Once upon a time, Katie Couric was the darling of television journalism. She had a bubbly personality to go along with a cute appearance that made a lot of viewers feel like they could sit down and chat with her over a cup of coffee. People loved her.
However, there was a lot about Couric we didn’t know, especially about just how skeevy a journalist she really was.
As Cam wrote last week, Couric is under fire for yet another example of her doctoring a report to advance an agenda.
In fact, now it’s bad enough that her former co-workers at NBC News seem to be turning on her.
Journalist Katie Couric was called out by her old network for violating a “cardinal rule of journalism” Tuesday as she admitted she should have included full remarks she omitted from an interview where Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized national anthem kneelers.
Couric wrote in her new memoir that she sought to “protect” Ginsburg, who died last year, during their 2016 interview after Ginsburg made disparaging remarks to her about progressives like Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem. Returning to her old stomping grounds at NBC’s “Today,” Couric was pressed by anchor Savannah Guthrie over violating a “cardinal rule of journalism.”
“I think what people don’t realize is we make editorial decisions like that all the time,” Couric said, saying she included it in the book to generate discussion. “I did include the fact she said it was dumb and disrespectful.”
Guthrie continued to press her, noting Couric shed her “objectivity” by admitting she wanted to “protect” the left-wing icon.
“The question is whether that undermines journalism at a time when reporters are under attack for bias like that,” Guthrie said.
Now, understand that Couric isn’t completely wrong. Journalists often have to decide what gets left out of interviews and what remains. When you record 20 minutes of interview for a three-minute spot, there’s just no way around it.
Where Katie is getting hammered, though, is in selecting to leave it out specifically to protect Ginsberg.
I’m glad Guthrie didn’t let her off the hook over it. Even though she was a past anchor of “Today,” grilling her about this is a good thing. Yet, as a Second Amendment advocate and writer, I can’t help but wonder where was this interest in protecting journalism and journalistic ethics the last time Katie Couric pulled something like this.
As noted previously, Couric deceptively edited a piece on gun control to make it appear that gun rights advocates had no answer. Raw footage shows that they immediately responded with substantive answers, but Couric wanted to make it look like the gun rights movement had nothing to offer to that particular discussion.
Bad as this issue with Ginsberg is, it still pales in comparison to her earlier antics. Had she simply said she left it out because she thought other parts of the interview had more journalistic worth, that would be different. We’d all disagree, I’m sure, but then it’s a matter of preference and not a blatant example of trying to twist the narrative.
Her previous offense was little more than an outright fabrication explicitly designed to try and advance the gun control narrative.
For that, NBC News and the rest of the media were silent. They didn’t see an issue, apparently, and almost no one from the mainstream media seemed to call her out for what she did.
Of course, they’re under a bit more of a microscope now. People are onto their game. Guthrie had to offer up one Katie Couric as a sacrificial lamb in hopes that the rest of us will forget that the rest of the media is little different from her.
It’s almost adorable that they’re making the effort, because almost no one is buying it.