“Fair & Balanced” Or Hatchet Job?: The Arrival Of Katie: The Real Story

By Gail Shister 

Gail Shister, TVNewser columnist

As if Katie Couric doesn’t have enough tsuris these days, Ed Klein says in an interview that his new book about the CBS Evening News anchor includes details “that will knock readers’ socks off.”

Of course, Klein made similar claims before his last unauthorized biography, about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in 2005.

Though a best-seller, The Truth About Hillary was eviscerated on both sides of the aisle for its personal attacks and reliance on anonymous sources. To TV bookers, Klein was radioactive.

Katie: The Real Story (are we sensing a theme here?) hits the stands Aug. 28. Klein says he interviewed almost 200 people, about one third of whom chose to be identified.


As for bookings this time around, “I expect to be shut out, for the most part,” says Klein. “Certainly, CBS won’t have me on. NBC, because of (Jeff) Zucker‘s relationship with Katie, will not. ABC probably won’t, but it’s not certain.”

He does, however, expect to land on CNN and Fox News Channel.

Katie “is a three-dimensional portrait, not a drooling-at-the-sides-of-your-mouth hatchet job,” Klein insists.

Maybe. Still, Klein promises to give readers “a dark side of Katie, personally and professionally.” What does that mean? Klein offers no details, naturally. Instead, he says: “Beneath the public image of the blithe spirit, there is a life story of great tumult, confusion, conflict, ambition, over-reaching, diva-like behavior and romantic relationships gone bad.”

Oh.

Katie‘s content is top-secret, Klein says. The lucky few who have actually seen galleys signed confidentially agreements. (See Words, Famous Last.)

Will CBS be upset by Katie? “I think CBS, in the person of Les Moonves and the producers at CBS Evening News, will see this as a fair and balanced book,” Klein says. “But they won’t be happy about a lot of the darker sides of Katie that are revealed.”

Will Katie be upset by Katie? “There’s no question that she’s freaking out about the book,” Klein says.

Asked for a response, Couric’s personal publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, says: “we de-Klein comment.”

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