Does Katie Couric Believe in Time Travel?

Maybe CBS knows something NASA doesn't.    

Time travel is supposed to be impossible, but CBS apparently suspects teens from 2005 leaped forward to 2007, watched pro-life movies Juno and Knocked Up, lost their fear of unplanned pregnancy, returned to 2005, fooled around, and delivered babies in 2006.

In a January 24 segment called “Teen Births,” CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric sounded the alarm about two statistics she apparently found disturbing:

“The government reported this month that the birth rate for teens between 15 and 19 rose 3 percent in 2006 … Meanwhile, the overall abortion rate [as of 2005] has fallen to the lowest level in 30 years.”

Sounds like Couric would be relieved if more teen mothers were choosing to abort their babies. 

Couric continued:

“These are trends we're also seeing on the big screen, and some are wondering if there's a connection.” 

No hint of time travel yet.  But the CBS segment never goes on to suggest that a growing national rejection of abortion, borne out by the 2005-2006 statistics, might have led Hollywood to produce pro-life movies in 2007.  Instead, the piece suggests that the pro-life movies are making teenagers less fearful of getting pregnant and bringing their babies to term.  Star Trek: Enterprise, anyone?

CBS reporter Ben Tracy:

While there is debate as to why teenaged pregnancies are up and the abortion rate is at its lowest since 1981, the fact remains that 750,000 teenaged girls will get pregnant this year. It's unclear whether Hollywood is imitating life or it's the other way around.

Ignoring the calendar problem, Tracy comes down on the “life imitating Hollywood” side:

“But recent films such as Knocked Up and Juno where both women have their babies...make getting pregnant look like a bump in the road.”

Tracy asks a high school girl, “Is your sense what you're seeing in the movies and on TV doesn't necessarily jive with what would happen in real life?

The girl replies, “She gets pregnant and she has the baby, and puts it up for adoption, and her life goes back to normal.”

Cut to Juno: “We can just pretend this never happened.”

Back to Tracy: “A Hollywood ending that rarely plays out in the high school hallway. Ben Tracy, CBS News, Los Angeles.”

Brian Fitzpatrick is senior editor at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.