This is your infrequent reminder Katie Couric is not a journalist.
She’s an activist with a press pass.
Couric admits in an upcoming memoir she selectively edited a 2016 interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg to “protect” the late Supreme Court justice after she criticized professional athletes who kneel during the national anthem.
Anthem protesters show “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life,” Ginsburg told Couric.
“Which they probably could not have lived in the places they came from,” she continued. “As they became older, they realize that this was youthful folly. And that’s why education is important.”
Couric admits now she edited these remarks from the interview, explaining the decision was based on a number of factors, including her personal admiration for the late justice.
The comments were “unworthy of a crusader for equality,” Couric writes in her forthcoming memoir Going There, adding she amended the interview to “protect” Ginsburg for whom she felt “racial justice” was a “blind spot.”
Couric, whose star has faded not because newsrooms have deemed her a lousy journalist but because audiences have lost interest, also claims she withheld portions of the interview based on a personal assessment of Ginsburg’s cognitive abilities.
Ginsburg, who was 83 at the time, was “elderly and probably didn’t fully understand the question,” Couric writes.
This is an exceptionally infantilizing thing to say about a then-Supreme Court justice. For that matter, just how far did the alleged journalist’s alleged concern go? Couric deemed Ginsburg too soft-brained to know what she was saying about anthem protests but raised no similar concerns regarding the fact Ginsburg was a then-sitting member of the most powerful court in the United States? Did Couric at any point feel similarly that Ginsburg’s legal opinions were that of an old, feeble woman?
More to the point, what business does a so-called journalist have in editing a public figure’s remarks to “protect” said public figure from criticism? This is not journalism. This is called public relations.
It continues: Couric claims that the day after she interviewed Ginsburg, she was contacted by the head of public affairs for the Supreme Court, who insisted the late justice had “misspoken” and that the comments should be stricken from the record.
What, exactly, was misspoken? People who kneel during the anthem show “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life” is a hell of a misspeak.
If it’s any consolation, Couric did include in her final report the part where Ginsburg called anthem protesters “dumb and disrespectful.” So, at least there’s that.
But the other stuff, the stuff Couric deemed too problematic, the stuff the head of public affairs for the Supreme Court asked to be removed from the final interview, the former Yahoo! reporter was more than happy to hide from the public.
Just so we’re all on the same page: Couric, who was once one of the biggest names in journalism, has admitted to covering up a progressive Supreme Court Justice’s criticism of what is now a core left-wing agenda item. And not just any progressive Supreme Court Justice, mind you, but the very embodiment of the activist judiciary Left. As a certain former vice president once said, “This is a big f-cking deal.”
That said, don’t be surprised by what Couric did. After all, it’s not as if this is the first time she has selectively edited an interview to serve her own ends.
Couric was caught in 2016 selectively editing a documentary to make members of a Virginia pro-firearms group look like ignorant rubes. The gun violence documentary, Under the Gun, which Couric narrated and co-produced, includes an interview with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. In the final cut of the film, Couric is seen supposedly stumping her guests with a simple question about background checks. But uncut audio of the interview, which members of the group recorded and passed along to Ammoland and the Washington Free Beacon, reveals members of the gun rights group were far better prepared than the film suggests. Couric, who tried initially to deny the scandal, admitted eventually to doctoring the video.
“My question … regarding the ability of convicted felons and those on the terror watch list to legally obtain a gun was followed by an extended pause, making the participants appear to be speechless,” she said in her defense.
However, audio from the interview shows there was no such pause. The gun rights group was well prepared for her question, with several of its members offering nuanced arguments regarding gun laws and the effectiveness of background checks. Couric and her colleagues ultimately refused to amend the documentary to represent the interview accurately. Also, it’s worth recalling that as Couric defended her cheap gun violence documentary, she was accused that same year of using similarly deceptive edits in yet another documentary. She suffered exactly zero professional consequences for her misbehavior. She will likely suffer none for what she admits now regarding her 2016 interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Again, what Couric does isn’t journalism. It’s activism disguised as reporting.
That the broader journalism community still refuses to cast her out as a pariah is as damning an indictment on the news industry as Couric’s own admitted malfeasance.