Katie Couric swung the door open to the penthouse suite at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California. The door slammed on the wall making a very loud boom and bounced back almost hitting Sean McManus as he entered from behind. It was 7:34 PM, but the early evening sun hung over the distant Pasadena hills, cutting through the smog and the 106 degree heat. Katie through her bag down on the couch and walked up to the window looking at the palm trees that were drooping in the oven-like air. Sean McManus closed the door to the hotel room gently.
"I told you I didn't want questions," said Katie.
'Of course you were going to get questions, Katie. That's what happens when you appear at these functions," said Sean.
"This was my idea, this Eye on America tour, not yours. I am in control of this, and I told you this would happen if we came here," said Katie, without turning, still standing at the hotel window.
'You have to face the media at some point, Katie," said Sean.
"I am the fucking media. Do you get that? I don't have to face anything," said Katie.
"You're pissed they asked you about what you were going to wear at your debut?" asked Sean.
"My debut? My debut? You think I am a debutante? It is not my goddamn debut. It is merely my first night in the fucking chair, OK," said Katie.
"OK. OK," said Sean.
"And I am going to get tired real fast if all anyone gives a shit about is what I am wearing or what makeup stylist I am using. I am becoming, in fact I am the CBS News Anchor with a capital 'A,' and I dictate what is news and what is not news. And my goddamn wardrobe is not news," said Katie.
"OK. OK," said Sean.
"And this fucking Television Critics Association whatever meeting, who the fuck are these people? Television critics? Don't they have anything better to do? The world is blowing up and they are asking me about Dan Rather, like he matters anymore, for chrissake," said Katie.
"You handled everything well. You didn’t lose your cool," said Sean.
"Of course I didn't lose my cool. I smiled through the whole thing. That's what you are paying me for, to keep this fucking smile on my face even though I am dealing with idiots and morons. Do you know how fucking hard it is for me to keep this smile going? It is worth twenty million dollars this fucking smile, twenty mil a year, and I can turn it off anytime I want. Like right now. See. Am I smiling? Am I smiling? No. But with the camera, with the fucking lights, when it matters, I will smile. And I will keep smiling, Sean, to keep you and CBS happy," said Katie as she turned to face Sean McManus, the President of CBS News.
"That's good, Katie," said Sean.
"So you better fucking do one thing, and that is keep me happy. I don't need this shit. I have everything I want. So keep me happy, and I will keep smiling. And don’t think the two million dollar monthly paycheck is keeping me happy. That keeps me neutral. Neutral, got that," said Katie.
"OK. OK. Got it," said Sean.
"A bottle of champagne. Order room service. We'll start there," said Katie as she sat on the couch and removed her high heels.
"Yes. Of course. Of course," said Sean.