Katie Couric: Nicolle Wallace 'Brings a Lot of Credibility Because She's Not Hyper-Partisan'

August 17th, 2020 4:29 PM

Los Angeles Times TV writer Stephen Battaglio snagged an interview with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, now hosting two hours of liberal talk TV on MSNBC. We’ll get to the interview in a second, but this quote is spit-take bizarre. Katie Couric says Wallace is not “hyper-partisan.”

She brings a lot of credibility because she’s not hyper-partisan, and viewers respond to that,” said Katie Couric, who during her stint as anchor of the CBS Evening News featured Wallace as a Republican analyst. “She brings a different perspective to the MSNBC lineup.”

No. She doesn’t. She brings the same hyper-partisan perspective as every other hour of the MSNBC lineup. It's why she's Rachel Maddow's favorite "Republican." She just has a different background.

Then Battaglio focused on what went wrong for poor Nicolle on The View. It wasn’t Whoopi Goldberg.

“The only thing better than one hour with Nicolle Wallace is two — it just makes you smarter,” The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg said in an email to The Times.

It was, instead, the tornado known as Rosie O’Donnell, who has made it clear over the years that she doesn’t tolerate anything resembling an opposite point of view. Wallace had established herself as pro-Clinton and pro-Obama. Wallace tries to say it wasn’t contentious – and she seemed quite agreeable to liberals on set – but that doesn’t mean an intolerant leftist didn't eventually erupt. That's what we can guess from the "make peace" comments here.  

Is a show that’s as contentious as The View really helpful for political discourse?

Well, I think the problem was it wasn’t contentious that season I was on. Being fired from a TV show where you think you’re kind of baring your soul feels personal because it is. It’s like being broken up with. Because I never worked in entertainment I think what I didn’t understand is: It really was a casting, and it was a casting they didn’t like.

I sought to make peace with Rosie O’Donnell and Rosie Perez [then co-hosts on The View]. I had such a special friendship with Whoopi Goldberg — the first human being who I have ever heard say out loud, in the summer of 2015 — "[Trump] is going to be a president, guys.” I remember whipping my head around and looking at her.

PS: Wallace seemed quite conflicted when Battaglio asked her to evaluate Palin's advice to Kamala Harris on Instagram: well, it's insightful, but she's a paranoid nut? 

That actually is pretty insightful. I mean, she meant to pour more gasoline on what she views as her grievances about the [2008] campaign. That speaks to Palin’s paranoia, which is fascinating and still intact. But there’s probably some kernel of good advice in there. I think no one knows what it’s like to suddenly be thrust under the klieg lights like Palin was ... . Now, Kamala Harris is a totally different kind of candidate than Sarah Palin. She’s not paranoid or angry. She’s different in every single way. But there’s probably some kernel of wisdom in sort of keeping your own people around you.

Truth alert: Nicolle Wallace was not Palin's "own people." It's not an accident that Couric picked up Nicolle Wallace as an analyst after Couric won awards for her interview ripping Palin in 2008.