Katie Couric denies sabotaging female reporters, but says it’s ‘hard to be generous’

Journalist Katie Couric returned to NBC’s “Today,” where she spent 15 years as a morning anchor, to respond Tuesday to controversies surrounding her new memoir, such as how she didn’t trust some of her fellow female journalists.

In “Going There,” Couric wrote that mentoring female correspondents “sometimes felt like self-sabotage” because she feared they would eventually dethrone her. She singled out her former NBC colleague Ashleigh Banfield, suggesting the younger journalist, with help from her father, was trying to take her job.

“That hurt my feelings deeply,” Banfield said, denying Couric’s claims. “And I hope Ms. Couric corrects the record on that.”

Banfield said she still admired Couric and regretted she never wanted to become a mentor to her. In her sit-down with NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday, Couric appeared to push back on the assessment, saying she has mentored “scores” of women in the TV industry, waving at the camera and saying, “including in the control room – hi, ladies.”

Deborah Norville, another of Couric’s former colleagues, was left stung as well after the former “Today” anchor accused her of turning away viewers with her “relentless perfectionism.” Norville told the New York Post she was too “hurt” to comment on Couric’s assertions. The author said she wrote a lot of positive things about Norville as well and offered to send the book so she could have the entire context. 

Katie Couric smiling in New York City after releasing her new book Going There (Splash News)

Katie Couric smiling in New York City after releasing her new book Going There (Splash News)
(Splash News)

KATIE COURIC ADMITS SHE ‘PROTECTED’ RUTH BADER GINSBURG BY EDITING OUT DISPARAGING REMARKS ON ANTHEM KNEELERS

Guthrie confronted Couric more on the subject, asking if she ever “actively sabotaged” another female journalist. Couric said she “never” had that motive, with the caveat that she felt it was “hard to be generous” to other female journalists while worrying they were vying for her job.

FROM KATIE COURIC TO ‘60 MINUTES’: MAINSTREAM MEDIA’S MOST DECEPTIVE EDITS, MISLEADING FOOTAGE

“Sometimes you do get insecure and sometimes you do get territorial,” Couric said. “I think it’s human nature. I think anyone in a high-profile position, in a coveted spot. And I think even anyone outside the TV industry, both women and men have felt that occasionally. I just was honest enough to admit [what] I think.”

Katie Couric smiling in New York City after releasing her new book Going There

Katie Couric smiling in New York City after releasing her new book Going There
(Splash News)

Couric is also under fire for having admitted in her book that she selectively edited her 2016 interview with the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to “protect” her from backlash. Ginsburg had spoken negatively about professional athletes who knelt during the playing of the national anthem, but her full comments did not make it into Couric’s write-up of their conversation. Couric admitted Tuesday she should’ve included Ginsburg’s full take, but asked critics to take into consideration what she “did include.” She added that journalists make editorial decisions like this “all the time.”

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Couric said she was “conflicted” on what to do with Ginsburg’s comments, in part because she was a “big RBG fan.”

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