07/11/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT
Smiles wide, they duel at sunrise. Who's best?
The long, contentious ratings war between NBC's Today
and ABC's Good Morning America
has occasionally gotten so hot you could pour batter over the TV and make flapjacks. For viewers, the fight boils down to Today
's Katie Couric vs. GMA
's Diane Sawyer. To that end, the public debate would be greatly benefited by an astute critical parsing of the two women. Which is why I'm now going to rate them using scoring paddles stolen from Bruno Tonioli, the excitable Italian judge on Dancing with the Stars
1. On-air persona: Katie, you are bright and sharp, and your eyes have the eager shine of a little animal in the woods. But sometimes I fear you are like peanut brittle: very sweet, but you might break. And when you interview Tony Blair, dear, sit up straight as a general! I give you a 7.
Diane, your voice is wonderful—cool but also warm and dry. It is like an antibacterial gel to the ear. And I adore your eyes: They are so deep, so wise with experience, so commanding. You remind me of a head psychiatric nurse wearing beautiful glowing pastels. I like! 8.
2. Exclusive "gets": Katie, I looked forward to your special with the Runaway Bride, but that girl is a riddle inside an enigma inside Tupperware! I still don't get it. But you tried! 7.
Diane, you followed Brad Pitt
to Africa, but he was as revealing as Katie's Bride. All I could think about was your hotel accommodations. 6.
3. Chemistry with male colleague: Katie, you and Matt Lauer are good, yes, but sometimes you look like two people on a blind date, waiting forever for your table at the restaurant. Tango, kids! 7.
Diane, my darling, you have no chemistry with Charlie Gibson—but, really, who expects it? You are like old neighbors in the Hamptons, and a gong rings and it's martini time on the terrace. 6.
Score: Katie, 21. Diane, 20. Katie wins!