Katie Couric recently confessed that she suppressed Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critical views about kneeling for the national anthem during a 2016 interview. According to the New York Post, Couric claimed in her memoir that the editing was done to “protect” the late Supreme Court justice.
She stated in her new book, “Going There,” that she thought Ginsburg, who was 83 at the time of the interview, didn’t fully understand what she (Couric) was asking her, saying she “was elderly and probably didn’t understand the question.”
While New York Times journalist David Brooks also believed that Ginsburg probably didn’t comprehend the issue, former ABC News president David Westin said, “She is a member of the Supreme Court. People should hear what she thinks” and encouraged Couric to keep comments in the piece.
According to Couric, Ginsburg stated that not standing for the national anthem as a form of protest was “dumb and disrespectful.” However, the interview that Yahoo News published did not include her harshest condemnations of the conduct. Ginsburg reportedly stated that not standing for the National Anthem shows “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. 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 said in the book that she “lost a lot of sleep” and was very “conflicted” about whether she should share Ginsburg’s complete opinions on the subject. Since she is a “big RBG fan,” she feels protective of her, and the controversy the comments would have undoubtedly embroiled her in.
Couric, 64, has also said that throughout her career, she always attempted to keep her “personal politics” out of her reporting, but when Ginsburg made comments on Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player who became the controversial spearhead behind the national anthem protest against racial inequality, she found herself in a “conundrum.”
Additionally, the Supreme Court’s chief of public relations wrote to Couric the day after the interview, saying Ginsburg had “misspoken” and requested that her views on the subject be omitted from the piece. Couric complied with most of their requests.