Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, said she had been encouraged to “be saucy and sassy” in her graduation address to the Princeton Class of 2009, according to a news release that accompanied a copy of her remarks.
She apparently took that advice, targeting her sassiness at such GOP luminaries as Donald Rumsfeld, former Defense secretary under George W. Bush; conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh; and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, among others.
"This generation came of age during 9/11 and are entering the world at a very difficult time, but I have no doubt their intelligence and ambition will see them through,” she announced before the sea of degree candidates. “Good luck to all of them — and please excuse some of the racier jokes — I was encouraged to be saucy and sassy!”
Some of the Couric zingers: “I understand Class of '54’s Donald Rumsfeld has been charged with guarding the Big Cannon. I don’t want to say he’s taking his job too far, but he’s reportedly been telling President Obama there are weapons of mass destruction hidden at Rutgers.” “There may be some opportunities in the Republican Party. They’re still looking for an effective spokesman, and the only person they can find so far is Rush Limbaugh . . . and he won’t take the job because he doesn’t want to give up his prescription plan.” “Coming here was a real no-brainer! After all, I can see New Jersey from my house!” (A take-off on the Saturday Night Live skit spoofing Gov. Palin’s campaign claim that her geographic proximity to Russia gave her a leg up in national defense savvy.) "And topping off the list [of former graduates], there’s former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Given his status as client number nine, it seems particularly fitting that he's a graduate of “Woody Woo.” (The latter is a reference to the university’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.)
The Wilson school figured in another Couric line — half very somber and half in jest: “I’m sure you don’t need a news flash that getting a job is no stroll down Nassau Street. I read a study recently that said only 20 percent of graduates who’ve applied for jobs have one right now. That’s down from 51 percent in 2007. In this economic climate, graduates of the Wilson School might actually have to get a job in government!”
Couric did not exclude herself as an object of comical examination: “When Princeton called to invite me, I was thrilled. It also gave me a perfect excuse for turning down Harvard and Yale — my safety schools! And since I’ve been called a cougar lately in the tabloid press, today I’m very happy to be an honorary tiger!” “I was a desk assistant at ABC News in Washington where my major responsibilities were Xeroxing (hey, it was the dark ages!) and making coffee.”
Couric’s final sendoff: “To the Class of 2009 . . . congratulations, safe travels . . . and good luck. I can't wait to feature you in the future on the CBS Evening News.”
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