She’s won numerous awards – the Peabody, several Emmy’s, various journalism and television awards, not to mention she’s interviewed presidents, first ladies, politicians, actors, musicians, foreign leaders. She’s had the license to ask questions of some of the most influential people of our time – Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Colin Powel, Sandra Day O’Connor, Bill Gates and Tony Blair to name a few. Millions of us have learned from her, watching her on the Today Show before she became the new anchor for CBS Evening News. With this move, she became not only the first female solo anchor of an evening news broadcast, but the highest paid TV journalist in the business.
I’m talking about Katie Couric and she was walking toward me with a huge grin on her face. My first thought was, “Holy crap, that’s Katie Couric” followed quickly by, “But she’s so little.” I think I was just surprised that someone who has made such a big contribution to the journalism world was so petite.
And she was right here in Kabul, here to interview the commander of NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan before we left for a visit to Kandahar. I looked around at the crowd of maintainers gathered in the aircraft hangar – they had to stop working for the interview – and a majority had their cameras out taking pictures. It seems everyone was as starstruck as I was. Katie hardly seemed to notice but I’m sure she’s quite used to it by now. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to her; “Call me Katie” she said, when I addressed her as ma’am. I immediately call her ma'am again. Oops. It's a hard habit to break.
For the next 40 minutes I watched her interview General Caldwell. She was gracious and warm; friendly with her camera crew and with her the boss. She thanked him several times for agreeing to sit down with her before the trip and after the interview, took a group photo with everyone, where I tried to squeeze in as close as possible. I know, I know. Starstruck.