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Ken Muldrew

I only saw a bit of it (we had our own pols debating at the same time, and it was a real debate among people who care deeply about the issues (although I thought the French debate on Wednesday was an even better "debate")). The part I saw showed Palin basically ignoring the question being asked (most pols at least have the decency to start addressing the question and then leading their answer toward what they want to say). It was frustrating that the moderator didn't follow up the way Couric did, but then that's not the job of a debate moderator. It wasn't a case of side-by-side interviews but rather a debate, so I think it would have been improper for the moderator to impose herself onto the proceedings. So it seems that if Palin has to answer a question (even if they are gentle lobs right through the strike zone) she is lost, but if she is allowed to speak freely, then she can at least recite talking points comfortably. I don't think any honest person could say that she is even remotely suitable to assume the presidency of the US.


I can't watch McCain or Palin (or just about anybody from the Bush administration) without becoming seriously queasy, so I spare myself the pain. Many Americans, though, seem to pick their presidential choice rather like an episode of "American Idol." Who seems most sincere? Who do they want to see continue on the television series? From the howls of horror over the Palin-Couric interview, it looks like Ms. Couric has come to everyone's rescue and may actually be the savior of this particular contest. Ms. Perky "Today" show revealed Ms. Perky Hockey Mom as an utter, unintelligible fraud, "A Face in the Crowd" style. Good for her. If we manage to survive these elections, Miss Katie deserves our heartfelt thanks. Thanks for pointing it out.


I admit I was one of the detractors when Ms. Couric became CBS's evening news anchor; I didn't think she had the chops for the job. I happily admit I was wrong and will venture to say that Katie Couric may well have single handedly saved America from itself.


Re. the debate, I'd have to echo Patrick Buchanan (a first!) that Republicans everywhere are probably sighing with relief. Whatever she did or had done to her after the Couric disasters worked well enough that she can exit the national stage next month with a modicum, a bare modicum, of self-respect.

And if I were KOTF I would bag _Catcher in the Rye_. Never was so much made of so little for so long.


Brilliant post Lance.


I've read that as mayor and as governor, Palin sometimes acted like a high school "mean girl". I think we saw that trait in full cry last night. In briefly greeting Biden for the very first time, she managed to ask if she could call him Joe. By the end of the debate, I realized why she had spent some of those precious few first seconds, before the biggest professional event of her life, in trying to get on a first-name basis -- it was entirely a setup for the "Say it ain't so" comment. She wasn't being all downhome folksy-friendly, she was setting up for her mean-girl shot.

Ken Houghton

Scout - Nah, she still doesn't have "the chops" to be a news anchor.

Lance's post is accurate, but the way to get around Couric is still to easy: stick to subject, answer the questions. (Note that "tell the truth" is not required—though it won't hurt if you can.)

That Palin couldn't do even that—and is now telling Faux News that she was "annoyed" by Couric—sealed her own fate. (See Peggy Noonan for the alternate-world version.)


Good piece. Couric really did a good job overall. She flubbed the abortion question in terms of followups, I think, because she allowed Palin to use the "personal" belief dodge and avoid talking about what she'd do in terms of policy. But Couric pushed on most questions respectfully but firmly. She often hasn't on Iraq, but she showed a pretty good bullshit detector with Palin.


When I've discussed Couric with the few TV news people of my acquaintance they've always said she's a serious journalist. In no way is she a mere Twinkie, and to me there's no way around the clear bias with which her move to anchor was covered. I'm old enough to remember Tom Brokaw making the same move with zero angst.

And what did she do here? She asked simple, obvious questions and followed them up. Not much, but still more than Diane Sawyer, who gets press suggesting she's some sort of intellect, has managed in any of the interviews I've seen her do.

I hope this goes on to earn Couric some more respect, but I ain't holding my breath.


I'm late to the party, but I want to thank you for this post.

I thought Couric did a stellar job. With a truckload of warmth and an imperial gallon of metaphorical Vaseline on the lens, she handed that awful woman enough rope. And a few extra feet, just in case.

People forget that before she got the Today gig, she got attention by wrangling an interview with George HW Bush and gutting him like a fish.

She's a coupla years older than I, and we both grew up just outside DC in the late '60s, early '70s. At that time, the local news was national news. I never thought of her as a fluffball, and her reception at CBS was dismaying.

I share Campaspe's hope.

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