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In her 60 Minutes interview with John and Elizabeth Edwards last night, Kate Couric surprised viewers by asking hard-hitting questions, and exhibiting what some considered an “overly aggressive” line of questioning.

Katie Couric on 60 MINUTES aggressively questions John and Elizabeth Edwards after announcement that Mrs. Edwards has cancer and that he will stay in the race:

“Some people wonder if you are in denial.”
“Some have suggested that you’re capitalizing on this.”
“You’re putting your work first, and your family second.”
“The president can not be distracted by caring about his wife’s situation.”

Though, given Katie’s hardball questions and no-nonsense interview style, the “callous or courageous” question can certainly be applied to her as well. So what’s the final verdict?

As far as we’re concerned, Couric was tough, but fair, and was right to zero in on the motivation behind the Edwards’ decision. By announcing their plans to remain in the presidential race, the Edwards essentially opened themselves up to maelstrom of media scruitny, and are now inevitably faced with the challenge of responding to their critics while strongly adhering to their position.

So to those who think Katie should have conducted the interview with kid-gloves on and favored a more perky, upbeat style of questioning? Think again. If Edwards wants any chance at winning the presidency, he’ll need to be treated by the press as a prospective nominee, not as a sympathetic victim or a husband in mourning. And Couric’s done well to abandon her youthful enthusiasm in favor of serious journalism. Now if only she could do the same on her nightly news broadcast…

Click here for a link to the interview in full.

Mar 26, 2007 · Link · 24 Responses

Comments (24)

No. 1
Intern Wendy says:

It seems to me like this is the Edwards family’s way of coping, and nobody has the right to question it. As for Katie: nobody will really take her seriously as a “hard” journalist until she goes into a war zone, like the rest of the evening anchors have, IMO.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 12:54 pm

No. 2
Hilly says:

Edwards is an asshole. He said that his wife thought of everyone but herself, as if that was a good thing. he doesn’t deserve to be president, and she deserves support from her family– not an endless numer of campaign stops, while she copes with incurable cancer.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 1:13 pm

No. 3
sun says:

I think that their decision comes from what they learned from thier son’s death. They don’t have to run from the fact that Elizabeth has cancer. They know what the prognosis is, and they are willing to stop living because she has a terminal disease. She is a strong woman and seems to want this for her husband, but also something to keep them going! I like this family alot….

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 4:28 pm

No. 4
editrix says:

She’s an awful anchor and no journalist – remember this is the same disgusting person who asked an 8-year old boy “what was it like to watch your friend drown.” She’s despicable.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 6:25 pm

No. 5
martha k says:

I’m not surprised by the same old comments, “the Edwards’ opened themselves up to media scrutiny by…” It’s always the same, our media representatives dwell on the ugly and the lowest common denominator, anything they feel satisfies our need to judge others. I think we should “fire” them for lacking balance. Why does Couric need to ask the same line of questions repeatedly? It seemed that she needed those questions to provide answers about her own abilities, and the public’s perception of her competence and commitment, and not the choices of a couple who despite a death sentence, still want to live their lives. We know the Edwards’ have experienced the worst loss possible and they rebuilt their lives by moving forward, and maybe by accepting that life is more than about our life span, its about what we build together and how we leave the planet better than when we found it. Would I make the same choices? Probably not. But there is honor in their choice to go on living, to not sit in a rocker on the porch and wait for death. There is honor in fighting the good fight, isn’t there? And when we do that as a family, what do we teach each other? That sometimes the ideas we fight for are worth it. We can each die at any moment. Its okay to say you lived those last moments the way you meant to, without regret. Why can’t we let that be okay?

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 6:33 pm

No. 6
nina says:

working people with cancer in any form don’t have the luxury to stop everything and address their illness. They have to continue working for medical coverage or as sole providers to their families. If I understand her statements Elizabeth Edwards chose to demonstrate the choice that most working people in America would face if they found themselves with a cancer diagnosis. I think this is truly a selfless act and even a demonstration of her love for her country. I thank her for her example.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 6:52 pm

No. 7
Lou says:

Katie Couric, having been through this herself (i.e., working and going back to the same job after her own husband died from colon cancer), could and should have been more sensitive in her interview. Instead she came across as the desperate hag she is. Stick to tabloid reporting, Katie, you’re marginally qualified for that type of position.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 6:52 pm

No. 8
Smith says:

Couric only gave voice to the questions that many, many people have about John Edwards. There is something not quite right with a man’s character when he can flash that contrived grin over and over while the events in his life, past and present – would make a normal person put their head in the over after blowing out the pilot light.
We know that politicians are the most egocentric and narcissistic people on the planet, but Edwards does an even worse job than Hillary at acting like a real human being.
A dead teenage son, a wife who is the mother of two small children and grieving one dead child, riddled with incurable cancer…and he doesn’t skip a beat.
This is not brave. This is psychotic. This is someone who wants to be the president so badly, he won’t even stop to think that he needs to be a father and husband first.
He’s fucked up.
I bet he spent the weekend secretly watching that shitty movie with Michael Douglas & Annette Benning ??? ???The American President??? – while masturbating furiously.
How sweet will it be for him to be the poignant widower in the White House – the stoic and brave daddy “raising” his little one’s without the old gray mare.
Let’s face it – he’s held up better than Lizzie in the looks department (his cosmetic enhancements could buy me a beach house), and if he can shuffle off that mortal coil in a TV movie-of-the-week way, it’s all the better for him.
Think of all the new opportunities for romance and how the press will love to feature his first speculative romance, his first real date, his remarriage… his dick must look like a bicycle grip with all the joyous whacking off he’s been doing.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 7:08 pm

No. 9
Mary Wendy Roberts says:

As a breast cancer survivor who has also been a political officeholder, I think I can comment. I can understand Elizabeth Edwards decision to continue to do what she feels important to her and a meaningful use of her time.. to campaign with and for her husband. She knows that she can also strike a blow for greater breast cancer awareness and provide inspiration to many. People in public life are motivated to make a difference in this world. That they continue to be motivated thus at times like this should be no surprise.

I am sure that the couple discussed in great depth the impact of continuing the campaign and what they might do to ameliorate any adverse affects on her and the children and what developments might cause Edwards to reassess …as they learn more or there are changes in, her health, or as campaign milestones are reached
To assume that the decision was his, by the way, and not hers is demeaning to them both.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 9:10 pm

No. 10
dansgirl says:

Katie Couric is a jerk. CBS wasted a lot of $$$ on her. She sounded like a good deal in the beginning and I think CBS got the short end of it.
Ratings don’ t lie.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 9:50 pm

No. 11
denise says:

Wow, number 9 has some serious projection issues going on. Seek help.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 9:51 pm

No. 12
Robert Fox says:

Kouric was so incredibly bad it was almost unbelieveable. She was like this creepy looking harpie sent by Rush Limbaugh.

Like Rush, between the limos, private jets, and people kissing her butt, she is completely out of touch with what people actually think and do. We all know more than one person having to deal with cancer. Most of the cancer victims we know could not stop working even if they wanted to and their spouses certainly couldn’t. She is wealthy enough to have stopped when her husband was afflicted but it probably didn’t even enter her mind.

“Some people”, did not care about most of the questions she asked yesterday!

Never watch Kouric on CBS News and never will.

Posted: Mar 26, 2007 at 10:22 pm

No. 13
gab says:

No. 9…Just to gain some perspective on your informed opinion of Mr. Edwards and his wife’s actions, what was your response when your teenage son died and your wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer?

Posted: Mar 27, 2007 at 12:20 am

No. 14
SLF says:

No. 9 is just a real scary person. No. 13 needs to calm down. Couric is out of her element, and changing her producer isn’t going to improve the product. The product needs to go. Sorry Katie, I really hoped you could pull this off. You didn’t.

Posted: Mar 27, 2007 at 1:33 am

No. 15
KCG says:

re: No. 9 comment: A “normal person” would not “put their head in the oven” when faced with trials such as those of the Edwards’.
Furthermore, “Smith,” clearly has some disturbing issues pending as is evidenced by his commentary bearing a repetitively vulgar theme.
Seek professional counsel.

Posted: Mar 27, 2007 at 5:08 am

No. 16
Smith says:

…”Smith” clearly has some disturbing issues pending as evidenced by his commentary…
oooh! A NYT reader!

Hey No.16…stop commenting on my opinion and go back to fuckin’ your mother. : )

Posted: Mar 27, 2007 at 11:28 am

No. 17
alphillips says:

I was gutty enough to assert my objection to Katie Couric coming to CBS back when he could have done a smarter thing. It speaks for itself, the class with which Couric gets to the core of the story no matter what. Go Les Moonves.

Posted: Mar 27, 2007 at 12:52 pm

No. 18
Walt says:

Air head No 17 here should go back to watching howdy dowdy on his garbage can……;could help develop something missing ……a brain.

Posted: Mar 27, 2007 at 12:54 pm

No. 19
KCG says:

Alas, “Smith,” your mind…such as it is…is apparently of a singular track. Your particular psychopathy is perhaps derivative of a deep seeded maternal hatred alluded to in your verbal/written rantings, and evident obsession with your “male member” (giving you the benefit of a doubt here). My husband, PhD., myself, J.D., as well as my mother, the M.D., concur on a couple of things: 1) We love the NYT and 2) you, seriously, need to get help….CQD.

Posted: Mar 28, 2007 at 7:08 am

No. 20
readingglasses says:

Based on Couric’s comment that the president should not (or cannot) be distracted by personal issues, presumably the only effective president would be an unmarried person with no emotional/social entanglements or family members. A hermit! Why didn’t any political party think of that already?

Posted: Mar 28, 2007 at 11:28 am

No. 21
Linda says:

John and Elizabeth Edwards again are facing another challenge in theirs lives. Elizabeth is very eloquent and compassionate about her country and her husband John and believes he would be and should be the next president. They both share something in their thirty year marriage that most people don’t and that is their love, dedication and respect towards each other. We all should learn from that. Elizabeths’ country means obviously more to her than anything. They are both in my prayers. Good Luck to you both and your family.

Posted: Mar 28, 2007 at 7:35 pm

No. 22
Fernlo says:

Since no one else seems to have the guts to say this to yodel, I guess I must. The Star Trek character played by Leonard Nimoy was Mr. Spock, not Dr. Spock. I hope that this clarification will put an end to all this bloviating.

Posted: Mar 30, 2007 at 8:38 pm

No. 23
ephillips says:

I was extremely disappointed at the line of question conducted by Katie Couric during her interview with John Edwards. It was extremely harsh and uncalled for regarding his wife cancer challenges and running for office. No one questioned Ms. Couric when she continued to work after her husband was dying from cancer. Also, most people don’t have the luxury to take 1 month off the way she did to get over/cope with her loss. My heart went out to her at the time. However, after seeing how heartless she was during that interview/interrogation…..I can barely stand to ever see or listen to her discuss ANY topic again. Were those questions set up for ratings at the expense of not showing any compassion to John Edwards situation by trying to humiliate his family on the air? This was a TERRIBE case of journalism and I pray the network will reconsider her interviewing ANYONE ever again. She should really be ashamed of herself and if not I am for her. It was just plain PITYFUL and I???m glad to read so many other people felt the same way.

Posted: Apr 2, 2007 at 4:57 pm

No. 24
Jeanne says:

A few questions would have been understandable, since Edwards is running for president, but Couric took things too far considering that these were essentially questions about his personal life…that’s not what I call a “hard hitting” interview. It’s ironic that, when it comes to actually discussing political issues or keeping the public informed, Couric doesn’t employ this style or hold people accountable for their ideas and policies. She reverts to her ‘perky’ style. Perhaps that is because Couric doesn’t have what it takes to conduct a tough interview on real issues (unlike Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer, those are issues which require an intricate knowledge of context and detail). Couric received a lot of attention for being the first female solo anchor on American television, but there have been solo female anchors in Britain for years, and even the most average talent among them conducts more intelligent, hard hitting interviews on important issues on a daily basis.

Posted: Apr 3, 2007 at 11:22 pm

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