Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Miss USA Rachel Smith has incensed some people by inadvertanly dissing current CBS anchor Katie Couric.
During a recent Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network event last week in New York, when Smith was asked about her future career aspirations she expressed her desire to get into journalism. FYI for your Rachel bashers, she interned last summer in Chicago at Harpo Productions and graduated magne cum laude from Belmont College with a degree in journalism.
She's quoted by the New York Daily News as saying, "I always wanted to be a reporter — maybe some TV. Who knows? Some serious news — but some modeling, too. I just don't want to end up like Katie Couric. I want people to take me seriously."
In response, Couric's rep later told the Daily News: "If she continues to offer such profound insight, she will not have to worry about anyone taking her seriously."
For the folks who are attacking Rachel, if they took a monent to actually think about what the sistah's saying, she's right. Katie Couric is one of the reasons I gave up watching CBS News. I watched her the first week after she took over as news anchor and was sadly disappointed about the direction that the newscast took with her in the anchor chair.
CBS, the network home of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, and once was the gold standard in terms of broadcast journalism surrendered to the right wing. The network that once had the cojones to call out Joseph McCarthy during the height of the red-baiting McCarthy era, have its news anchor call Vietnam 'unwinnable' caved and fired Dan Rather when the right-wingers screamed about a 60 Minutes report that dared to ask the question that many of us had on our minds long before the 2004 election.
Where was George W. Bush during the last 18 months of his National Guard service?
I noticed that once again, most of Rachel's critics are white and are comparing her to the recent Miss Teen South Carolina who botched her question. Rachel ain't her.
In our community, Black girls are taught from birth that beauty fades. It's drilled into Black girls to rely more on their brains than a beautiful exterior and a pretty face to carry you through life.
For those who choose to model or enter beauty pageants, they are used as springboards for other careers. There's a former Miss America you may have heard of named Vanessa Williams who's conquered Hollywood, the music business and television. 1977 Miss Universe Janelle Commissiong runs a successful business in Trinidad. Before B. Smith took the culinary world by storm she was an Ebony Fashion Fair model. I doubt that anyone considers Tyra Banks a joke these days either.
Beauty queens aren't taken seriously? Just ask a former Miss Black Tennessee who's now running a media empire worth billions. What's her name again?