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There have been so many presidential debates over the past eight months—20!—that even CNN’s Wolf Blitzer got to moderate one, and he probably didn’t even know where he was. So why was embattled CBS anchor Katie Couric, the highest paid player in the news game, cut out of hosting duties? The victim of circumstance, mostly, but also because CBS didn’t want her hosting one, according to today’s New York Observer.
The writers’ strike, an argument with the DNC over where a debate was to be held, the ill-timed maternity leave of CBS political director Molly Levinson, “scheduling difficulties,” and the network’s limited financial resources (they already pay Couric $15 million a year, remember) were all reasons why CBS was forced to pull the plug on one debate or another. But the Observer also intimates that CBS execs may not have been comfortable with their high-profile, ratings-challenged anchor hosting a debate in the first place.