Sarah Palin: Now That I Think About It, Katie Couric’s Questions Were Fair After All

Sarah Palin To The 'Lamestream Media': Never Mind


Back during the 2008 Presidential campaign when then Alaska Governor was just being introduced to the nation as John McCain’s Vice-Presidential running mate, she gave a series of interview to the press that were obviously designed to showcase someone that Republicans thought would become something of a media star as the party’s first woman on a Presidential ticket. First, Palin gave an interview to ABC’s Charlie Gibson that, well, didn’t go very well in establishing Palin’s bona fides on issues like foreign policy. It was in that interview, for example, that she talked about her alleged military experience as the “commander” of the Alaska National Guard and the fact that Russia is close to Alaska as proof of her foreign policy knowledge. It was, however, her interview with Katie Couric that probably did the worst damage to Palin’s reputation outside the Republican base.

There was, for example, the part of the interview where Palin couldn’t name a single Supreme Court case she disagreed with other than Roe v. Wade:

But the most famous part of the interview, and the one that stuck with Palin throughout the campaign and long after was a simple question about her reading habits:

In the years that followed, the Couric interview became something of a legend among Palin and her fans as an example of her alleged unfair treatment by the media, but now Palin is singing a different tune:

In her 2009 memoir “Going Rogue,” former Republican vice presidential candidate and pundit Sarah Palin criticized Katie Couric, then of CBS News, for her comportment during a famous series of interviews in the 2008 election. Couric was a “badgering” presence and had a “partisan agenda,” wrote Palin. “Katie’s purpose—shared by most media types—seemed to be to frame a ‘gotcha’ moment. And it worked.”

Some of that rancor appears to be mellowing. CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith recently traveled north to chat with Palin in Wasilla, Alaska. She asked the former Fox News commentator how she viewed the question from Couric about what newspapers had informed her world view. Was it fair? “Sure, yeah. I had a crappy answer, but it was a fair question.”

Nice assessment. History will record that Palin told Couric about her newspaper menu: “I’ve read most of them, again, with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.” Specifically? “All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.”

What bothers Palin about that interview, she told Smith, was its staying power. “I didn’t like, though, the way that forever then in these seven years that interview has kind of been stamped on my forehead as, She’s an idiot.” Whatever your interpretation of the Couric interview, it endures primarily as a public service.

Make of Palin’s comments what you will, but it will most likely surprise nobody that this new CBS interview happens to come when Palin is out promoting a new book.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Davebo says:

    I’m pretty sure you meant to say “Palin is singing a different tune.

  2. ernieyeball says:

    Palin is seeking a different tune.

    Maybe she was looking for The Lost Chord

  3. @Davebo:

    Yes, and this is what I get for typing early in the morning.

  4. KM says:

    Ah, the clarity the asscrack of dawn brings…. 🙂

    For what it’s worth, “seeking” may be more apropos. She’s trying to stay relevant – in a field of increasingly cracked loudmouthed idiots, what’s more novel then the reformed moron? Act a little conciliatory to something that doesn’t matter and BOOM! You are the new moderate voice of the Party and an option again! Gotta keep that name there, dontchaknow……

  5. gVOR08 says:

    She IS an idiot. So seems like it was a pretty valid and revealing question. Somebody should ask Ben Carson where he gets his news.