Unlike Soft Hillary Interviews, Katie Couric Pushes Lynne Cheney for Plamegate Answer

In a mostly nice interview with the Vice President's wife this morning, Today co-host Katie Couric had to go from Lynne Cheney's new book on history to current events, the touchy investigation of White House staff telling reporters about Valerie Plame's CIA job, with all liberal media eyes currently on the Vice President and his staff. This is NOT how she interviews Hillary Clinton. Asked Couric: "Let me ask you real quickly about what's going on, what's making history right now and obviously there's this investigation into the CIA and I know you're not at liberty to discuss it but John Tierney in the New York Times wrote about the fact that this is just really hardball politics at work. Do you think that's the case? That it's, it's more of a political thing that's going on rather than a legal issue?" Mrs. Cheney declined to answer. She also asked Mrs. Cheney to address the possibility that "there might be sexism at work" in criticism of Harriet Miers. Mrs. Cheney disagreed. Let's just pick one example of Katie Couric interviewing Hillary Clinton and skipping the scandal beat. On October 23, 1997, the Senate hearings looking into illegal Democratic fundraising during the 1996 election cycle were wrapping up, and Mrs. Clinton arrived to talk about child care. Mrs. Clinton did have connections to scandal figure Johnny Chung among others (who loved hanging around in her office), but Katie largely stuck to about child care, in a mostly liberal way. Scandal was not worth a question. In that interview her second-to-last, off-the-subject question was about her stellar approval rating:

You continue to talk about issues you care deeply about, particularly regarding women, families, and children but you certainly have not taken such a high profile policy making role since your health care reform efforts were unsuccessful and your job approval, I understand, is at an all time high, by one poll a whopping 67 percent. Do you interpret that as Americans simply are not ready to have a First Lady in such a high profile public policy role?"

Don't forget Matt Lauer's interview with Mrs. Cheney last November, when he compared George Washington's colonial army to the Iraqi terrorists (they're both insurgents on a mission). Mrs. Cheney quickly argued the difference is one army was on the side of freedom, and one wasn't. Lauer argued "the insurgents [in Iraq] believe they're fighting for a cause as well. They don't believe any less than we believe." Lynne Cheney called that "awfully relativistic." (Click here to watch a RealPlayer clip of that exchange, a runner-up in the MRC's annual "DisHonors Awards.")

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis