[Please note that I revised this piece after first publishing. I added no new information, merely improved the flow. I had first written it in haste before rushing off to my Seder, then upon returning from that festive meal, read it through and found it choppy, so did my best to correct that.]
Last October, commenting on the media bias against the then-Republican Vice Presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich offered that “to the best of [his] knowledge there has been a single question by an elite television journalist about [the Governor’s] actual career in Alaska.”
The media spent more time investigating her daughter’s indiscretions than her actual record in office. Indeed, when she interviewed the Alaska Governor, CBS News Anchor Katie Couric did not ask Palin about her accomplishments. Not about what the policies she had promoted or enacted, the budget she had administered or the corruption she had rooted out.
You’d think a woman might want to know how another woman brought down three corrupt male politicians, all in her own party. But, Couric showed no interest in how this hockey mom had faced down and brought down some of the most powerful men in her state.
Instead of faulting Couric for this oversight, a journalism school is honoring her. A week from today, the University of Southern California’s “Annenberg School for Communication will be presenting CBS ‘Evening News’ anchor Katie Couric with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Journalism:”
. . . what makes this situation so particularly galling is the specific reason why Couric is being honored for her “excellence in journalism.” Couric is being presented with the award for “Special Achievement for National Impact on the 2008 Campaign.”
What was it that Couric did that was so “special”? The judges singled her out solely for “her extraordinary, persistent and detailed multi-part interviews with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.”
Singled out for posing numerous gotcha questions and editing the tape to the candidate’s disadvantage? Singled out for one series of interviews with one particular candidate?!?! The judges failed to mention Couric’s interview with Joe Biden when that hapless Democrat showed he was clueless about the Great Depression. But, no one paid any attention to Biden’s embarrassing answer.
I guess this panel determined excellence in journalism involved reporting in a manner which embarrasses a Republican. It goes unnoticed when you embarrass a Democrat.
John Ziegler, who, in reporting the story of this award, provides numerous links which put Palin’s statements in the Couric interview in context. So dissecting Couric’s “agenda-driven” reporting, he concluded:
It is obvious that Couric is being rewarded for the political result of her interview “the shooting down of a conservative superstar just in time to save the Obama campaign. It’s not about the “journalism’ at all. But even that truth is not the most outrageous aspect of this absurdity. What’s even more absurd is that not only shouldn’t Couric be getting rewarded for her Palin interview, if we lived in a world where journalistic standards still mattered at all, she would have been roundly condemned for it.
Indeed, she would. Instead of condemnation, she has earned praise. Not a happy sign for the state of journalism today, but at least we have one more piece of evidence to prove our point about the bias of mainstream journalism.