Katie Couric's Palin Interview Prep

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As leaked satellite feeds go, the tape that surfaced Wednesday of Katie Couric preparing for her infamous 2008 interview with Sarah Palin seems fairly innocuous. Mainly Couric just compliments her producers, struggles to pronounce Wasilla, and makes fun of the Palin kids' names. But the apparent absence of red meat hasn't deterred Palin partisans from whipping themselves into the kind of frenzy only the hint of liberal bias can provoke.

  • Anti-Palin Agenda The editors of Conservatives4Palin argue the video is just more proof the press is deliberately trying to gloss over Palin's accomplishments as a politician.

It’s not just what was said by Couric in her discussion of Governor Palin, but also the way CBS framed the narrative of Governor Palin’s life in their story. The script covers moose burgers, her kids, her being a former beauty queen and being on the cover of Vogue. Sarah Palin was a sitting governor, and at that time, before the Obama campaign and their allies in the press spent months relentlessly smearing her good name, she had the highest approval ratings of any governor in the country. ... She was a tough CEO who went toe to toe with the Big Oil companies and fought to get the best deal for Alaskans, the resource owners she represented. And she did all of this as a woman from a modest background who was entirely self-made – without the benefit of a rich or influential father or husband.

  • The Class Factor Jeff Poor of NewsBusters says the video is "more evidence of an elitist vibe coming from the upper echelon of the mainstream media." Couric entered the interview, Poor argues, intent on taking "petty shots" at the expense of mentioning Palin's "professional credentials as mayor of Wasilla, a town Couric has trouble announcing, and her tenure as governor of Alaska."

  • Same Old Biases Ed Morrissey of Hot Air takes the position that while Couric's comments might not have been inflammatory, her dismissive attitude towards mooseburgers and snowmachines was indicative of the way the media presented Palin during the 2008 campaign.

Couric was hardly the only person to make a snide comment about the tradition of names in Palin’s family, and Sarah Palin herself talked about their efforts to find unique names for their children during the campaign. Couric may have been first, however, even if it was in a presumably off-air moment. People make similar comments about Hollywood celebrities and the names they select for their children, but that usually doesn’t extend to major network news anchors. The comments themselves aren’t an indictment as much as they are a window into the first biases that formed in Couric’s mind, to such an extent that she felt it necessary to share them with her co-workers — and why the McCain campaign bet badly on having Palin give her first major interview to CBS News.

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