to the evening anchor job at ABC. And we looked.

"ABC’s Charles Gibson has no trouble switching from morning fluff to evening sobriety" was the typical take—as was the use of his big-boy name.

No need to spell out what’s going on here, but we feel compelled to note that Gibson’s briefly interrupted stint on GMA totals nearly 20 years—longer than Couric’s 15 on Today. His recent interview with actress
Jennifer Garner didn’t exactly radiate gravitas.

And his Dorito casserole is to die for.