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Katie Couric

Overview

* Longtime news reporter and anchor with major television networks
* Abortion-rights activist
* Gun-control activist
* Praised the late Fidel Castro and Communist Cuba
* Supporter of Hillary Clinton
* Holds Donald Trump in contempt
* Supports Democratic Party candidates and agendas


Background

Katherine “Katie” Couric was born in Arlington, Virginia on January 7, 1957. Her father, John, worked as a public-relations executive and news editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the United Press International wire service. He later became a public relations writer for the National Association of Radio & Television Broadcasters, and he encouraged his daughter to pursue a career in broadcasting.

In 1979 Katie Couric graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in American Studies and became a desk assistant at ABC in Washington. After less than a year, she found work as an assignment editor in the Washington Bureau of the fledgling Cable News Network (CNN). After seeing her first on-camera reports, CNN President Reese Schonfeld told producers that he never wanted to see her on the air again.

Couric moved to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters as Assistant Producer of the network’s talk show Take Two, where she did on-camera political reporting during the 1984 presidential campaign, but found herself out of work after the election.

Couric then became a reporter at WTVJ in Miami and in 1986 returned to Washington, D.C. as a general assignment reporter for NBC-owned WRC-TV. When she asked the station’s news director about opportunities to anchor, she was advised to look for a “really small market somewhere.”

In Summer 1989, Couric accepted an NBC job for that season as a backup reporter at the Pentagon. Soon thereafter, she was hired as an NBC general assignment reporter by Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, who described her as “competent and unflustered.” During the 1989 U.S. incursion into Panama, Couric appeared regularly on NBC Nightly News and was soon acting as network weekend anchor.

Starting a 15-Year Stint As Co-Anchor of NBC’s Today Show

In May 1990 Couric accepted the newly created position of national correspondent on the network’s morning show, Today.

In 1991 she filled in when Today co-anchor Deborah Norville took maternity leave, a change that soon became permanent when NBC noticed that ratings increased because of Couric. Her tenure as co-anchor would run from April 5, 1991 to May 31, 2006.

When Couric got her job with NBC, her husband since 1989, attorney Jay Monahan, left the powerful D.C. political law firm Williams and Connolly to move to New York with Katie and work as a legal commentator on the NBC-Microsoft cable news network MSNBC.

Softball Questions for Hillary Clinton

Questioning Hillary Clinton on Today on April 2, 1992 — during the campaign season when Bill Clinton was running for president — Couric said: “Do you think the American people are ready for a First Lady who is that involved at a policy making level in the White House?…Some people say some not so flattering things about you. They say you’re the ‘power behind the throne,’ ‘overly ambitious.’ What’s your reaction to comments such as those?…Do you think those kinds of reactions, Mrs. Clinton, are the result of good, good old-fashioned sexism?”

In a similar spirit, Couric asked Mrs. Clinton on August 24, 1992: “Do you think the American people are not ready for a woman who is as accomplished and career-oriented as Hillary Clinton?”

Praising Fidel Castro and Cuba

Couric and NBC Today co-anchor Bryant Gumbel visited Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 1992. There, Couric praised Cuba’s “terrific health-care system” and described that nation’s standard of living as “very high for a Third World country.”

Whoopi Goldberg Reveals That Couric Has Been an Abortion-Rights Activist

On the September 29, 1997 episode of Today, Couric interviewed actress Whoopi Goldberg about her newly published memoir. During the course of their discussion, Goldberg spoke about the shock she had felt upon finding out that her own 14-year-old daughter was pregnant and had decided not to undergo an abortion. At that point in her conversation with Couric, Goldberg mentioned that she herself had marched in favor of abortion rights along with Ms. Couric in the past. Couric, in an effort to present herself as a journalist with a veneer of objectivity rather than as a political activist, attempted to deny Goldberg’s assertion about the newswoman’s participation in such a rally. The exchange went as follows:

 COURIC:  So you write about choice meaning what?

GOLDBERG: Well because, you know, when you get out there and you march, because we’ve marched together.

COURIC: [Feigning ignorance]: Noooo. I’m not allowed to do that. [She giggles]

GOLDBERG: [Embarrassed that she just revealed something that Couric wanted to hide] Oh, no that’s right. We have not marched together. It was somebody that looked like you. [Laughing] Uh, I forget where I am sometimes.

Couric’s Husband Dies

Couric’s husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer in January 1998, leaving Couric to raise the couple’s two young daughters. Couric responded by launching a public campaign to raise national awareness of this cancer, a campaign that included Couric allowing television viewers to watch the inner images of her own colonoscopy.

Couric & Gun Control

Two days after the March 24, 1998 mass shooting that killed 5 people at Westside Middle School in Craighead County, Arkansas (near the city of Jonesboro), Couric said to then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee: “Are you a proponent of the theory that somehow the fact that these school shootings have taken place in the South is indicative of a southern culture that, that might, I don’t know, be more permissive of this kind of activity or somehow encouraged by the acceptance of guns and hunting?”

On June 8, 1998, Couric had the following exchange with the National Rifle Association’s new president, Charlton Heston:

COURIC: Getting back to kids and guns, if you will indulge me for a moment. You cannot think of any other position the NRA could take in terms of trying to decrease the number of school shootings? You feel like this is not your bailiwick, this is not your problem?
HESTON: Not at all. As I told you, the NRA spends more money, more time…
COURIC (cutting him off): Other than education.
HESTON: Well what would you suppose? What would you suggest?
COURIC: I don’t know, perhaps greater restrictions.

During that same interview, Couric said to Heston: “Speaking of gun safety and children, Mr. Heston, as you well know and in fact as everyone in this country knows there has been a spate of school shootings recently that have been quite disturbing to all Americans. Given the fact that these seem to be happening with greater frequency, has it caused you to rethink your philosophy about children and guns and the accessibility of guns for children?”

Mischaracterizing an Author’s Description of Ronald Reagan

When opening the September 27, 1999 Today show, during which she was scheduled to interview the Ronald Reagan biographer Edmund Morris, Couric said: “Good morning. The Gipper was an airhead! That’s one of the conclusions of a new biography [titled Dutch] of Ronald Reagan that’s drawing a tremendous amount of interest and fire today.” (In reality, Morris had written that Reagan was “an apparent airhead” who was actually “a very bright man.”

Renewing Her Contract with NBC for 5 More Years

When Couric’s contract with NBC drew to a close in 2001, the newscaster profited greatly from a bidding war for her services. Don Hewitt, the executive producer of CBS‘s 60 Minutes, offered her a treasure trove of Viacom cash and opportunities, including her own talk show. AOL Time Warner made a similar offer that included giving Couric the show of departing comedienne Rosie O’Donnell. Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg tried to lure Couric to their movie company DreamWorks. NBC finally prevailed, signing Couric to a five-year deal worth at least $64 million, thereby boosting her annual pay from $7 million to nearly $13 million. With incentive provisions and syndication sales, the contract had the potential to earn Couric up to $100 million.

Couric’s Older Sister Dies

But 2001 was not an entirely happy year for Katie Couric. Her sister Emily, ten years her senior and the eldest of the three Couric sisters, died that year of pancreatic cancer.

Suggesting That President Bush Had Advance Knowledge of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

On May 16, 2002 edition of Today, Couric opened the program by saying: “Good morning. What did he know and when did he know it? The Bush Administration admits the President was warned in an intelligence briefing last summer of the possibility that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network might hijack American planes, raising more questions about whether the attacks on America could have been prevented.”

Asserting That Patriotism Can Seem Like “Arrogant Nationalism”

On October 8, 2002, Couric, in a discussion about the upcoming Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, said to Salt Lake Olympic Committee Creative Director Scott Givens: “Obviously, the opening ceremony, the games themselves will be very patriotic in feel. And yet sometimes the international community can interpret that as arrogant nationalism.”

Lamenting the “Sexism” That Hillary Clinton Faced As First Lady

On June 10, 2003, Couric asked Hillary Clinton vis-a-vis her years as First Lady: “But were you surprised at the backlash? The really vitriolic, violent backlash against you in many ways? Do you think it was good old-fashioned sexism?”

Claims That Couric Is an Imperious, Volatile Bully

Former Ladies’ Home Journal editor Myrna Blyth, in her 2004 book Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America, wrote that Couric “wants us to believe she’s just like us,” an image belied by the fact that Couric gets $550 haircuts and spends $7,500 each week on her personal trainer. In a March 18, 2004 Salon.com profile titled “The Cruella Syndrome,” journalist Rebecca Traister detailed stories of “Queen of Mean” Couric throwing temper tantrums on the set, bullying her staff, and using her influence to get people fired, mailroom boys and network executives alike.

Praising Hillary Clinton for Her Charisma & Popularity

On April 16, 2004 NBC’s Katie Couric on Dateline, Couric said about Hillary Clinton: “Whatever her aspirations, these days she seems to be the life of the party — the Democratic Party — and at times she’s received like a rock star. She works on economic development in upstate New York, gives foreign policy and civil rights speeches, shakes hand after hand, signs book after book.”

Couric the Multi-Millionaire Pretends to Be Affected by Rising Gasoline Prices

On August 15, 2005, Couric, who was earning approximately $15 million per year at the time, told NBC’s Today co-host Matt Lauer the following vis-a-vis rising gasoline prices: “It’s ridiculous. I had to take out a loan to fill up my minivan. It’s crazy.”

Leaving NBC & Going to CBS

In April 2006 Couric announced that she would be leaving NBC for CBS, to assume the duties of Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News, a move that would make her the first woman to anchor a U.S. network’s weekday evening newscast by herself. She would be paid approximately $15 million annually.

Couric Blames Sexism for Her Low Ratings at CBS

By early May 2007, however, viewership of the CBS Evening News was smaller than it had been at any time since at least 1987. The program’s ratings were consistently below those of its rival news programs on ABC and NBC, in all major markets.

In July 2008, Couric offered her opinion about why her ratings were so low: “I find myself in the last bastion of male dominance, and realizing what Hillary Clinton might have realized not long ago: that sexism in the American society is more common than racism, and certainly more acceptable or forgivable. In any case, I think my post and Hillary’s race are important steps in the right direction.”

In a similar vein, Couric said in a June 10, 2008 CBSNews.com online video commentary: “One of the great lessons of [Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential] campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media. Many women have made the point that if Senator [Barack] Obama had to confront the racist equivalent of an ‘Iron My Shirt’ poster at campaign rallies, or a Hillary nutcracker sold at airports, or mainstream pundits saying they instinctively cross their legs at the mention of her name, the outrage would not be a footnote. It would be front-page news.”

As the years and decades passed by thereafter, Couric continued to hold sexism responsible for her lack of success as the anchor of the CBS Evening News. During an October 19, 2021 television interview on NBC’s Today show, for instance, she said: “But I think the problem is probably I didn’t change enough when I went to CBS. I was more of a product of the Today show and NBC and I think it was a real culture clash. I don’t think people internally really accepted me. And I thought we were much further along when it came to sexism because I enjoyed such a great position at the Today show. I thought America was really ready for a female anchor of the Evening News. And I think we were just not as far along as I naively thought, I think.” Moments later, Couric added: “You know, I’m not sure if the country was ready for a female anchor. Maybe they weren’t just ready for me as a female anchor because of their perceptions of me.”

Lamenting That Many Illegal Aliens “No Longer Feel Welcome”

In May 2010, Couric introduced a report (by Kelly Cobiella) about a newly passed Arizona immigration law deputizing state police to check with federal authorities on the immigration status of any individuals whom they have stopped for some legitimate reason, if the behavior of those individuals — or the circumstances of the stop — were to cause the officers to suspect that those individuals might be in the United States illegally. In a story designed to evoke sympathy for an  “undocumented” Arizona couple who had given birth to ten children since coming to the U.S. illegally, and who were now heading to Colorado so as to avoid getting caught by immigration authorities, Couric lamented: “Nearly two out of three Americans see illegal immigration as a very serious problem. More than three quarters say the U.S. should do more to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the border. Hundreds of thousands of them now live in Arizona. But as Kelly Cobiella reports, many no longer feel welcome.”

Couric’s Admiration for Margaret Sanger

In May 2010, Catholic deacon Greg Kandra — who had worked at CBS during Couric’s tenure there, and who had edited the newswoman’s “Couric & Co.” blog —  responded to a Creative Minority Report (CMR) blog post that praised Ms. Couric, a vocal advocate of public subsidies for contraceptives, as a modern-day Margaret Sanger, the eugenics-endorsing founder of Planned Parenthood. Wrote Kandra:

CMR calls Katie a ‘modern Margaret Sanger.’ I know what CMR is talking about. And boy, do they have Katie nailed.

“True story. A few years ago, when Katie first came to CBS News, I worked as the editor of her blog ‘Couric & Co.’ One afternoon, I had a meeting with her in her office overlooking the CBS newsroom. […] On the back wall is a lovely, dramatic picture of Jackie Kennedy and her children. Other iconic women on the walls included Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Audrey Hepburn.  When Katie arrived for our meeting, I was admiring the pictures, but noticed one woman who was unfamiliar to me. ‘Who’s that?,’ I asked.

“‘Margaret Sanger,’ she replied. And I think that tells you everything you need to know.”

Joining ABC for $20 Million Per Year, but Her Program Fails

Couric left CBS in 2011 and subsequently signed a $20 million-per-year contract to host an ABC talk show. The program achieved dismally low ratings and was cancelled in 2013.

Couric’s Admiration for Pope Francis

In November of 2013, Couric told Gotham magazine that she greatly admired Pope Francis because “he’s been surprisingly forward thinking and outspoken.” In April 2015, she said in a similar spirit: “He’s such a transformative figure. He has expressed some attitudes of tolerance and compassion and some Jesuit values that I really admire.”

Global Anchor of Yahoo! News

Also in November 2013, Couric signed a $6 million annual contract to serve as Global Anchor of Yahoo! News, a role in which she debuted on January 13, 2014.

Documentary Condemning the Sugar Industry

Couric narrated and helped produce the 2014 documentary “Fed Up” that suggested food and sugar industries were conspiring to get consumers addicted to ever more sugar, which was disastrous for their health. Denying suggestions that “our children’s health is a political issue,” Couric proudly described herself as an “activist” and a “vigorous advocate” on obesity-related matters.

Defending Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Private Computer Server

In a March 2015 interview with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Couric, in an effort to downplay the significance of recent reports regarding Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private email server throughout her tenure (2009-2013) as Secretary of State, said to Romney: “Plenty of other politicians though, as you know, governor, have used personal e-mail while in office. You did while you were governor of Massachusetts. So, what is the difference, and why is what she did more egregious?” In his answer, Romney said: “[Mrs. Clinton] chose to say, ‘No, I’m not going to follow those rules and regulations. Not only am I going to have private e-mail, I’m going to put the server in my house so that there is no way that anyone can find out what was said.’”

Implying That Mitt Romney Disrespected Women

In that same March 2015 interview, Couric asked Romney if his “biggest mistake” in his 2012 presidential election loss to Barack Obama had been his reference to “binders full of women,” a phrase that Democrats portrayed as a sign of disrespect toward women “[D]o you wish you had said it differently?” Couric pressed.

Voicing Sympathy for Illegal Aliens

In July 2015, Couric said to Republican Senator Ted Cruz: “Well, let’s talk immigration, because I’m very curious about your views on that. I know you’ve staunchly oppose President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. You’ve worked to block every legislative effort to allow undocumented immigrants to remain legally in this country. So, given the fact that your father immigrated here from Cuba, do you have any empathy for people who come here looking for a better way of life and is there a way to have some kind of comprehensive immigration reform and what would you do with the eleven million people who are in this country illegally?”

Couric’s Gun-Control Documentary Under the Gun

Couric produced a gun-control documentary titled Under the Gun, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2016. According to Breitbart.com: “The documentary is comprised of a series of interviews with families who have lost loved ones in mass shootings, interspersed with an emphasis on how the NRA gained the power to continue to stifle any substantial gun control at the federal level.” The Hollywood Reporter, for its part, said: “Though [Under the Gun] has some room for arguments from both sides, the level-headed film isn’t in any way balanced politically.” The film was subsequently released for wider distribution in theaters on May 15, 2016.

In a May 2016 episode of CBS’s The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert stated that Couric’s documentary was “about gun control and the NRA.” Couric replied: “Yeah, we try to say, ‘gun safety.’ Yeah, gun safety and gun violence prevention, because gun control, I think, makes people freak out.”

On May 13, 2016, NBC’s Today interviewer Matt Lauer stated, incorrectly, that according to FBI statistics, the number of mass shootings in the U.S. were on the rise. Couric accepted Lauer’s false premise and proceed to speak out in favor of enhanced gun-control measures, saying: “Ninety percent of the public really favors universal background checks. And after [the deadly mass shooting at] Sandy Hook [Elementary School], everyone thought [that] this was a watershed moment, [that] something would be done. And then when Manchin/Toomey [a gun-safety bill] died in the Senate, I couldn’t understand the disconnect between public opinion and our elected officials.” “The NRA only represents five percent of gun owners,” Couric added, “so there’s this huge silent majority, and they represent common ground.”

In that same May 13 interview, Lauer said to Couric: “There’s a very common expression out there that says the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Lauer then proceeded to argue against that premise by citing the example of a concealed carry permit holder who had been present but unarmed during a July 2012 Aurora, Colorado theater attack in which his girlfriend, 21-year-old Jessi Phillips, was one of 12 people killed by a crazed gunman. Couric, who had interviewed that concealed permit holder for her documentary, replied: “I thought that was one of the most impactful moments of the film. One of the first things they asked him, because he had a concealed carry permit but because he traveled from Texas to Colorado to visit Jessi he didn’t have his gun. One of the first things they asked is, ‘Would it have made any difference if you had had your gun?’ He said, ‘Absolutely not.’ There was so much chaos, they were trapped, more innocent people would have died.” Couric added that the “good guy with a gun argument” is widely “perpetrated by the gun lobby, but most public health experts and gun safety experts say it’s just a specious argument.”

Also in Under the Gun, Couric entirely omitted a four-hour interview that had been done with John Lott Jr., the Crime Prevention Research Center president who authored the landmark book More Guns, Less Crime. Regarding the decision not to include any of Lott’s commentary in the documentary, director Stephanie Soechtig said: “[Lott’s] research has been criticized and largely discredited, and when we went to include it in the film, it felt like unnecessary real estate to put in the film, because we know his research has been debunked many times. We kept going back to the idea that we wanted to reserve the real estate in the film for the responsible gun owners.”

On May 25, 2016, the Washington Free Beacon published an audio recording in which Couric, during the production phase of her documentary, could be heard asking a group of pro-gun-rights individuals from the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) how “terrorists or felons” could be prevented from purchasing guns if there were to be no background checks. The individuals could be heard immediately, without any hesitation, telling Couric, in response, that there were “already” laws in existence “at the federal and state level” that made it “illegal” for felons and certain other criminals to purchase firearms. Other voices could be heard: (a) defending people who had been accused of gun crimes but not convicted; (b) noting that background checks are unable to identify latent criminals who had not yet broken any laws; and (c) arguing that because the government has no ability to predict who might become a felon in the future, it has no right to deny Second Amendment rights to anyone based on such predictions. However, in the portion of the documentary where Couric’s exchange with the VCDL members was presented, eight seconds of silence were spliced into that exchange, giving viewers the false impression that the pro-gun advocates were stumped and had to think long and hard before they were able to come up with any response. The VCDL described the deceptively edited segment of the film as “unbelievable and extremely unprofessional.”

On May 30, 2016, Couric, in a statement apologizing for that deceptive editing, said: “As executive producer of Under the Gun, a documentary film that explores the epidemic of gun violence, I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). My question to the VCDL regarding the ability of convicted felons and those on the terror watch list to legally obtain a gun, was followed by an extended pause, making the participants appear to be speechless. When I screened an early version of the film with the director, Stephanie Soechtig, I questioned her and the editor about the pause and was told that a ‘beat’ was added for, as she described it, ‘dramatic effect,’ to give the audience a moment to consider the question. When VCDL members recently pointed out that they had in fact immediately answered this question, I went back and reviewed it and agree that those eight seconds do not accurately represent their response….I regret that those eight seconds were misleading and that I did not raise my initial concerns more vigorously.”

In August 2016, radio host John Cardillo claimed that all of the remarks by John Lott which had originally been included in the earliest version of Under the Gun, had been subsequently taken out at the request of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Said Cardillo during an interview with Lott: “I don’t know if you know this … but my brother knows one of the financiers on the Katie Couric project — he was sort of an ancillary financier who’s actually pro-Second Amendment — and he told me your footage from that documentary was cut after a private [meeting] between Katie Couric and Michael Bloomberg…. They were going to run it, and Bloomberg and Couric had a private screening, and after that screening is when your footage was cut.”

In September 2016, the VCDL filed a $12 million defamation lawsuit against Couric and director Stephanie Soechtig for the roles they had played in the “misleading” edit cited above. “We were horrified to see how Couric and her team manipulated us and the video footage to make us look like fools who didn’t stand up for the Second Amendment,” said VCDL president Philip Van Cleave. “We want to set the record straight and hold them accountable for what they’ve done. You shouldn’t intentionally misrepresent someone’s views just because you disagree with them.”

In June 2017, District Judge John Gibney Jr. dismissed the defamation lawsuit brought against Couric and Soechtig, on grounds that the film’s depiction of the VCDL members did not meet the threshold of making them appear “unfit as a gun rights advocacy organization.” Vowing to appeal Gibney’s decision, VCDL president Philip Van Cleave posted the following statement to Facebook: “The VCDL Board of Directors, after careful consideration, has decided that the recent ruling dismissing the VCDL case against Katie Couric, et al, CANNOT STAND! The lawsuit has far reaching implications for all Americans. If the media can be allowed to change a person’s words to suit the media’s own needs or beliefs, then a grievous blow will have been struck against the very core of the freedom that the United States stands for! NO! We are going to fight this because too much is at stake.”

Couric Hides Part of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Commentary about Racial Protesters

In an October 2016 article about then-Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Couric reported that Ginsburg, in a recent interview with her, had been critical of professional athletes who, taking their lead from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, chose to kneel during the pre-game national anthem as a gesture of protest against the alleged epidemics of racism and police brutality targeting African Americans. Couric stated that in Ginsburg’s opinion, such gestures were “dumb,” “disrespectful,” “ridiculous,” stupid,” and “arrogant.” But five years later, in her 2021 memoir, Going There, Couric, reflecting upon the 2016 interview, revealed that Ginsburg had also told her that the kneelers: (a) showed “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life,” and (b) “probably could not have lived in the places they came from.” Couric further explained in her memoir that, after seeking advice from some fellow journalists, she had chosen not to include those latter quotes in her original article because, as a “big RBG fan,” she wished to “protect” Ginsburg from criticism by liberals and leftists who might not have been as forgiving of what Couric described as Ginsburg’s “blind spot” vis-a-vis racial justice.

Couric’s Views on Gender Identity

In a January 23, 2017 television interview about her new National Geographic documentary, titled Gender Revolution , Couric told host Ellen DeGeneres that:

  • there is a “whole new vocabulary that exists” about gender-related issues;
  • “it’s much more open and accepted [today], I think, for people to not fall into this binary that I was raised … with, this boy, girl, blue, pink”;
  • “I think for people who are a little bit older, like me, a ‘cisgender woman,’ which means I identify with the gender in which I was born, it’s very hard to wrap your head around these new concepts”;
  • she hoped her documentary would offer Americans “the vocabulary and the tools to have a real conversation about it,” in order to combat the hatred that “comes from fear,” which in turn “comes out of ignorance”;
  • the science of gender identity “is really in its very nascent stages”;
  • “we all start out [during gestation] as girls, and then a – a surge of testosterone in the first trimester creates different genitals”;
  • “just because you operate on a child and tell that child you’re a certain gender, that doesn’t necessarily coincide with who that person feels he or she actually is”; and
  • “in the later stages of development, it’s when your brain is wired, and sometimes a surge of testosterone can make … a female fetus feel as if that baby is male or that person is male, and the opposite, if there’s not enough testosterone.”

Condemning President Trump for Not Supporting Planned Parenthood

On April 5, 2017, Couric interviewed the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, and the author of How to Raise a Feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, at the Women in the World Summit held in New York City. Welcoming the speakers to the stage, Couric described them as “two badass women.” Citing recent efforts by the Trump Administration to defund Planned Parenthood, Couric made her own opinions clear throughout the interview. For example:

  • Couric said to Richards and Adichie: “We have to talk about this. It’s [Planned Parenthood has] been under siege in recent weeks, really in recent months.”
  • Couric said to Richards: “Clearly, reproductive rights are in the crosshairs. So what has it been like and what is your strategy moving forward?”
  • Couric asked Adichie if “this assault” on Planned Parenthood was a “proxy, and it’s really about the strides and progress women have made in general?”
  • Couric said to Richards, “I’ve heard things said about you on talk radio, on social media…. How have you developed, Cecile, a thick skin so you can deal with things and so they don’t get to you?”
  • Couric invited Richards to criticize Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Trump, for keeping quiet “on women.”
  • Couric expressed concern over “how can we make sure the feminist daughters we’re raising aren’t just the progeny of affluent, well-educated white women?”

Couric Leaves Yahoo! News

In June 2017, after Verizon purchased Yahoo! and combined it into a new entity called “Oath,” Couric decided to end her contract at Yahoo! News, preferring to work with the company on a “project basis” only. She was unhappy that Yahoo/Oath was offering her only a “short-term” contract extension after the merger. Couric’s next few projects included: (a) working on a documentary with National Geographic, (b) producing a scripted series for Netflix, (c) hosting a podcast where she interviewed newsmakers and popular-culture figures, (d) producing a cooking and travel series called “Scraps” for the FYI network; and (e) hosting an online cooking series with her husband, John Molner.

Blaming Sarah Palin for Stoking Public Anger Against the Media & Against Barack Obama

During an October 15, 2018 appearance on CNN Tonight, Couric blamed former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin for stoking animosity against the so-called “lamestream media” and against former President Barack Obama. As Couric and CNN host Don Lemon lamented what they described as the anti-press rhetoric that President Donald Trump sometimes used at his rallies, Couric recalled that Palin had “really started instigating a lot of that stuff with the ‘lamestream media.’” Added Couric: “She [Palin] would say, ‘I don’t believe Barack Obama sees America the way we see America.’ There would be all kinds of things yelled, and she would never … try to lower the temperature at these rallies. And so many people kind of think the atmosphere she created and the kind of way she connected and riled up the base … that that really, the genesis of President Trump’s kind of interaction with his crowds at his rallies really, the seed was planted by Sarah Palin.” Lemon then read from an article by Couric in which the newswoman had written: “Palin’s anti-Obama diatribe led a man to yell out, ‘Kill him!’ Palin did not push back against her often angry crowds…. Palin not only refused to lower the temperature — she seemed to basque in that kind of heat.” Couric told Lemon: “And was a harbinger of things to come.”

Couric Says the Media Are Doing an Excellent Job of Covering the “Unconventional” and “Obnoxious” President Trump

In April 2019, PJ Media video journalist Nicholas Ballasy interviewed Couric as she attended the Free Expression Awards at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  Ballasy asked Couric if she agreed with former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel’s assertion that some news outlets had “decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad” for the United States. Couric responded: “I think that this is the most unconventional president we’ve ever witnessed, certainly in my lifetime and probably in history. And I think his behavior has, and his actions have, warranted, probably, greater scrutiny than other presidents, so I don’t agree with that.” “I do think that the news cycle influences how administrations and politics are covered now,” she added, “but I think there is some great journalism going on. I would love a few more really deep and thoughtful policy discussions and maybe a little less time devoted to [Trump’s] tweet of the day and the obnoxious behavior. […] Certainly on cable, it has become talk radio with heads, because everyone is giving their opinion, and that’s a new thing, and I think it’s further polarizing the country. I think that’s what’s happening right now, but I would say by and large, journalists are doing an incredible job under very difficult circumstances.” Moreover, while not mentioning Trump by name, Couric stated that journalists were being “maligned every day and ridiculed and mocked, and so I really admire people who are in the trenches and won’t give up.”

Couric Says the Television Industry Must Make More Efforts to Hire & Promote Women

On May 9, 2019, Couric appeared on CBS This Morning to promote “With Love, Me,” her new Internet project for cancer patients, on which she worked with the Merck pharmaceutical company. At one point, host Nora O’Donnell said to Couric: “We’re now a year and a half into the #MeToo reckoning [against sexual abuse and harassment]. Has there been enough change?” Couric replied:

“No, actually there hasn’t. […] Representation is critically important. Women, people of color, people on television need to look like America, and they need to be in leadership positions. The Women’s Media Center just did a study, a compilation of 94 different studies, and women are still woefully underrepresented in media — in news, entertainment, and digital media. I think 63% of broadcasts. In fact, I’ve got statistics, since I knew we were talking about it. 63 percent of TV prime-time news broadcasts feature male anchors and correspondents; 37 percent are women. Since we’re more than half the population, that is actually ridiculous. What’s more heartening is to see women in leadership positions…. Until [women] get into decision-making positions, the top tier of leadership in these organizations, we’re not going to have enough parity or representation of all different kinds of people, and in my company, diversity is really, really important to me.”

Deriding & Mocking President Trump & His Supporters

On February 14, 2020, Couric appeared on Bill Maher’s HBO program, Real Time with Bill Maher. When Maher noted that former New York City mayor and then-Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg “was insulting Trump [in a tweet] the other day,” Couric opened her eyes widely while grinning and said, to cheers and laughter from the audience, “Oh my God, it was so amazing, wasn’t it? The best part of [Bloomberg’s] tweet was, he said, we’re both [Bloomberg and Trump] from New York, we know the same people, [and] behind your [Trump’s] back people are calling you a — what did they say? — a carnival barking clown who inherited a ton of money but through stupid deals and incompetence lost it all, or something like that.” Couric later added: “I talked to somebody from the Bloomberg campaign, they said they’re hiring an expert on narcissism and combining that — no, this is for real — and combining that person with a comedy writer to get in Donald Trump’s head.”

In January 2021, Couric again appeared on Bill Maher’s television show where she voiced support for former President Trump’s recent impeachment on charges that he had encouraged and fomented the January 6 incident where several hundred of his supporters had temporarily occupied the U.S. Capitol building as a gesture of protest against the results of the 2020 presidential election. Couric also characterized Trump’s supporters as “cult” followers whose minds would need to be “reprogrammed.” Said Couric:

“It is so shocking. … Not only are they not conceding [the election], Bill, but their thoughts — that there might have been some collusion among members of Congress, some are refusing to go through magnetometers … to check for weapons. They’re not wearing masks during this siege. […] And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.”

During the same program, Couric told Maher that Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who had been highly critical of Trump and his alleged role in the January 6 protest, “seems like Nelson Mandela at this point. … He seems to be an incredible statesman now because he’s spoken out against [Trump].”

Couric’s 2021 Memoir

On October 26, 2021, Couric released her newly published memoir, titled Going There.

Couric’s Immense Wealth

As of October 2021, Couric’s net worth was approximately $100 million.

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