Video: Couric makes fun of Palin while taping before 2008 convention

posted at 2:15 pm on August 4, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Via C4P and The College Press, the video of the day on the right shows Katie Couric taping some promo spots for CBS News coverage of the Republican convention in 2008 on the day that John McCain announced his selection of Sarah Palin as running mate.  The tape appears genuine, although it’s difficult to know when the YouTube version was taken; the camera was pointed at a monitor during the playback (which is why the black bars appear, as refresh rates differ between the monitor and the camera).  Did a CBS News employee shoot this while watching the satellite feed, or did a C-band satellite owner get a now-rare unencrypted feed from CBS at the time?  Why did it take two years for this to come out?  I assume these questions will eventually get answered, but for now, Couric’s snobbish reaction to Palin, the names of her children, and mooseburgers is pretty instructive:

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.

In the wake of the Sherrod disaster, it’s also worth pointing out that this is an edited clip; there is at least one cut in this video, and quite obviously we don’t have everything Couric said off air for context.  It’s entirely possible that Couric also made approving comments about Palin at other moments on that day, which either didn’t get captured or were cut out.  Likely?  Well

We have contacted both CBS and Governor Palin’s staff for comment on this tape, and will update if we receive any statements.

Update: CBS has an official non-statement statement on the clip through a CBS News spokesperson:  “It must be a slow news day for this video to be getting so much attention.”  We’re hearing from other sourcing that CBS isn’t disputing that this is Couric in an off-air setting, and that they won’t pursue how it got out.


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