Journalist Katie Couric was called out by her old network for violating a “cardinal rule of journalism” Tuesday as she admitted she should have included full remarks she omitted from an interview where Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized national anthem kneelers.
Couric wrote in her new memoir that she sought to “protect” Ginsburg, who died last year, during their 2016 interview after Ginsburg made disparaging remarks to her about progressives like Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem. Returning to her old stomping grounds at NBC’s “Today,” Couric was pressed by anchor Savannah Guthrie over violating a “cardinal rule of journalism.”
“I think what people don’t realize is we make editorial decisions like that all the time,” Couric said, saying she included it in the book to generate discussion. “I did include the fact she said it was dumb and disrespectful.”
Couric, who called herself a “big RBG fan” in her book, said she wished she’d asked Ginsburg a follow-up to clarify her comments or just run the entire answer without omission. Couric omitted that Ginsburg had said the protesters showed “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”
Guthrie continued to press her, noting Couric shed her “objectivity” by admitting she wanted to “protect” the left-wing icon.
“The question is whether that undermines journalism at a time when reporters are under attack for bias like that,” Guthrie said.
“I think the more we can be transparent about the decisions we make and the more we can say, ‘maybe that wasn’t the right one’ …” Couric said, before Guthrie asked if she’d done the right thing.
“Ultimately, I think I should have included it, but I also think it’s really important to look at what I did include,” Couric said.
Ginsburg had to release a statement after the interview to say she had been overly harsh and dismissive of national anthem protesters.
It’s not the first time Couric has been involved in a scandal involving editing. In 2016, Couric narrated and produced a documentary that falsely edited gun rights supporters to make them look dumbfounded by one of her questions about background checks. In reality, they immediately answered her question, and she and the pro-gun-control documentary’s director came under fire for pushing a misleading narrative.