Monday, March 26, 2007

Couric and the Edwards

Understanding that Hugh Hewitt is about umpteen times smarter than I am, I beg to differ with his characterization of Couric's interview with the Edwards on yesterday's "60 Minutes."

Couric was merely doing what she's being paid all those millions to do: interview people and report news. Hewitt opines that she stepped outside the boundaries of decency, however, when she tried to get John Edwards to admit that his decision to continue his candidacy was nothing short of callous disregard for his wife's condition. I don't quite see it that way.
Note: All previous disclaimers about having no love for Edwards' politics (or Couric's, for that matter) are still in effect; lest you think that I have somehow gone soft on Edwards the Candidate.
There are two problems here. One obvious problem is the definition of when, precisely, something that occurs in the life of a very public figure should be none of the public's business. In this case, although I happen to understand Edwards' decision, I also understand the need to keep our candidates under the microscope. We're talking about a man who has designs on the seat of perhaps the highest political power in the civilized world. His motives for seeking office are just as suspect as his views on the issues we all face. It behooves us to know how this man supports his own family, how they support him, and whether any of this factors into his ability to lead the nation.

The second problem is Couric herself. She finds herself trying to fit into a mold cast by newscasters of days past. Newscasters are supposed to ask the "tough" questions in order to root out the news that they then pass along to the unwashed masses. Unfortunately, Couric is no tough-guy newscaster. She spent far too long portraying the "America's Sweetheart" personna on daytime TV to be believable as a hard-nosed reporter today. Thus, she comes off as more of a Barbara Walters-like touchy-feely interviewer (she practically fed them the answers to her "tough" questions) as opposed to a Mike Wallace ambush interviewer.

Like Hewitt, I didn't watch the segment. I refuse to watch "60 Minutes" unless my name is mentioned somehow (in which case I'll likely be in prison). However, having read the interview, I can state unequivocally that I'm glad I didn't.

Another non-event.

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