You have to admire the consistency of Katie Couric and her Today show crew. In her final appearance as Today show host, we were treated to a litany of parting shots at Republicans and bouquets tossed to Democrats. The first half-hour was a stroll down memory lane with Katie-the-hard-nosed-reporter asking the tough questions. But . . . surprise! The only objects of pointed inquiries were non-Democrats.
First was her famous ambush interview of Pres. George H.W. Bush when the ostensible purpose of her White House visit was a tour with Barbara Bush on the occasion of the building's 200th anniversary:
Couric to Bush: "Some Democrats say you have not leveled about your knowledge of Iran-Contra."
Next was this question/snipe for Ross Perot: "Some people are left with the impression that you're vindictive, that you're ruthless. a sore loser, and they don't feel comfortable with that."
She was seen interviewing Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton, but there were no questions, no context.
But when Bob Dole appeared, in an interview from some campaign past , Tough Katie suddenly re-appeared: "Some people think from your comments that you've made of late that you're being an apologist for the tobacco industry, that somehow they have you in their pocket."
Question for Patrick Buchanan: "Is this a big ego trip for you?"
Couric, seeking to put the reportedly pro-choice Laura Bush on the spot: "Do you believe women in this country should have the right to an abortion?"
To Dan Quayle, presumably on the eve of his VP debate with Al Gore: "Some people think Al Gore is going to eat you alive in the debate."
Note the 'some people' trope, used four times here and on countless occasions during Couric's interviewing career to put in the mouths of other, unidentified, people, what would seem to be in Couric's own heart and mind.
Couric to David Duke: "I'd like to repeat something you said in 1985, quote 'I think the Jewish people have been a blight and they probably deserve to go into the ash bin of history . . . that's a direct quote Mr. Duke."
She was showing in a warm 'n fuzzy moment with two public figures. First, Al Gore of all people. Ending an interview, she pats him on the hand, adds "we want to thank you and we've got some fun footage to show as we head to a commercial break" as a clip rolls of Al and Katie light-heartedly dancing together! Given the megawatt smile she flashed at Al during an interview just last week, it makes you wonder if Katie might have a thing for Ozone Man.
Finally, in what apparently turned out to be JFK, Jr.'s last public interview, he was shown mentioning to Katie that several times a day "people come up to say 'your father was a great man.'"
Katie Couric: liberal to the last drop.
Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle.' He'll be a guest on the Lars Larson Show this evening, May 31st, at 6:30 EDT, to discuss this article. Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org