Katie Couric on Bush: 'A Lot More Facile With Information' Than Americans Knew

"CBS Evening News" Anchor Katie Couric asserted in a Daily Beast interview on Thursday that former President George W. Bush "felt a lot more relaxed and was a lot more facile with information and details and policy than I think probably the American people gave him credit for and were exposed to." (The journalist was referring to lunches that she attended prior to Bush announcing the troop surge in Iraq.)

It's possible that Couric meant "facile" as a compliment. In the introduction to the piece, columnist Lloyd Grove referenced the issues the anchor would be discussing, including "why George W. Bush is smarter than you think." However, facile, which means superficial or simplistic, is generally not used in a positive manner. In the wide ranging interview, which appeared on Tina Brown's new website, the CBS journalist also described Barack Obama as making an effort to be the "anti-Bush" with his apology over the resignation of Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle.

In a lighter moment, Grove asked the former "Today" host if she could tell when someone is lying to her. "Apparently not," said the laughing Couric, in a reference to the fact that baseball player Alex Rodriguez denied using steroids to her, only to admit it later.

Couric also seemed to compare herself to legendary CBS personality Edward R. Murrow. When questioned about doing entertainment-related pieces on "Evening News" show, she replied, "Edward R. Murrow interviewed Liberace, Marilyn Monroe, and a whole host of people on Person to Person. I don’t think anyone ever questioned his credibility."

At one point, Grove pressed Couric on reports that she makes $22 million a year and not $15 million. She coyly replied, "Really?" This prompted Grove to retort, "Let me give you my Larry David stare," referring to the inquisitive scowl given by the aforementioned comedian on his hit HBO show "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The CBS anchor claimed ignorance, exclaiming, "Haha, wow, who’s that?" She then denied the report.

To read the entire interview, see the Daily Beast.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org