Who is Katy Tur?
Katy Tur is the girlfriend of polarizing news figure Keith Olbermann, one time reporter for the popular ESPN program “Sportscenter” and current host of the MSNBC hit “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”. Katy Tur has been in the news recently for landing a number of high profile jobs supposedly secured with the assistance of her much older live-in boyfriend Keith Olbermann. However, there is probably another factor in Katy Tur’s early success — she may be only 24, but the fact that her father, Bob Tur, is a major force in the world of television news means there’s more to her success than her connection to Olbermann.
Bob Tur created the legendary Los Angeles News Service, which was the first major news service to use a helicopter in its coverage of live breaking news. The infamous O.J. Simpson slow speed chase through the streets of Los Angeles was instigated by Bob Tur; he was the first to locate the even more infamous white Ford Bronco Simpson was travelling in back in 1994. Bob Tur’s new service was also the first to begin televising O.J’s odd pursuit.
Katy Tur’s first breakthrough job was as a news anchor on New York City’s massive CW11 channel. Before taking this position, Katy Tur was a student at UC Santa Barbara, and worked for Los Angeles’ KTLA. There have been “investigations” into Tur’s seemingly “out of the blue” success in television journalism, and Olbermann has been “acquitted” in the public eye of assisting his girlfriend in landing jobs.
Recent news about Katy Tur includes the fact that she’s now scheduled to join the Weather Channel as a “Digital Journalist”. Katy Tur will join host Mike Bettes on the program Vortex2 in a five week experiment to discover the origin, structure, and evolution of tornados. In other words, Tur is set to become a tornado chaser. When asked to make a direct statement on Katy Tur’s uncanny success in the news media, Olbermann denied that Katy Tur was hired on the basis of any grounds besides talent, saying:
“Anybody who suggests so is misinformed, or sadly unaware that in this time when the industry is collapsing around us, nobody gets a job based on ‘influence,’ only talent.”
What got people whispering about the “influence” question is the fact that NBC, parent company of Olbermann’s bosses at the MSNBC network, recently acquired the Weather Channel, adding it to their already large sphere of media outlets. If Olbermann assisted in Katy Tur’s hire in anyway, the news giant’s opponents will be crying “Nepotism!” until the’yre blue in the face. It would be a blotch on the careers of Tur, Olbermann, and on the face of NBC as a whole. Still, no proof exists that Katy Tur was hired for any other reason than her abilities as a journalist.
Olbermann has plenty of “enemies” in the media and in the “blogosphere”, including the website Olbermann Watch, which attempts to correct “mistakes” in Olbermann’s broadcast, and to just generally attack Keith Olbermann. Famously, Olbermann and Fox News big wig Bill O’Reilly are in a state of constant feud — meaning that fans of Olbermann of O’Reilly tend to dislike the fans of their “opposite”. This has created a bit of an embarassing situation for Katy Tur and Keith Olbermann, as more and more photos of Katy Tur surface, most of them from college parties. I think this is way out of bounds, considering Katy Tur and Keith Olbermann were not romantically involved at the time the pictures were taken, and Katy Tur was not working in her current jobs, the ones that were supposedly “set up” by Olbermann.
To be honest, the pictures of Katy Tur aren’t the most flattering. In many of the photos (easily found on the web through a Google search on her name) Katy Tur appears to be intoxicated. In more than one of the leaked photos, Katy Tur is behaving like a Miss America contestant, touching another woman’s breast, or hanging all over her male counterparts. While many of us had this kind of “fun” in college, it probably isn’t great for anyone’s career to have pictures of said fun floating about the internet.
We have also been treated to a slice of Katy Tur’s jouranlistic abilities — a section of an article written by Katy Tur for a student newspaper appears at Olbermann Watch and other media watchdog websites. In part, it reads:
“When are the people in charge going to realize that we, the youth, the ones who are in high school and college or who, like me, have just graduated, do not want to be read the news by another cheesy blonde anchor who looks like the girl who does keg stands and dances on coffee tables at frat parties? Respectable journalists don’t wear hot pink and they don’t die their hair blonde if they are Korean like Mia Lee, one of the anchors at KCAL. The women shouldn’t have fake tits that are pushed up to their neck and the men shouldn’t be orange. Do you respect the guy in your psych class that has frosted tips and highlights? No. Then why would you feel differently toward the guy reading the news?”
Needless to say, Olbermann’s web enemies have taken this article and run with it, especially the bit about men “being orange” — a regular attack point of the anti-Olbermann set.
I’m excited to see how Katy Tur performs on the Weather Channel’s always fascinating tornado coverage. This young woman deserves the same chance we would give a young journalist who is not attached to a famous name. I hope we can sit back and let her work speak for itself, rather than lobbing attacks at Katy Tur — a person just starting out in her career.