Katie Couric Leaving the CBS Evening News; Look Back at Her Worst Bias

AP’s Dave Bauder reported this morning that CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric would be leaving that post. An exact departure date was not announced, but Couric’s contract with CBS News is set to expire on June 4, 2011, although Bauder suggested that if Couric strikes a deal with CBS for a syndicated daytime talk show, she might stay on temporarily if there was “an extended search for her successor.”

The Media Research Center has just updated our “Profile in Bias” recounting the liberal slant that Couric promoted as CBS Evening News anchor. (An earlier report covered the bias she conveyed as a longtime co-host of NBC’s Today). Here are some of the choicer examples from her disastrous tenure at CBS:

Tea Party = “Moderate Republicans” an “Endangered Species”

“The party crashers. Big primary victories by fringe candidates open a rift in the GOP....After big victories this week by candidates of the Tea Party, the Grand Old Party is in turmoil....Does this mean moderate Republicans are becoming an endangered species?”
— Katie Couric on the September 16, 2010 CBS Evening News.

“We went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and talked with independent voters who helped President Obama win that battleground state two years ago....There was unanimous agreement in this group, the Tea Party isn’t their cup of tea.”
— Couric on the October 14, 2010 CBS Evening News.

Fearing Cuts that Are “Too Deep”

“Republicans say high on their priority list is deficit reduction, starting with major cuts in domestic spending this year. Fiscally conservative freshmen say everything’s fair game. But is there danger in your view, Congressman [Allen] West, that the ax will be too sharp, that the cuts will be too deep?”
— Couric during panel discussion with freshmen members of Congress, CBS Evening News, January 5, 2011.

We Need “Muslim Version of The Cosby Show”

“Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show. I know that sounds crazy, I know that sounds crazy. But The Cosby Show did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of what they don’t understand – like you, Mo.”
— Couric talking to comedian Mo Rocca on her @katiecouric web show, December 22, 2010.

"There is a debate to be had about the sensitivity of building this center so close to Ground Zero. But we can not let fear and rage tear down the towers of our core American values."
— Katie Couric on Ground Zero mosque for "Katie Couric's Notebook" on Couric & Co. blog, August 23, 2010.

Shaking Her Pom-Poms for Obama
"You're so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, 'Damn, this is hard. Damn, I'm not going to get the things done I want to get done, and it's just too politicized to really get accomplished the big things I want to accomplish'?"
— Couric in an exchange with Obama shown on CBS's The Early Show, July 22, 2009.

"The 'Dream Team' pushing Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic summer games is nearly complete. First Lady Michelle Obama landed today in Denmark where Olympic officials are meeting....The team captain, meanwhile, President Obama, arrives Friday ahead of the final vote."
— Evening News, September 30, 2009.

ObamaCare Can't Come Soon Enough
"More than 46 million Americans have no health insurance. So when it comes to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and good health, all men are not created equal."
— Couric, Evening News, March 12, 2007.

"I feel like right now, in many ways, we're a very angry nation....Maybe I'm naive and idealistic, but you would hope that there could be some conversations taking place where people, you know, really respected one another and talked about the different goals that they had, because I think providing health care for people who can't afford it is something that most people do agree with — that there has to be some kind of alternative other than our national, our nation's emergency rooms for people who need health care. And I read somewhere — I think it was in The New Yorker — that 45,000 people died needlessly because they simply don't have access to health care, and that just seems so unfair and so undemocratic.”
— Couric in a December 22, 2009 Facebook video chat. The statistic Couric cited, which she also touted on the September 17, 2009 Evening News, was generated by the left-wing Physicians for a National Health Program.

America Needs a Hug From Big Government
“In Britain, a government takeover of a bank last year helped to temporarily calm fears in the financial markets there. Nationalization may have a psychological impact as well, and Uncle Sam wrapping his arms around failing banks in this country might provide a big dose of confidence for the American consumer."
— Couric on the February 19, 2009 Evening News, talking about the Obama administration possibly taking over American banks.

Pressuring Opponents to Join Obama's Revolution

"A recent CBS News poll shows that 53 percent of the American people fully backs the stimulus package, 63 percent of people we polled thought the Republican opposition to the stimulus package was for political reasons. So, are you out of touch with the American people?...Do you think the Republicans are digging themselves in a hole by not being more supportive of the President’s proposals?"
— Couric interviewing Republican House Leader John Boehner on the February 24, 2009 Evening News.

"President Obama made an in-person appeal to House Republicans to vote for his economic stimulus plan, but it didn't work. Not a single Republican joined the majority Democrats tonight as the House passed the more than $800 billion package....Chip, as you mentioned, I mean, the President went up to the Hill to personally appeal to Republicans already, so what more can he do?"
— Couric on the January 28, 2009 Evening News.

Fretting Over Too Much Support for Iraq War
Katie Couric: "[Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice] rejects the notion that the U.S. is a bully, imposing its values on the world."
Condoleezza Rice: "What's wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very liberties and freedoms that we enjoy?"
Couric: "To quote my daughter, 'Who made us the boss of them?'"
— Evening News, September 24, 2006.

"I think it's one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism. And I think there was a sense of pressure from corporations who own where we work and from the government itself to really squash any kinds of dissent or any kind of questioning of it. I think it was extremely subtle but very, very effective."
— Couric talking about the run-up to the war in Iraq on the Early Show, May 28, 2008.

She is Woman, Hear Her Roar

"One of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media. Many women have made the point that if Senator Obama had to confront the racist equivalent of an 'Iron My Shirt' poster at campaign rallies, or a Hillary nutcracker sold at airports, or mainstream pundits saying they instinctively cross their legs at the mention of her name, the outrage would not be a footnote. It would be front-page news."
— Couric in her "Katie Couric's Notebook" video commentary posted on CBSNews.com, June 10, 2008.

Praising the Great 'Goreacle'

"Also in Washington today, a lot of excitement on Capitol Hill. A movie star showed up to testify before Congress – a movie star named Al Gore."
— Evening News, March, 21, 2007.
"He was once called 'Mr. Stiff.' Now he's known as 'The Goreacle,' the new Al Gore....Sharyn Alfonsi reports on Gore 2.0."
— Evening News, May 25, 2007.

"I'm honored to be joined today by the Godfather of Green, the King of Conservation: Former Vice President Al Gore."
— Couric opening her November 2, 2009 "@KatieCouric" CBSNews.com webcast.

Christianity is Just Too Divisive
“Do you worry at all that non-believers may feel excluded and diminished at a time when we’re so divided about so much?”
— Couric to The Nativity Story’s Catherine Hardwicke and Mike Rich in a December 4, 2006 Evening News story about Hollywood movies based on Biblical themes.

"He [Pope Benedict XVI] is very conservative. And I know a recent poll says 62 percent of Catholics believe the church isn't reflective of their views. Does that mean entertaining issues like women as priests or use of birth control will be really off the table as long as he's Pope?"
— Couric to Father Thomas Williams on the April 15, 2008 Evening News.
John Edwards: A Profile in Courage
"Agree with him or not, he [John Edwards] deserves credit for pushing tough issues off the back burner. He encouraged his fellow Democrats to speak out for the disenfranchised and under-served. He was the first to raise issues like poverty, universal health care and climate change, proposing big ideas — sometimes controversial ideas — to meet big challenges. He bucked the conventional wisdom and took political risks, speaking honestly about why he wanted to raise taxes, for example. That took courage."
— Couric in a January 30, 2008 "Katie Couric’s Notebook" video posted to CBSNews.com a few hours after Edwards quit the presidential race.

— Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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