Next week sees the release of Edward Klein's "Katie: The Real Story" (Crown), a biography of "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric. Klein's previous biography was the Hillary Clinton hatchet job "The Truth About Hillary Is That She Eats Box," and the Couric book follows the same pattern: it's full of rumor, innuendo, and scurrilous information from anonymous sources. Since the stuff about Katie being a bitch to work for has already been all over the papers, let's just jump to the sex parts! Here, the newly-installed anchorwoman meets a much younger man and damages feminism forever.
Less than a month after her CBS debut, she attended a cancer fund-raiser in Manhattan where she was introduced to a tall, good-looking young man by the name of Brooks Perlin. Unlike the self-made types Katie had been attracted to in the past - Jay Monahan, Tom Werner, and Chris Botti - Perlin came from a family of privilege. And at thirty-three years of age, he was, biologically speaking, young enough to be forty-nine-year-old Katie's son.
Perlin grew up in the tony suburban community of Darien, Connecticut. After graduating from Hotchkiss (the same elite boarding school attended by Tom Werner), he went to Williams College. There he was known as a jock who liked to parade around - a la John F. Kennedy Jr. - without his shirt on.
Though Katie found herself drawn to the young and energetic Perlin, their nearly seventeen-year age difference gave her pause. But when Perline called for a date, Katie couldn't resist saying yes.
"They seem comfortable with each other," said one of her friends. "She's a very young fifty. She's playful. She's cute. She's down-to-earth. And he's mature. They seem happy."
"It's a great match," said another friend of Katie's. "They both are honest and upfront. They make each other really happy."
Somehow, they managed to elude the paparazzi and keep their love affair secret for several months. They skied in Sun Valley and sunbathed on the beaches of Mexico. And when they were in New York, they often spent the nights at each other's apartment.
"Her behavior was a puzzle," said someone who was familiar with Katie's relationship with Perlin. "An anchor is supposed to be synonymous with wisdom. Going out with a man who is seventeen years your junior may be a sexual turn-on, but it's not the height of wisdom. Keep in mind that she is grist for the tabloid mill, and that she'd inevitably be caught. Seen that way, her behavior can only be described as self destructive. And you can be sure that if Les Moonves knew about it, he'd have thrown a conniption fit.
"It's my guess that Katie didn't really understand why she was flaunting this relationship with a younger man, and how, in an unconscious way, this might have been connected to her discomfort in the role of a serious news anchor," this person continued. "She would have told you that she had fallen in love. That she and Perlin were so compatible. A Demi Moore-Ashton Kutcher kind of thing.* But it sure looked like she was acting out in a very serious way."
*The age difference between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher is fifteen years.
To our minds, the best part of the whole book is the sheer bitchiness of that footnote.