Perhaps it was because I caught sight of my print-out of Katie Couric’s inteview, with the CBS Anchor’s questions highlighted, after my phone interview yesterday with Carly Fiorina that I linked the two exchanges in my mind. In both cases, individuals with a bias interviewed accomplished women running for federal office, albeit one (namely myself) has a considerably smaller audience.
That’s not the only difference. I acknowledge my bias, having put it out there that I’m a conservative blogger who supports Carly Fiorina’s bid for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate. Failing to acknowledge what a comparison of her interviews with the two rival candidates for the Vice Presidency last fall so readily reveals, Miss Couric shows an incredible lack of integrity.
To confirm this hypothesis (my recollection of her tougher questioning of the Republican), I went back and reviewed her interview with the 2008 Democratic nominee for Vice President,* even printing out the transcript (which is incomplete, not reflecting the entirety of the interview, only that which CBS broadcast). And while, in her interview with Sarah Palin, that left-leaning anchor asked tough questions, sometimes asking the then-Republican Vice-Presidential nominee to defend GOP policies against left-wing talking points, she tossed softballs to Biden.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s entirely appropriate for a “reporter” to ask tough questions of elected officials and those aspiring to elected office. But, if you’re going to put yourself forward as an even-handed purveyor of the news, then you should be asking tough questions of officials (and candidates) on both sides of the political aisle. Instead, she asked Biden, “How is it preparing for the debates?” She didn’t ask him about his views on various issues, only about the campaign itself. She didn’t ask him to detail legislation Barack Obama supported that might have forestalled the market meltdown last fall.
And she didn’t follow up on any of his lame answers, particularly when he talked about FDR going on television when the market crashed. (Maybe her knowledge of history was as lacking as Joe’s.)
Katie Couric asked far tougher questions of Sarah Palin than she did of Joe Biden. And that’s fine. But, if she’s going to hold the Repubilcan and Democratic nominees to the same office to two different standards, she shouldn’t put herself forward as a non-partisan journalist, but as a partisan one.
Had she acknowledged her biases, she might see her audience share drop far more rapidly than it has been dropping. And she would have had as much chance to interview Sarah Palin as I have of interviewing Barbara Boxer.
Ah, there are perils of acknowledging your political inclinations. But, at least, we have our honor, something that doesn’t seem much of a concern to Katie Couric.
*having previously reviewed her interview with his Republican counterpart.