Tag Archives: NBC Nightly News

Big dream

I read somewhere—I think  it was in a newspaper commentary a year or so ago—that dreams are interesting only to those who have them. For this reason, the commentator argued, we needn’t tell others about our dreams because they’ll only be bored. For the most part, I agree with that.

In the wee hours of this morning, I dreamt I was in a band with Clarence Clemons. This is far-fetched on so many levels, not the least of which pertains to my complete lack of any musical talent. There was an inverted sense of time, because everyone in the band and in the audience knew that Clarence had died, or was about to die–everyone but the Big Man himself. Therefore, he didn’t know why everyone was crying. He just played that saxophone like there was no tomorrow. Which, as we sadly know, there wasn’t.

Even as I type this, I realize how silly my dream was, and even more inane to tell you about it. At the same time, it allowed me to have my own private memorial. As so many fans were, I was profoundly saddened by Clarence’s passing this past Saturday. As I told you in an earlier post, I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the first time when I was 15 and many, many times after that. Clarence’s wailing sax is a pronounced constant within the sound track to half of my life.

Last night, in the closing minutes of the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams held back tears after having visited the hallowed ground of The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J.  I cried the tears he held back.

Here’s to Clarence, who has left a Big Man’s hole in our world, and to Brian Williams, who told those who didn’t know Clarence about this lovable legend as well and as personally as any newsman has. Brian, I wish you had been on stage with us last night.


Filed under In Memoriam, Music, News

Anchor away

It looks pretty certain that Katie Couric will be stepping down as anchor of CBS Evening News. I have mixed feelings about this. Not that anyone asked.

I was a latecomer to the Katie Couric fan club, but am a member nonetheless. I didn’t watch her on Today until fairly late on her stint there. And, it’s embarrassing to admit, I didn’t watch her when she was a local reporter here in Washington.

It wasn’t until time of the 1992 presidential campaign that I gave her a try. She was a little cutesy for my taste and I just wasn’t comfortable getting my news from such a pixie, opting instead for the more serious Paula Zahn. One event that turned me away from Katie was when she interviewed Ross Perot and kept putting words in his mouth. He would say something and then she’d say, “So what you’re saying is…” and it wasn’t anywhere close to what he was saying. I didn’t go back for a while after that.

Something else that has bothered me about Katie Couric is always her pronunciation of “ing;” she ends every gerund with “een.” This is especially distracting during coverage of the Olympics, what with the swim-een, dive-een, run-een, skate-een and ski-een.

But I’ve gotten past all that.

Over the years I’ve seen Katie Couric mature as a newswoman; I consider her one of the best. Her assignment to the CBS anchor post was well deserved, even if she ultimately doesn’t feel it suits her interests. I think she does a terrific job with her 60 Minutes segments. Her interviewing skills have come a long way. Just ask Sarah Palin.

As far as ratings are concerned, I’m guilty. I’m a Brian Williams Fan. But I often watch Katie at 6:30 and Brian at 7:00. If Katie feels constrained behind the anchor desk, she should find another outlet for her talent and personality. If CBS blames her for the news show’s ratings, I’m not sure the blame is merited. No matter.

Katie Couric deserves to be happy and professionally fulfilled. She has lost a husband and a sister, reared two daughters and raised awareness and funds for an evil disease. She has more than proven her acumen as a competent newswoman. She’s even tweeting out Words of the Day and then using each one in a sentence. Most of all, she takes her work seriously while not taking herself too seriously.

So Katie, go do what makes you happy. Host your own show in your very own style. Come back to Washington. Go back and replace Meredith on Today (please!). Whatever you decide, you have my support.


Filed under Movies, Television and Radio, News, Politics