As you can see, the video shows Katie Couric preparing to go on the air on the day John McCain announced Governor Palin as his running mate. It shows some tantalizing hints of Couric’s attitude toward the Governor–when talking about first Trig, then Track, Couric says “where the hell do they get these [names]?…” At that point the producer running the sound board shut off the sound because he or she didn’t want to have Couric’s disdainful and contemptuous view of Governor Palin’s children captured on even an internal CBS tape that they never expected would see the light of day. You can tell this by the “OMG!” reaction of the CBS news employees who were in the control room as Couric said that about the Governor’s kids. This video also shows Couric taking a shot at female basketball players and at Governor Palin’s hometown, one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and the fifth largest city in Alaska.
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:
In July we found out that hundreds of leftist media members on Journolist were conspiring to alter the results of the 2008 elections in favor of far left radical Barack Obama. Now comes explosive video that Katie Couric was mocking Sarah Palin on the day she was announced as John McCain’s running mate.
Jeff Poor at Newsbusters:
Highlights include the following:
- Couric mocking Palin’s oldest son’s name: “Her oldest son, 19-year-old Track-Where the hell do they get these [names]?” [laughter] (1:09)
- “She hunts, fishes and eats moose burgers. Her parents, Sally and Chuck Heath, were out hunting caribou when they got the news. You can’t make this up – OK hold on a second. [laughter]” (1:43)
- “I’m saying I’m glad you took out the feminine side because you can be feminine and play basketball, right Jerry?” (1:59)
- Struggles with the pronunciation of the name of the town Wasilla. (4:05)
This isn’t the first time Couric has been caught on camera and the footage leaked out. In 2007, footage of Couric openly mocking her predecessor Dan Rather found its way on the Internet.
I am not surprised by this clip and Miss Couric comes off as rather small. Apparently it is common for Couric to espouse such views as the soundman repeatedly turns off the sound in mid-snark. We are not witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime act of professional indiscretion.
Lori Ziganto at Redstate:
Note the contempt dripping from her voice when talking about Sarah Palin’s town of Wasilla – one of those pesky bitterly clinging small towns, I suppose. She also mocks the names of the Palin children. You see, politicians’ children are only off limits if you dig their sweet, sweet liberal policy. And, if you don’t think their mom is icky, in which case it is then totally cool to mock children and make them the butt of jokes. She then continues in her oh-so-professional way, perhaps learned from JournoList members, to insult female basketball players. She’s heard jeeringly asking someone off camera “you can be feminine and play basketball, right Jerry?” Perhaps she’s projecting her own insecurities, what with Couric’s own unfortunate hairdo and all. Even her own staff seems to have been taken aback by the volume of her disdain and you can hear someone gasping off camera and another staffer appears to have cut off her sound.
The final product actually wasn’t much better. While it wasn’t outright cattiness, like in the above video, it was still full of veiled disdain. Palin’s professional achievements were only mentioned in a cursory manner and the piece focused more on moose-burgers, beauty pageants and Vogue covers. As usual, that’s an attempt to push the not serious, dum-dum narrative that the press wants people to believe about Sarah Palin. From Day One, the media strove to demean and diminish Palin and it never stopped. We also know that some members of the Press, those in on the infamous JournoList, actually conspired and colluded to do so.
Couric was hardly the only person to make a snide comment about the tradition of names in Palin’s family, and Sarah Palin herself talked about their efforts to find unique names for their children during the campaign. Couric may have been first, however, even if it was in a presumably off-air moment. People make similar comments about Hollywood celebrities and the names they select for their children, but that usually doesn’t extend to major network news anchors. The comments themselves aren’t an indictment as much as they are a window into the first biases that formed in Couric’s mind, to such an extent that she felt it necessary to share them with her co-workers — and why the McCain campaign bet badly on having Palin give her first major interview to CBS News.
In the wake of the Sherrod disaster, it’s also worth pointing out that this is an edited clip; there is at least one cut in this video, and quite obviously we don’t have everything Couric said off air for context. It’s entirely possible that Couric also made approving comments about Palin at other moments on that day, which either didn’t get captured or were cut out. Likely? Well …
We have contacted both CBS and Governor Palin’s staff for comment on this tape, and will update if we receive any statements.
Update: CBS has an official non-statement statement on the clip through a CBS News spokesperson: “It must be a slow news day for this video to be getting so much attention.” We’re hearing from other sourcing that CBS isn’t disputing that this is Couric in an off-air setting, and that they won’t pursue how it got out.