My, my, my, how things change.
Appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources yesterday, veteran journalist Katie Couric spoke at length about the sexual harassment allegations against former CEO Les Moonves and ex-60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager that have rocked CBS in recent months. Couric, who worked as an anchor and 60 Minutes contributor at the network from 2006 to 2011, delivered a harsh assessment of her time at the news magazine.
“The culture I found at 60 Minutes personally was very challenging and at times quite offensive,” she told Brian Stelter. “I think obsequious and subservience was a job requirement in order to thrive there for many women in particular.”
She also discussed former longtime TODAY partner Matt Lauer, who was dismissed last year by NBC over allegations of sexual misconduct. She praised Lauer as a “terrific professional partner” while adding that she was “unaware of any kind of this behavior, predatory behavior” and found the accusations “very shocking and disturbing.”
All in all, Couric noted that this was part of a larger issue at networks, citing that most networks are run by men. (She initially flubbed and said ALL networks were headed up by males, forgetting that Fox News recently announced Suzanne Scott as the network’s CEO.)
The thing is, it wasn’t all that long ago when Couric was singing a different tune. Last April, at the Time 100 Gala, Couric discussed Fox News’ ousting of star host Bill O’Reilly following revelations that O’Reilly had paid out tens of millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment claims. With Fox having previously booted chief Roger Ailes over accusations of sexual misconduct, Couric told reporters that this issue seemed to be limited to the one-time Fair & Balanced network.
“The whole situation at Fox really is an anomaly – I don’t think that’s the culture or workplace environment at many media outlets today,” she said. “But I think it’s a powerful reminder, and I think it will — a lot of executives, a lot of personnel offices are really kinda doing a refresher course.”
I’ll go out on a limb and say that Couric would really love to take this back, considering how we’ve seen other major networks and newspapers come to terms with their own internal cultures of male entitlement and corrosive behavior.
Watch the clip above, via AP.