DC Trawler

Katie Couric, the Great Unwatched

Katie Couric might be third place in network news, but she’s #1 in Howard Kurtz’s heart! Recently the Perkiest Anchor Ever talked to the brand-new Daily Beastmaster about getting back to her roots (as, um, a reporter?), instead of just shutting up and enjoying how much CBS is overpaying her to sit around with her legs crossed:

“It’s great for me to get out of the chair and into the world,” she says. “I started out as a reporter, and I still enjoy reporting.”

Rick Kaplan, her executive producer, says that “when she’s on the road—in Iraq with David Petraeus—she has a great way with people. People like her and she likes them. There are anchors who consider being on the road a pain in the butt. She really looks for opportunities to feel the earth and touch people.”

That’s why Couric has spent recent weeks in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is touring what she calls “this great unwashed middle of the country” in an effort to divine the mood of the midterms.

One way to show you’ve figured out the public’s mood is to call them the “great unwashed.” They love that all the way out in New Brunswick, which she can’t even see from her office! You have to admire her bravery, venturing to the wilds of Chicago. Imagine the chill up her spine at the thought of all those lumpenproles she was flying over.

You probably think Couric was being condescending and arrogant. Of course not, you dumb rube! Sensing that her wise words may have been misinterpreted, Couric took to Twitter to clarify:

Dictionary.com 'Great unwashed': the general public, populace or masses. Referring to overlooked people who r politically in the middle!

Twitter’s 140-character limit prevented her from adding, “I’ll type slowly so you can understand me.”

Howie backed that ass up:

Drudge jumped on Katie Couric's comment to me about 'great unwashed middle of the country,' but I can tell you she was not being disparaging

That’s right: Katie Couric and Howard Kurtz just patiently explained that you’re not sophisticated enough to understand when you’re being talked down to. In that same spirit, I can assure Ms. Couric that I’m not being disparaging when I call her a vapid, witless Tolkien creature.

@katiecouric Dictionary.com 'Moron' 1. person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment. 2. Someone who makes Matt Lauer look smart.

P.S. Katie Couric might be the best journalist ever.

P.P.S. Allahpundit: “She didn’t mean it in a ‘these ignorant peasants sure do smell when they haven’t bathed’ way. She meant it in an ‘I love to chat with these ignorant peasants no matter what they smell like’ way.” And Lileks: “By the way, the line ‘the great unwashed’ came from Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the Victorian writer who also gave us the phrase ‘It was a dark and stormy night.'”

P.P.P.S. Does Unilever advertise on the CBS Evening News?

P.P.P.P.S. I’d forgotten about this one…

  • tom kinney

    Now that’s what I’m talking about; unabashed, freewheeling insuciance, without apology.

    I can actually see how it could have been meant differently had it been a person of some significance other than THE FIRST WOMAN TO HOST A MEDIOCRE NETWORK NEWS HALF-HOUR IN THE DWINDLING DAYS OF THE FORMAT, but given the specific source, Stubby the Dwarf herself, let’s assume the worst and blast away.

  • hitnrun

    The parsing about what Katie Couric could have meant misses the point that she’s not smart enough to have meant anything other than what it sounded like.

    Ipso facto: if she were smart enough, she would have taken the street-sign obvious route of claiming she was using the term ironically.

  • OthugoisaLOSER3

    Katie is just THIS SIDE of being FASCIST…..
    her and LENI REIFENSTAHL Would have gotten along FABOUSLY!

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  • Northeast Elizabeth

    Searching throujgh Google Books and other databases, most sources attribute the first use of the phrase “great unwashed” to Edward Burke (1729-1797) rather than Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). However, Burke appeared to have used it only in speeches to the British parliment, while Bulwer-Lytton committed it to print in his novel Paul Clifford in 1830. Searching through Newspaperarchive.com, the first appearance of the phrase in a periodical appears to have been in 1831.

  • TallDave

    Just for the record:

    •A contemptuous term for the populace, particularly the working class


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  • jdkchem

    Shouldn’t that be “the grate unwatched”?

  • blewits

    It’s YOU! It’s YOU I LOVE.

    Matt Lawho?

    You had me at the last tweet.

  • machiavelli

    Jim, you’re always satisfyingly mordant, but you missed the historical reference of the code words ” the Great Unwashed”, which reaches beyond Lileks’ middle-brow reference to Bulwar-Lytton.

    The “Great Unwashed” refers to the Russian “Mujiks” (“Muzhiks”) – the serfs and peasants – the the “conservatives” (in a manner of speaking) that resisted the Reds centralization of government, and were later starved to death by the millions in the Great Famine engineered by Stalin blinked by the “award-winning journalist” – Walter Durante

    Today, we have the coming programed “Geriatricide” by the rationing of Obamacare to Katie’s aging “Great Unwashed”, who like the Russian Mujiks resisting dictated centralization.