Katie Couric Still Proud of 'Unparalleled' Political Coverage at CBS, Agrees Sexism Could Have Hurt Her Ratings

In an interview for Sunday's Parade magazine, Katie Couric tried to sell her failed reign at CBS as proving she's a risk-taker. "If I had been offered a traditional newscast, I probably wouldn’t have gone, because it didn’t necessarily play to my strengths. I like interacting with people, having conversations."

Couric is still proud of her political coverage, including the one liberals have honored her most for, the Palin-roasting one in 2008: "I did the best job I could, and I think our political coverage was unparalleled. I started in third place [in the ratings]. We stayed in third place. And CBS still is in third place. It was tough, but it was character-building." Then Parade's Dotson Rader suggested sexism might have ruined Couric at CBS:

PARADE: Do you think one reason it didn’t work was that men still feel threatened by powerful women?

COURIC: I think men and women do sometimes. But you can’t pin everything on that. Our culture has become very vitriolic, where there is some kind of perverse pleasure in seeing people fail. And now there are so many more outlets to spew that vitriol.

Does she mean gossip sites? Or...maybe a few media watchdog blogs? Rader also brought out Couric the feminist by talking about anchorwoman catfights:

PARADE: There has been speculation of a rivalry between you and Diane Sawyer, who is also at ABC. ...

COURIC: Have you ever heard of two guys having a cat fight? I never hear stories of conflict between Bob Schieffer and David Gregory. Diane has always been great to me. Yes, we’ve been competitors, but she has been incredibly welcoming and gracious and wonderful to me since I came to ABC.

PARADE: How do you protect your daughters from the negative spillover?

COURIC: Well, I’ve been on television since they were born. This is what their mom does for a living. Off camera we have a pretty ordinary life. My kids—knock wood—have watched the way I live my life, and have, I think, really strong values. They’ve always been socially conscious.

Katie's not kidding about the "socially conscious" part. The profile began by reporting on her daughters:

"Carrie, 16, and Ellie, 21, whose mom is thrilled to share what they’ve been up to. “Carrie is in Laos building wells for villagers,” Couric says proudly, “and Ellie [who interned at HBO this summer] teaches kids at a New Haven school about safe sex. She’ll be a senior at Yale this fall.”

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