“Youthful Folly”: Katie Couric Under Fire For Deleting Ginsburg Quotes Against NFL Kneelers

We have been discussing the implications of the rising advocacy journalism movement where reporters actively frame or omit facts to achieve social or political agendas. This week there is an astonishing story about the suppression of newsworthy facts by a leading journalist, Katie Couric. Notably, Couric outed herself in her new memoir by recounting how she cut out a quote from the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a 2016 interview concerning the kneelers at NFL games. What is even more troubling is that journalists like New York Times columnist David Brooks allegedly encouraged her to do so.In the interview, Ginsburg seemed to surprise Couric by saying that the kneelers were “dumb and disrespectful.” Couric then pushes her to say that they still have a first amendment right to protest.  In reality, the right to protest as an employee of a private employer is limited.
Ginsburg then said that the players show a “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.” She added that “they probably could not have lived in the places they came from…as they became older they realize that this was youthful folly. And that’s why education is important.”
That is a major news item coming from the “Notorious RBG,” a liberal icon. However, Couric claims she was trying to “protect” Ginsburg from herself by burying the quote. The fear was that Ginsburg would become the “Infamous RBG” if the quote came out. After all, at the time, President Donald Trump was slamming the demonstration and some Democrats even suggested impeaching him for his NFL remarks. This would be major news and Couric acknowledges that fact. Notably, in rationalizing a decision to bury a major news item, Brooks allegedly maintained that Ginsburg probably did not understand the question. It is a remarkable spin since, if she did not understand that question, how did she understand the other questions? The answers to the other questions were consistent with the expected news narrative. This controversy comes after the ACLU edited a famous quote from Ginsburg to remove references to women — deemed sexist by the ACLU.
The fact is that Couric was burying a major news story to protect Ginsburg. Imagine the response if Ginsburg was seen as exposing sentiments similar to those of Trump, who was being denounced as a racist for such criticism.  The solution by Couric was to run with a dishonest interview that deleted the most newsworthy element. It is also unlikely that Couric would not have shown the same consideration for another justice like Thomas or Alito. We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools. This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll has denounced how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that the journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.”  Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”The Couric story arose in the same week that Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed reporters for “not doing a better job” in selling the $3.5 trillion spending bill. It was an embarrassing moment for the media as Pelosi said that they needed to push positive elements and aspects of the bill.

The Couric interview captures the essence of advocacy journalism. Couric chose the narrative over the news.  In doing so, she did a disservice to both journalism and the law. This was not “youthful folly” by Couric. It was advocacy masquerading as journalism.


52 thoughts on ““Youthful Folly”: Katie Couric Under Fire For Deleting Ginsburg Quotes Against NFL Kneelers”

  1. A key part of the problem with journalism is that Katie Couric is considered to be a journalist.

    I defer to the British who have this corner of the “journalism” world sized up correctly — Katie Couric is a “newsreader.”

    1. The appropriate term to use in this case is “presstitute,” a word that I thought I coined back in the 1980s. I used it in an opinion piece published in a newspaper in the mid-1990s. According to Wikipedia, however, Gerald Celente cointed the term, but as with much of Wikipedia, that information is false since Celente did not begin to use it until more than a decade after my published piece. In any event, I’ve since learned that I was not the first person to use the term “presstitute” in a published article. Famed newspaper columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) used the term “presstitute” as early as 1941, which I did not learn about until more recent years, as databases for newspapers going back to the 1940s didn’t exist in the 1980s when I first thought I coined the term. Please feel free to use the term, as it’s even more useful today to accurately describe the current status of many “journalists” than it was when I first thought of it.

  2. The irony of her choice to deny Ginsburg’s dignity and agency, and reduce her to a negotiable asset in order to normalize a handmade tale.

    1. Someone please introduce this wordsmith-cum-critical-mass to the incommodities addressed by the “Fog Factor.”

  3. “Couric then pushes her to say that they still have a first amendment right to protest. In reality, the right to protest as an employee of a private employer is limited.”
    Yes, but ‘reality’ for the lefties is what *they* say it is, silly.

    Here’s another ‘reality’…..Katie Couric is a no-talent, horrible voice, self-promoter who used her ‘cutesy-schtick’ to make her way to the top of her game, only to be exposed as the over-rated, total phony, ruthless snake, hack journo she is –and always was.

    1. a twit that couldn’t tie RGB’s shoelaces, “fixing” her words

      Yes, my immediate reaction. Who in the media would think they had the education, experience, accomplishments, to play gate keeper to RGB’s words.
      Lawyers in general, and for sure Judges, consider themselves the zenith of language mastery. I would need to be around a lawyer for quite a while before if would consider engaging in a battle of words with one.

      Lets not forget, Obama’s top advisor noted that journalist are all idiots, they know absolutely nothing. I have yet to see anything to disprove that statement.

  4. Who the heck is Katie Couric to edit RBG, concealing her opinions? That’s propaganda, not journalism. Again.

    Not even Ruth Bader Ginsburg was immune from a media on a mission.

  5. I don’t think it is accurate to characterize Katie Couric as a “leading journalist.” Indeed, her omission demonstrates that she is not a journalist at all. A real journalist would have emphasized it, possible to show depth of character.

  6. It seems to me that if she actually thought she did not understand the question (she obviously did) shouldn’t the headline have questioned RBG’s continued competency to sit on the bench? You know, the place where really complex questions and answers occur?

  7. And Progressives wonder why America is rejecting THEM and their lying media flaks??? They lie to us, they withhold the truth, and they embellish their Regressive progressive agenda. Katie is and was a joke. She knew about Matt Lauer and shut her mouth. She is an enabler. I hope her book craters.

    1. She lied in her Gun Control Documentary, and tried to make gun owners look like they are dumb. The only dumb people are the ones who take anything that comes out of this woman as truth. I am loving watching Progressives fall….and hope they scurry away and hide under the rocks they came from.

  8. As we see daily, the narrative shall never suffer due to facts. That is all the propaganda media to. Drive a pre determined narrative. Altering facts, inventing facts, hiding facts. That’s all they do with any story.

  9. Couric is a lying pissant liberal and she just proved it with her Nazi style reporting.

  10. “Couric chose the narrative over the news. In doing so, she did a disservice to both journalism and the law. This was not “youthful folly” by Couric. It was advocacy masquerading as journalism.”

    Don’t they all? RBG wasn’t as radical as they wanted so they cleaned her up. There’s some evidence that Granny saw the error of her liberal ways at the end but we’ll never know for sure.

  11. I contend that Couric wasn’t “protecting” RBG, she was protecting Colin Kaepernick and protecting the left against Trump. Trump and conservatives were angry with the kneelers and the left was putting them on a pedestal. If the legendary RBG disagreed with the left and the kneelers it would shatter their argument. point out how juvenile and banal the “statement” is and render the “protest” over.

    Couric was protecting the anti-Trump left, the America Last movement and the popular at the moment rage because Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sacrosanct at the time and if she took a position that aligned with Trump the left would not have known what to do.

    1. No one? This is a factual error. I trust the MSM, at least most of the time. I am certain I am not alone in this.

      1. Well, there are always a certain percentage of people who are either fools or are willfully blind.

      2. Randy Not only are you alone with the Dems, but you are like a lost ball in high weeds.

      3. True enough.

        It’s also true that there is a fine line between gullibility and buffoonery.

      4. Buffoons like this, and anyone getting a check from the government, must never be allowed to vote. Haitians, for example, will be participating in American elections soon and they will vote to perpetuate their generous welfare benefits and entitlements. The American Founders would never have allowed them in, and would never have allowed them to vote.

  12. The NFL continues to be “dumb and disrespectful” but they don’t have the market cornered!

  13. Yeah, there’s no excuse for her desperate clutching at relevance. This is what happens in a society, though, when people with 500 Twitter followers think they are ‘famous’ and/or have accomplished anything whatsoever. At the moment, our society is sicker than it’s ever been.

  14. Couric earned her failures and now she is tossing barbs in every direction. Nobody will want her or risk having her.

    But she is a stirling example of our corrupt media.

  15. “’Youthful Folly’: Katie Couric Under Fire For Deleting Ginsburg Quotes Against NFL Kneelers”

    – Professor Turley

    Not youthful folly, deliberate communist propaganda.

    “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

    – Vladimir Lenin

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