Journalist Katie Couric has admitted that she covered up laRuth Bader Ginsburg’s poignant condemnation of players who kneel for the national anthem in effort to “protect” the late Supreme Court justice from public criticism.
What are the details?
In her soon-to-be-released memoir, “Going There,” Couric said she was faced with a “conundrum” when writing up her sit-down interview with Ginsburg in 2016 after the late justice offered a scathing rebuke of football players like Colin Kaepernick, the Daily Mail reported.
During the interview, Ginsburg controversially argued that not standing for the anthem shows a “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”
She 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.”
But in the final version of the article, published by Yahoo News, Couric resolved only to include quotes from Ginsburg in which the justice called anthem protests “dumb and disrespectful” and referred to those who engage in the demonstration as “stupid” and “arrogant.”
“I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act,” Ginsburg reportedly said, comparing the action to burning the American flag.
“If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive. If they want to be arrogant, there’s no law that prevents them from that. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that,” she said.
Why did Couric make the edits?
Following the interview, the head of public affairs for the Supreme Court reportedly emailed Couric to say that Ginsburg, who was 83 at the time, had “misspoken” and to ask that the relevant portion be removed from the story.
According to the Daily Mail, in her memoir, Couric recalls being “conflicted” over the decision since she was a “big fan of RBG” but believed Ginsburg’s comments were “unworthy of a crusader for equality.”
Couric reportedly reached out to several for advice and received varying answers. One of Couric’s friends, New York Times journalist David Brooks, allegedly argued that Ginsburg likely didn’t understand the question despite the fact that she was still serving on the nation’s top court.
Ultimately, Couric decided to cut the controversial remarks from the article.
In the memoir, the journalist explained she made the decision because she “wanted to protect” Ginsburg and believed the issue of racial justice to be a “blind spot” for her.
The revelation has since sparked outrage among Couric’s critics, many of whom argue that the episode once again demonstrates the media’s favorable treatment of liberal public figures.
Ginsburg passed away last September from metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. She had served on the Supreme Court for 27 years.