Journalist Katie Couric, who’s been caught up in multiple editing scandals in her career, complained Monday that reported excerpts from her book had been “distorted” and “cherrypicked” to a degree that didn’t resemble her actual writing.
In an appearance on “The View,” Couric said she didn’t think her memoir “Going There” was particularly provocative, but the book has gained attention after her revelations that she believed female colleagues were angling for her job, sent warm texts to Matt Lauer while he was caught up in a sexual harassment scandal, and once edited out disparaging remarks by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about national anthem kneelers in an effort to “protect” the liberal icon.
“This book really has people going in circles,” host Whoopi Goldberg said, laughing.
“I didn’t think it was that provocative … It really isn’t if you read it,” Couric said. “I mean, to me it’s been sort of distorted, cherrypicked, twisted, and rewritten in a way that, to me, bears very little resemblance to what I wrote.”
Couric said it was fascinating to watch the coverage of the book unfold, and took a shot at the “media environment” by noting people who hadn’t read the entire book were writing about it.
Couric’s frustration with being taken out of context comes on the heels of a major revelation from the book, where she acknowledges that, as a “big RBG fan,” she excised a portion of Ginsburg’s response to a question she asked about NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others who first knelt during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality.
Over concern that Ginsburg had misunderstood the question, Couric claimed, she reached out to other journalists for advice and ultimately included a portion where the judge called such acts “dumb and disrespectful.” She was slammed by media critics for admitting, as a journalist, to wanting to “protect” a liberal public figure instead of airing her remarks unvarnished.
While Couric admitted to the Ginsburg edit, she was caught up in another editing scandal in 2016 involving a gun control documentary she produced.
The director of Couric’s documentary “Under The Gun” deliberately left out the response to one of Couric’s questions by a group of gun rights supporters, giving the false impression to viewers that they had been dumbfounded by her response. In reality, they had quickly responded to her query about background checks and had audio to prove it.
Couric said she stood by the editing decision under withering criticism, but she ultimately apologized.
In a message on the film’s website, she wrote she regretted not raising her initial concerns about the segment “more vigorously.”
“I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). My question to the VCDL regarding the ability of convicted felons and those on the terror watch list to legally obtain a gun, was followed by an extended pause, making the participants appear to be speechless,” she wrote. “When I screened an early version of the film with the director, Stephanie Soechtig, I questioned her and the editor about the pause and was told that a ‘beat’ was added for, as she described it, ‘dramatic effect,’ to give the audience a moment to consider the question. When VCDL members recently pointed out that they had in fact immediately answered this question, I went back and reviewed it and agree that those eight seconds do not accurately represent their response.”
The former “Today” and “CBS Evening News” host has been making the media rounds ahead of her memoir’s official release this week.
Couric went on to talk with “The View'” hosts about some of the book’s dishier portions, again explaining her decision on the Ginsburg edit and discussing her friendship and ultimate disappointment in Lauer over his career-ending sex scandal.
“I wanted it be genuine and really reflect my point of view and my feelings about things at any given time,” she said.
“It was very unvarnished and I appreciated that,” co-host Sunny Hostin said.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.