Couric Blog: Proud of Pelosi, Ashamed of Virginia

The blog "Couric & Co." at CBSNews.com has transformed from mostly Katie to mostly other CBS personnel in the last few weeks. On Monday, Couric writer (and former CNN anchor) Mary Alice Williams recounted how the ascent of Nancy Pelosi was a "very big deal" and went a little overboard about how much better women were:

The picture alone demonstrated what a difference her leadership will make. Instead of a lone male gaveling Congress into session, here was a female surrounded by children. Women, in ways far different from men, represent families.

Williams wrote that her 16-year-old daughter Alice was there to witness history, courtesy of her congressman (no name or party affiliation attached). She also made it seem likely that she's the one who wrote for Couric that it's taken too long: "In helping women gain true equality in every aspect of life, Susan B. Anthony always said 'failure is impossible.' Today the only quibble she might have is that it took so long." Last week, Couric complained about objections to incoming Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota being sworn in on the Koran, and proclaimed embarrassment she's from the same state as Rep. Virgil Goode:

America is, of course, a profoundly religious country. But it comes as a surprise to many people that America is about the only nation founded without one dominant kind of faith. The Founders believed that every religion should be practiced without prejudice. So it’s disappointing today that a new member of the House of Representatives continues to be attacked simply for practicing his faith. Keith Ellison, an African-American Islamic convert from Minnesota, announced that he would take his oath of office with a Koran rather than a Bible—actually, a Koran that belonged to that famous anti-American Thomas Jefferson, who collected texts from many religions. Congressman Virgil Goode of Mr. Jefferson’s Virginia (my home state—which, in this case, I’m embarrassed to say) announced that he wouldn’t touch the Koran, wants to prevent Muslims from immigrating to this country, and strongly implied that Muslims can’t represent American values. It’s hard to see how these position are helpful to winning the war on terror—which requires that the vast majority of Muslims, who are moderate, and practice what President Bush has called “a religion of peace,” believe that America is attacking terrorists and not them. Keith Ellison, who can trace his US ancestry back to 1741, refuses to attack Virgil Goode. He condemns the use of terrorism. Shouldn’t Ellison be held up as an example of America’s tolerance and pluralism, not insulted for being different?

Katie can't seem to acknowledge that you can trace Keith Ellison's Islamic roots to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. During his period as "Keith Ellison-Muhammad," he routinely defended Farrakhan against charges of anti-Semitism. When it became an issue in his congressional race, he apologized and reached out to the Jewish community. Then there's his support from the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), which has associations with terrorism. Shouldn't that background be investigated by Couric the journalist before she starts holding him up as a role model for tolerance and against terror?

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