Katie Couric has drawn fire for her new memoir, which chronicles over two decades of a TV news career that had her co-hosting with Matt Lauer (who became “cocky and reckless”), working under Les Moonves (“a close-talker with bad breath”) and in competition with the likes of Diane Sawyer (who was “everything I wasn’t”).
Yet Couric defends her frankness in this interview with Kara Swisher: “What’s the point of writing a book that’s just, like, your greatest hits or a victory lap or a sanitized version of your life?” Indeed, “Going There” does go there and, in the milieu of 2021, opens the former “Today” show host up to criticism on many fronts — including her decision to edit a 2016 interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she wanted to “protect” her.
In this conversation, Swisher and Couric discuss the zero-sum construct that seemed to define women’s broadcast journalism in the ’90s, how that construct has shifted in the decades since and whether Couric could have done more to support women in the field and on her own show. Her response? “I think this has kind of taken an outsized role in the narrative because I was honest about sometimes feeling insecure and territorial.”
(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)
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“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Matt Kwong, Daphne Chen and Caitlin O’Keefe, and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Mahima Chablani.