Skip to comments.Today Show Shocker: Skeptical Couric Questions Edwards; Laura Bush Treated Respectfully
Posted on 07/14/2004 4:51:34 AM PDT by governsleastgovernsbest
Do they do it to keep us off balance? Just when you're about to write off The Today Show as hopeless DNC surrogates, they pull something like this morning. In separate interviews, Katie Couric made manifest her skepticism about John Edwards, while (the solid professional, IMHO) Jamie Gangel treated Laura Bush in a reasonable and straightforward manner.
Katie began her interview with Edwards and wife Elizabeth with a shot between the eyes: "Despite a nationwide bump in the polls when you were named to the ticket, a new poll in NC shows Kerry/Edwards down by 15%."
Edwards: "I'm not a poll expert but I've seen other polls showing 'basically a dead heat' [translation: " not down by quite as much"] in NC. I think once they get to know John Kerry, the people of NC will embrace this ticket."
Shot back an arch-eyebrowed Katie: "Really? A liberal Democrat from Massaschuesetts?"
Edwards waxed on about Kerry's volunteering for the military and service in Vietnam.
Couric: "Do you have a Florida strategy?" Edward and Elizabeth dwelled on the fact that his wife was born there and that they have 20 relatives that live there."
This again was met with skepticism by Katie: "Well, that's 20 votes, but doesn't George Bush have the ultimate family tie with the Governor?"
Both Edwards and wife mused darkly about how, yes, the "administraiton" of the state of Florida played an important role as to how the election came out in 2000, and piously hoped that this time "the people" will get to decide.
Katie then quoted Dick Cheney about how Kerry and Edwards voted for the Iraq resolution but now have developed "a convenient case of campaign amnesia."
Edwards: "It was right to vote for the resolution. But that authority has been abused by the President in lives, money, our reputation around the world."
Yet again, Couric put Edwards on the spot: "But you knew the coalition wasn't that strong and that there wasn't a fully-developed exit strategy, and you still voted for the resolution. How can you look back now and say this wasn't happening and that wasn't happening?"
Edwards was forced to retreat: "That's a fair question and I take full responsibility for my vote. But I didn't have control over the coaliton, over the lack of a plan to win peace. Saddam was a serious threat and needed to be dealt with. But ultimately it was the President's responsiblity."
When it came to Kerry and Edwards voting against the $87 billion in Iraq war funding, again Katie put Edwards on the defensive: "There's been a change of tactic on the campaign trail. [Note how the reference to 'campaign trail' implies that this was a purely political maneuver]. Kerry used to say that he supported the $87 billion but objected to the way it was funded [he wanted to raise taxes]. Now he says he's "proud" of voting against it. Which is it? Do you have a problem being one of four senators who voted for the war and against funding?" [Recall that he voted against funding at the point Howard Dean was riding high and it was expedient for Edwards and Kerry to portray themselves as anti-war].
"My view was I had to stand up and say no, this is not working."
Couric: "What would be John Kerry's exit strategy in Iraq?"
Edwards: "John Kerry would make certain that Iraqis were much more quickly and efficently trained to take responsibility for their own security."
With sarcasm normally resolved for Republicans, Katie shot back: "With all due respect [which as we know means: "with no respect at all"] why would Kerry be able to do a better job?" Edwards' answer escapes me.
Couric: "What do you think of Dick Cheney?"
Edwards:"He's always been cordial and polite [guess he hasn't told Edwards to go ---- himself. Yet]. He called me on the day I was nominated. But he is out of touch with ordinary Americans, wiht the struggles people deal with in their daily lives. We have dramatically different views of the world."
Edwards then actually repeated, for the 1,000,007th time, "my father worked in a mill, and I was the first person in my family who went to college."
He continued: "I feel an enormous responsiblity to provide those opportunities to other Americans."
Once again, he was met with Katie's incredulity. "And you don't think Dick Cheney wants to give opportunities to Americans?"
Edwards: "I don't see any signs of it. I get up every morning thinking about giving the same chance to other Americans. I grew up in the bright light of America and I want to give other Americans that same chance" [gag me with a smiley face.]
Then it was on to Jamie Gangel's interview with Laura Bush.
Gangel: "In light of the Senate report highly critical of intelligence on Iraq does your husband have any regrets?"
Laura: "Who can regret Saddam is no longer in power? Is it tough? Absolutely? Have we sacrificed? Absolutely. But we can do tough things in this country."
Gangel: "She [Laura] has become the President's secret weapon, and is ready to play political hardball."
Gangel: "Kerry recently said that "no young Americans will need to go to war unnecessarily if I'm president," implying they have under President Bush.
Laura: "Are they sorry Saddam is no longer in power? They saw the same intelligence. They're stuck because they can't give any credit to Pres. Bush."
On Ron Reagan, Jr. speaking to DNC convention, Gangel asked: "Is it embarrasssing?" "No." "Is he being used?" "I'm not going to say that" [meaning that I'm too polite to say that it is obviously true].
Gangel lobbed a softball on the VP candidates: "What do you think of John Edwards? Do you think he matches up to Dick Cheney." Laura: "Of course not, absolutely not." "Any basis for speculation that he might be replaced by someone like Colin Powell? "No. No."
The interview concluded with some soft questions about daughters Jenna and Barbara's new-found interest and involvement in the campaign.
Neither Gangel's questions nor tone were hostile. A shocking contrast with the blatant skepticism Couric expressed to Edwards.
Today Show ping.
This is no surprise, especially considering Katie is better friends with Hillry than she is with John & John.
Thank you. I don't watch the Today Show but my first thought is that Hillary gave Katie the script.
They must have heard that Roger Ailes at Fox has access to some internal memos from the alphabet networks that he intends to release if they don't get off Fox's case. And I'm sure the Today Show might be prominently mentioned. Hey, those FBI files have worked magic for Hillary, so it's a lesson well-learned.
"Saddam was a serious threat and needed to be dealt with. But ultimately it was the President's responsiblity."
Which he fully accepted, and which he has not and will not back down from.
maybe the word is out:Kerry can't win
That was a very interesting account. I (almost) wish I had seen it myself.
A real historic event!
Look for the girl from Uganda to return in October.
What do you think a comparison between Laura Bush and Teresa Kerry would show?
Ah, interesting point. Katie has received her marching orders from The Beast: "Kerry must go down, and he must go down hard."
Great transcription - thanks.
"Edwards then actually repeated, for the 1,000,007th time, "my father worked in a mill, and I was the first person in my family who went to college." "
Yes, and so what? My wife is the daughter of a plumber, and was the first in her family to go to college. This ninny uses this tired line ad nauseum, but the press treats it with almost a sense of awe. (Mainly, I submit, because they are the pampered "C-student" offspring of Baby Boomers, and have not done a lick of real work in their lives nor have they known any hardship.) IN any case, I'd be willing to wager that there are millions of Baby Boomers for whom this tired saw spouted by this nancy-boy squirrel is true. Give it a resty, shyster-boy...
Yes it was.
And he has taken full responsibility without flip-flopping over his decision.
We [Republicans] are going to hang Kerry/Edwards by their ouwn words.
Laura is a gem.
Much tougher, while maintaining her femininity, than the Liberal Media expected.
Thanks very, very much for transcribing and posting this.
I may have to either make coffee fast or take to my bed!..I am in shock!
I love Laura, and it speaks volumes about W's good heart and good instincts that he chose her.
I have no doubt that Kerry, in choosing Teresa, "first he looked at the purse." Even so, though she's not my cup of tea, Teresa can be kind of refreshing.
A very interesting development, compounded with the LA Times being critical of Edwards. I wonder what in-fighting is actually going on in democrat circles.
That's ugly. Do they really think they're going to get any advantage from pulling out that often-disproved claim? I think, if anything, it will just remind people of how dangerously insane Gore (and for that matter, all of the Dems) seemed at that moment.
LOL. Well, Katie sure wasn't treating it with too much respect this morning. When she stuck up for Cheney, suggesting that he too cared about giving opportunities to Americans, my jaw dropped!
Sounds like the media is hearing footsteps.
Perhaps you're right, but her skepticism seemed authentic to me. The second part of the pre-recorded interview will be broadcast tomorrow. We'll see if she changes her tone.
Thanks very much for this post. I wonder if Couric has noticed what is happening to Whoopi? After all, it could happen to her, as well....
According to a couple of posters on demo/undg., Katie is a right-wing whore after this morning's show.
I just switched to NBC and have "weak signal" blinking and black screen showing...I was going to break down and watch...
You're very welcome - my pleasure.
Please let me know by post or private message if people would like to be placed on my ping list for occasional posts on liberal bias at The Today Show.
You know, I believe Dick Cheney was also the first in his family to go to college. If I remember correctly, his father was a railroad cook.
The cynic in me says that the Clintons ordered their poodles to pull out the long knives and start stabbing John-John in the back. The way must be made for Hillary in '08.
I know this is a pipe dream, but wouldn't it be amazing if ALL the press started acting in a responsible manner?
Time to climb up on the roof of the double-wide and clear them leaves out of the satellite dish ;-)
Interesting. Guess I wasn't hallucinating. Katie really did give Edwards a hard time!
Yes, but now he's become the tool of the international Zionist/Halliburton/neo-con/VRWC/Saudi royal family gang that is secretly running the government. And besides, look at his hair!
I would find it very hard to imagine any kind of powrplay in the next two weeks, Hillary will plot and scheme and bide her time for 4 more years.
Can it be possible that Katie is on the Hillary Strike Team?
Yes. It would be amazing.
But of course that would put me out of my "job" here at FR!
Everyone has an off day from time to time. She'll snap back into form (whiney socialist/communist) by tomorrow. Maybe she's on drugs.
Hah, hah. John Kerry would train the Iraqis more quickly and efficiently. Not much there there.
It's cable!..Seem to be having local trouble...The rest of locals work but a bit weak, too.ABC has lines. All others OK.
You're right about Gangel. She's interviewed the senior Bushes many times, so I think she must be a family favorite, possibly because she's not really a hard nosed reporter, more celebrity stuff than news.
It's funny that a MSNBC anchorette is talking to IMUS about her cousin being on that Nashville Idol show. Sharon Stone was on Leno last night talking about a close relative of hers being on it too.
Wowsers, I'm shocked that Katie asked tough questions of the annointed.
IIRC, Jamie Gangel has done several interviews with the senior Bushes. They get along very well, she's respectful to the office, and I didn't get a sense of her politics - a good thing.
Laura is a gem. From what I've seen and read about Mrs. Edwards, she seems like a nice person. I don't know how a mother keeps going after losing a child as she did.
Yes, Katie has been treading steadily, slowly rightward so that maybe she can glimpse the political middle lately.
Methinks they know that as The Two Johns are exposed as way out Liberal, this election is over, and they dont want to get caught in the crossfire.
I have to hand it to my fellow FReepers. This possibility didn't occur to me during the course of the interview, but has been raised by a number of posters. I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but even if it's not a conscious motivation for Katie, it could be in the back of her mind that a W win wouldn't be the worst thing so as to keep the coast clear for Hillary.
Blasting Edwards/f'ing in July is one thing let's see her do it in October.
Every once and awhile, the perky one gives her audience a fair and balanced interview, only to claim, IMHO, that she is not biased.....we all know her disdain for the Repubs....
LOL. I'm sure she'll get plenty of criticism from Dems today, and will compensate by being extra-nasty the next time she has a Republican in her talons.