I rarely watch TV, and probably the last time I was a regular viewer of any evening news program was in graduate school, pre-kids. However, I’ve peripherally followed the Katie Couric drama, her move from the Today show to CBS Evening News, and her subsequent disappointing ratings. I’ve had a mixed opinion of her for awhile; I think her work to raise colorectal cancer awareness has been a huge positive, but she screws up my opinion of her with things like her “no atheists in foxholes” comment. So I wasn’t completely surprised, but am still a bit confused, over her new target: sputum.
There has been tension on the set of the evening newscast.
Couric said she slapped news editor Jerry Cipriano on the arm for using the word “sputum” during a tuberculosis story last month.
“I got mad at him and said, ‘You can’t do this to me. You have to tell me when you’re going to use a word like that,”‘ Couric said. “I was aggravated, there’s no question about that.”
“I sort of slapped him around,” she said.
Sputum, which refers to expectorated matter especially from the air passages in diseases of the lungs, bronchi or upper respiratory tract, was banned from future broadcasts.
But Couric said she has a good relationship with Cipriano.
“It became kind of a joke,” she said.
“You can’t do this to me” ?? As I mentioned, I don’t watch Couric, but I know she can get giggly at times, so I’m hoping “sputum” just caught her off guard and made her laugh or something. The article, however, doesn’t give any context for the exchange beyond what I quoted above. How could someone who aired her own colonoscopy have such a visceral reaction to an ordinary medical term like “sputum?”