Couric's Interview with John and Elizabeth Edwards
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Elizabeth and John Edwards went on 60 Minutes last week to discuss her cancer and his candidacy. Since then, DAY TO DAY writer Brian Unger has been reviewing how Katie Couric handled the interview.
BRIAN UNGER: There is still so much confusion over Couric's interview. There are some, in certain circles, who say it was too tough. Others call it fair. And there are even those who suggest Couric's scrutiny was justified, given John Edwards' decision to stay in the presidential race.
Ms. KATIE COURIC (Anchor, CBS Evening News): Some say isn't it wonderful they care for something greater than themselves.
UNGER: Statements like that didn't seem to bother viewers, but ones like this did.
Ms. COURIC: And I think some people wonder if you are in denial.
UNGER: While this seemed reasonable:
Ms. COURIC: And some say what you're doing is courageous.
UNGER: This struck people as unreasonable.
Ms. COURIC: Others say it's callous.
UNGER: Along with this.
Ms. COURIC: Some have suggested that you're capitalizing on this.
UNGER: And even this.
Ms. COURIC: And others say it's a case of insatiable ambition.
UNGER: Whoa, the controversy over Couric's journalistic joust with the Edwards is simply a misunderstanding about her carefully cultivated sources: the some people, the others and the those.
Now first to clarify the some people Couric talked to. Some people live somewhere. There they say some things about something, and sometimes many things about a lot of stuff. They aren't something special, but they've got something awful to say when something's not right.
Ms. COURIC: I guess some people would say there's some middle ground. You don't have to necessarily stay at home and feel sorry for yourself.
UNGER: Journalists like Couric don't have time to identify some people one by one. That would take forever. So like in fiction, these some people are really a composite of a bunch of people or her cleaning lady. Just trust her: These some people are out there, somewhere.
Ms. COURIC: Some people watching this would say I would put my family first always and my job second, and you're doing the exact opposite.
UNGER: Here, Couric is so close to her some people sources she can intuit what they are saying even when they are somewhere else at the same time. Couric also leaned heavily on sources she refers to as the others. Here they are again.
Ms. COURIC: Others say it's callous.
UNGER: Thing to remember about the others: They are not some people. Most journalists find others in some other place doing other things with other people, not some people ever. Others tend to be marginalized, reactionary and otherwise. The others and some people are both distant cousins of the those. Couric talked to those, too.
Ms. COURIC: Even those who may be very empathetic to what you all are facing might question your ability to run the country.
UNGER: Those float out there in the ether, rarely have names and congregate with all those people, those of their own kind, never with others and wouldn't be caught dead with some people.
So who are all these people, you may ask? The others lean toward libertarianism, the some people are typically moderates, and the those tend to be Republicans.
Ms. COURIC: Can you understand their concern, though?
UNGER: Yes, but most importantly, they know who they are, and that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.
(Soundbite of song, "People Are Strange")
Mr. James Douglas Morrison (Lizard King; singer, The Doors): People are strange, when you're a stranger, faces look ugly when you're alone. Women seem wicked, when you're unwanted. Streets are uneven when you're down.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.