ow does NBC top ABC's gambit of bringing in former Today star Katie Couric to co-host Good Morning America this week? By having one of Couric's most storied interview subjects, Sarah Palin, guest host the Today show on Tuesday. After their infamous 2008 interview, in which Couric stumped the vice presidential nominee simply by asking what newspapers she reads, the irony of pitting the two against each other anew "is just too sweet," says Chris Ariens at MediaBistro. When Palin was asked how it feels to face off against Couric when Today's ratings dominance is vulnerable for the first time since the mid-'90s, Palin told Big Hollywood, "Game on." As rating stunts go, how does pitting Palin against Couric rank?
It's brilliant: We love watching a person seeking revenge, and in this case, Palin "may just best Katie at her own game," says Julie Ryan Evans at The Stir. We already know what to expect from Katie: "Bubbly, cute, smiley, personable." But Palin is undeniably "fascinating, smart, and engaging," and thus perfectly suited for Today. I bet more people will tune in to Today out of sheer intrigue.
"Sarah Palin may beat Katie Couric at her own game"
It may backfire: This makes Today look weak, says Roger Friedman at Forbes. Drafting Palin seems like a rash, knee-jerk reaction to the news that Couric will be filling in at GMA. "It's very unlike the Today show to be defensive," suggesting that NBC may be more scared about its ratings troubles than it's letting on. Plus, bringing on Palin may not even be a smart move, since "the average Today viewer is certainly not a Palin follower."
"Today show flips out, brings in Sarah Palin, 'surprise' guest to ward off Katie Couric"
Don't read too much into it: It's only one day, says No More Mister Nice Blog, and we all know Palin lacks the "self-discipline necessary to learn the process of being a full-time broadcaster." Palin's Today stint will surely outdraw Couric's on GMA, but that proves nothing. This is a one-time-only appearance. If Palin hung around, "her ratings would plummet, as they did starting with the second episode of her reality show."
"So what is America's oldest pre-adolescent brat up to now?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Attack of the invasive species
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- How Captain America won over China
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
Subscribe to the Week