JMC 101, Section 101 Who the Hell is Connie Chung? How does one go from being
called “America’s sweetheart” to being labeled a “shameless tabloid whore” (Revah 10)?
Connie Chung knows. Co-anchoring the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and
hosting her own Eye to Eye, she was once on top of the broadcast journalism world, yet
all good things must come to an end. Connie Chung had a glorious rise and a dramatic
fall. Connie Chung began her career as an assignment editor and on-the-air-reporter at a
local Washington, D.C. television station WTTG. But her big break came in 1971, when
the Federal Communications Commission began pressuring television networks to hire
more minorities and women. Chung applied at CBS’s Washington bureau. She once told
Daniel Paisner, “They had only one woman at CBS News at the time, and I think they
wanted to hire more. So, they hired me, they hired Leslie Stahl, they hired Michelle
Clark, and they hired Sylvia Chase.
... In other words, a Chinese woman a black woman, a
nice Jewish girl, and a blond shiska. And so they took care of years of discrimination.”
(Moritz 107) Chung covered George McGovern’s presidential campaign in 1971 and
accompanied Richard Nixon on trips to the Middle East and the Soviet Union in 1972. In
1976, she became a news anchor for KNXT, the local CBS television station in Los
Angeles. There, her salary went from about $27,000 a year to an estimated $600,000,
making Connie Chung one of the country’s highest-paid local news anchors in 1983. She
received many honors, including an award for best television reporting from the Los
Angeles Press Club in 1977 and Local Emmys in 1978 and 1980. (Moritz 108) In 1984,
Chung, eager to return to reporting national politics, was asked to anchor NBC News at
Sunrise. Of course, she did not let this opportunity pass her by. Chung’s “new job.
included serving as a political correspondent for the NBC Nightly News program,