Maureen Dowd Asks: “Can High Heels Match The Venerable Trench Coat?”

By Brian 

“Can the network nightly news anchor evolve from the Daddy chair to the Mommy chair?”

Maureen Dowd wants to know. In this weekend’s New York Times, she asks: “Will Americans ever trust a petite, pretty woman in jewel tones to deliver the news as much as they trusted tall men with dark suits and deep voices, like Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw? Can high heels match the venerable trench coat?”

Then she quotes a longtime TV industry analyst, a man, who muses:

“Does Mommy know best? If there’s a gigantically frightening news event, people want to turn on the TV and see someone guiding them through it. Will they be comfortable with Elizabeth Vargas or even Katie Couric?”

“At first he sounded optimistic,” Dowd says, but within 30 seconds, “the executive got jittery.”

“I know this is going to sound really sexist,” he admitted with breathtaking candor, “but if there were another 9/11, I’m not sure if she has the gravitas to hold that anchor chair…Maybe it’s not even sex. Maybe it’s age. I just think we’d need someone with a little gray in their hair…Maybe we could let Elizabeth do it Monday through Friday and then someone else could do it if there was a crisis.

“I had to laugh,” Dowd recalls. “They’d allow a woman to present the news as long as there wasn’t any news. If serious news breaks out, send for the guy in pants.”