Couric: Trump's 'Behavior' Has Warranted 'Greater Scrutiny' by Media

April 8th, 2019 6:11 PM

In a piece for PJ Media, video journalist (and former CNS News journalist) Nicholas Ballasy interviewed longtime liberal journalist Katie Couric as she attended last week's Free Expression Awards at the failing Newseum in Washington. And boy was Ballasy able to get Couric to talk, fretting that, concerning President Trump, he's “the most unconventional president we’ve ever witnessed” and thus journalists are “doing an incredible job under very difficult circumstances.”

Ahead of the event's proceedings, Ballasy asked Couric if she agrees with a statement made by former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel, who recently said some news outlets have “decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad” for the U.S.

She responded:

I think that this is the most unconventional president we've ever witnessed, certainly in my lifetime and probably in history. And I think his behavior has and his actions have warranted, probably, greater scrutiny than other presidents so I don't agree with that.

However, she admitted, “I do think that the news cycle influences how administrations and politics are covered now, but I think there is some great journalism going on.”

“I would love a few more really deep and thoughtful policy discussions and maybe a little less time devoted to the tweet of the day and the obnoxious behavior,” Couric added.

Meanwhile, she sharply criticized commentary on cable news as “hurting the country.”

“Certainly on cable, it has become talk radio with heads because everyone is giving their opinion, and that's a new thing, and I think it's further polarizing the country.” Huh. So she's taking implicit shots at talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, but she didn't have the courage to go after CNN's punditry that's disguised as journalism.

“I think that's what's happening right now,” Couric added, “but I would say by and large, journalists are doing an incredible job under very difficult circumstances.”

While not referring to Trump by name, she asserted that journalists are “maligned every day and ridiculed and mocked, and so I really admire people who are in the trenches and won't give up.”

Couric also laid our her opinion on many people who follow the media:

It seems to me that down-the-middle news doesn't seem to be super desirable right now. People are looking to see their own views reflected back at them, and I think that can be dangerous and I think people need to make a greater effort to have a wide variety of positions.

However, news has become “so deeply, profoundly personal, so I think it is very tough for that to happen,” she noted.

Another woman attending the event was PBS Newshour anchor Judy Woodruff, who said she does not agree with Koppel either: “The people I know in the news media, both the major news organizations and the newer ones online, television and print, most of them that are news organizations, and I don't mean opinion organizations, are trying really hard to report the facts.”

“I see news organizations trying really hard to walk that line and to get their facts straight,” she added.

As NewsBusters previously reported, Couric has never been a fan of what she has described as "fake news." In July of 2017, she slammed "fake news" as "tearing" America "apart at the seams."