Story at a glance:

  • Katie Couric omitted quotes from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she “wanted to protect” her.
  • Ginsburg  said the protesters demonstrated “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”
  • Couric wrote about the interview in her upcoming book.

 

As reported by the Daily Mail, veteran broadcast journalist Katie Couric edited out controversial statements said by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during an interview from 2016 in part to protect her.

During the interview, Ginsburg expressed her views on Black athletes such as Colin Kaepernick who knelt during the national-anthem protests. In the unedited version, Ginsburg reportedly said the protesters demonstrated “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”

Ginsburg also reportedly added: “Which 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.”


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Couric writes how she is a “big RBG fan” and felt conflicted about whether to include the full quotes, according to The Daily Mail.  

The final version of the interview included Ginsburg’s quotes that the protesters were “stupid” and “arrogant,” but did not include the other comments. 

“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” Ginsburg told Couric, in reference to athletes kneeling during the anthem. 'I think it's dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning.”

In a column for The Fix in The Washington Post., Aaron Blake, who also wrote for The Hill,  writes that Couric decided not to publish Ginsburg’s comments based on “personal affection for and a desire to protect a subject she was covering.”

“That’s not how it works. You publish what’s newsworthy and then let Ginsburg try to clean it up if she wants to,” Blake wrote. 

In her book, Couric details how other journalists weighed in on whether to omit the quote. Her friend, David Brooks, a New York Times journalist, advised her that Ginsburg probably didn’t understand the question, according to The Daily Mail. David Westin, the former head of ABC News, told Couric to keep the full quote.

In her book, Couric said she 'wanted to protect' Ginsburg and that racial issues were a “blind spot” for the justice, according to The Daily Mail. 

“Protecting a person often comes at the expense of other things, including the public’s full picture of who that person is and, by extension, their ability to continue holding on to positions of power,” Blake wrote.


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Published on Oct 15, 2021