Former “Today” host Katie Couric deceptively edited her 2016 interview with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to omit comments made by the “elderly” justice that cast a negative light on leftist sports players who kneel during the national anthem, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
In the original interview published in October 2016, Couric claimed that Ginsburg called the refusal to stand during the national anthem by athletes such as Colin Kaepernick “dumb and disrespectful.”
“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” Ginsburg said. “I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. 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.”
Couric pushed Ginsburg on the issue further and asked for confirmation that athletes had the right to protest.
“Yes. If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive,” Ginsburg replied. “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.”
But Couric’s new memoir, “Going There,” suggests that the anchor, who brags that she strives to keep “personal politics” out of her reporting, omitted portions of the interview where Ginsburg came out even stronger against kneeling protests.
Unpublished parts of the interview included commentary from Ginsburg who said that the athlete protests showed “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”
“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,” Ginsburg reportedly said.
At the request of the head of public affairs for the U.S. Supreme Court who claimed Ginsburg had “misspoken” and after the New York Times’s David Brooks suggested that Ginsburg probably didn’t understand the question, Couric stopped the quotes from ever reaching the public eye. Her decision directly contradicted the advice of David Westin, the former head of ABC News who believed that “people should hear what [Ginsburg] thinks” due to her position on the highest court in the land.
In her new book, Couric admits that she felt Ginsburg’s comments were “unworthy of a crusader for equality” and that she felt as though her decision protected Ginsburg from showing the public that racial issues were a “blind spot.” Couric justified her behavior by writing off Ginsburg as “elderly” and said the Supreme Court justice “probably didn’t fully understand the question.”