So much for sisterhood. Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Christiane Amanpour are the subjects of a dishy new tell-all by Vanity Fair contributor Sheila Weller — and the picture she paints of them and their industry isn't an entirely pretty one. Highlights from the book, appropriately titled The News Sorority, were posted by The Daily Beast on Wednesday, Aug. 27, and include some gossipy bits about the alleged rivalry between Couric and Sawyer.
Per The Daily Beast's write-up, Weller's tome claims that the two journalists battled each other for scoops when they appeared on competing morning shows — Couric on Today, Sawyer on Good Morning America — in the early 2000s.
The Daily Beast quotes Weller's book as saying: "When a friend of Diane's, a public figure, was being pursued by Katie's people, the wooed eminence got a call from [Diane's movie director husband] Mike Nichols, who said — in a very nice way, to be sure — that he and Diane would essentially cut off all social contact if their friend appeared on Today."
Weller further alleges that Couric badmouthed Sawyer when the latter scored an interview they both wanted with a 57-year-old woman who'd given birth to twins. Afterward, she writes, Couric was overheard saying, "I wonder who she blew this time to get it."
Sawyer, for her part, was reportedly at war with Barbara Walters. "Barbara and Diane were determined to kill each other — to wipe each other off the face of the earth," Weller quotes one ABC News staffer as saying.
To be fair, there's another side to the book, too — one that portrays the women as savvy, smart, and driven, with a commitment to reporting important stories. An excerpt on the book's Facebook page reads: "As reporters and communicaors of that which was beyond their control — the news of the world — and as women in a tremendously competitive professional arena in which their gender was an impediment, their ability to strongly control what they could control has been central to their success. Each has been self-aware and self-powering in a different way, and their careers offer lessons in female survival."
A source close to Couric adds that the book is "overall very positive" about the women, but that the alleged feud is "drummed up into something much bigger than it was." Weller "got a lot right, but also got a lot wrong," the insider tells Us.
Reps for Couric, ABC, and CNN had no comment on Weller's book or the allegations therein. A "friend of Diane's" told The Daily Beast, however, that the claims "are just too ridiculous to even consider." And former ABC News President David Westin dismissed the tell-all offhand.
"Certainly she did no fact-checking with us," Westin told The Daily Beast of Weller. "It seems to me like ancient history, whether fact or fiction."