Ever come across an old colleague and think, ‘WTF?!”
That’s exactly what I did. Scrolling through Instagram I came across a familiar name and face; Katrina Szish. Szish and I worked together briefly over 20 years ago at Us Weekly. I was the art director and she was hired as a talking head to go on TV and blab about the magazine and celebrity news.
This was before social media and influencers and Szish was really good on camera, but she didn’t write stories for the magazine or have an actual job at the magazine. Honestly, she seemed to live to be in front of a camera.
Flash forward to 2023, according to her Instagram, Szish is a self-described,
National News Anchor @newsmax Journalist. (Ex)Vogue Girl. Harvard Alum. Style Savant. New Yorker. Beach Babe. Dog Mom. Happy Wife. Animal Advocate.”
When I saw she was now an on-air host for NewsMax I was a little shocked and my knee-jerk reaction was to bluntly ask,
What the fuck happened to you?”
You can see her response and others comments below.
Equating Biden and Trump? Waiting for the “facts” on Trump? Sorry, she lost me there and I didn’t respond…
But let’s back up a sec and look at her employer. According to Forbes, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy (a Trump ally) says if you don’t actually watch Newsmax, you probably think his network is something it’s not.
Newsmax has always been very consistent with its brand of being a centrist, big tent conservative media outlet.
We are continuing to thrive despite a lot of issues and obstacles, and the thing is that anybody that watches us I think realizes that we’re not an extreme brand.”
Yeah, blah, blah, blah…
Last year the network settled a defamation suit brought by a Dominion Voting Systems executive, accusing Newsmax, One America News, the Trump campaign and several Trump-affiliated lawyers of falsely linking Dominion to a plot to rig the 2020 election.
Newsmax issued an apology and admitted that allegations of voter fraud that it aired were untrue. The network was also sued by Smartmatic, the election technology company that was targeted with baseless accusations of rigging the 2020 election.
OK, it’s America (last time I checked.) Freedom of the press and freedom of speech is still ours. But if Szish thinks she’s working for an organization that is unbiased she is delusional or just lying.
Others might say that all news organizations are biased, but that is not true if you have eyes and ears. All can be problematic at times, but Newsmax’s (no-so-secret) mission is to push a right wing agenda. That’s pretty clear no matter what the CEO or on-air personalities say to the contrary.
As examples, let’s look at NewsMax’s home page this morning…
…now look at CNN’s.
If you don’t see a difference, then you can stop reading here.
Of course Katrina Szish can say whatever she wants (and call herself whatever she wants) –but a “journalist”? Eye-roll. She worked at CNN in political investigations she says, but her last job was at QVC selling fashion on camera and as someone who is a pretty, blonde, AMBITIOUS talking head, she ticks all the boxes.
So, am I a journalist? Hell, no. I’m a writer.
I’ve written for The WOW Report for 10 years now, covering pretty much whatever I like. There are political posts (MANY anti-Trump) LGBTQ issues, entertainment news and plenty of just fun stuff. I know the owners of WOW for 30+ years and what they stand for. If they had anything other than good intentions, I’d be gone. They have integrity and I’d like to think I do as well.
And as far as “respecting others opinions” etc, sorry we’re past that now. The battle lines have been drawn and if you work for a “conservative” news organization, you’re the enemy, as far as I’m concerned. With drag bans being led by conservatives, the war is on, kids.
So, if you ask me, there ARE consequences for attaching your name to a dubious news organization, even if all you want to do is just smile, look pretty and make nice in front of a camera.
Katrina will probably tell you (emphatically) that she’s not against LGBTQ people, doesn’t support Trump, is pro-abortion (that one, maybe not on air) isn’t anti-Biden (even though her audience is) and on and on. She has an answer for everything. The girl can talk –she was on QVC after all.
But I’m not buying it. To me she’s just another ambitious person that maybe didn’t quite make it the way she’d hoped, so, like many others, she took another job on camera selling whatever. (Paging Greta Van Susteren!)
Watching an episode of The Witcher while contemplating Szish last night, I came across the line that perfectly summed up my feelings. One character was friends with another (Szish and I were not friends, really) and then was betrayed by them. They said,
I thought I’d seen through your mask –turns out there was nothing behind it.”
Scan Szish’s Instagram to see the requisite fun-loving, innocent, pretty smiling selfies and she might remind you of another pretty, blonde, former liberal (I’m sure they would both say they were NEVER liberals!) –Ivanka Trump.
After writing this post, I noticed that Katrina got some blowback and posted this…
I see you.
Wow! Quite the reactions to my first-ever “opinion/observation” post. Obviously I primarily use Instagram to share fashion, beauty, lifestyle and #bts content and all the other stuff goes on Twitter. A lot of you showed me who you really are — both good and bad — in the comments that were made. From having long-time colleagues and “friends” insult me, judge me and use profanity, to people I have never met kindly reminding me not to engage with the vitriol. It was eye-opening.
I will say this: I would never judge someone based on their employer. I would never assume to know, nor would I judge, someone’s political ideologies if they were different from mine. I might have a healthy debate, but I would never resort to name-calling, insults, bullying or personal attacks. And, to those of you who think they know me — or “used to know me” — think again. I have worked at liberal companies, conservative companies, and everything in between, and none of them define me. If you ever knew me, you would know that I always have and always will think for myself.
Closed-mindedness, baseless attacks, and hateful speech is not acceptable to me no matter what side of the aisle you’re on. Let’s be better. Let’s do better. Let’s be respectful. Let’s consider other people’s points of view. Even when we disagree.
Thank you to those of you who reached out directly — some very liberal, some very conservative, some in-between — to let me know that you respect me and my opinions. And thanks to those of you who I know and don’t know for revealing your true selves. I see you clearly, and I most definitely know who you are.
I’m not going to address this but overall, kinda what I expected, honestly. Some directed at me I assume?
Perfect deflection, make it seem as though you were attacked instead of just called out.
Saying “Let’s do better. Let’s be respectful” is more deflection if you ask me… but I obviously don’t know the “real” Katrina.