Katie Couric asked a follow-up question.

When Gov. Sarah Palin, Couric’s interviewee on CBS Evening News tonight, failed to answer the question before her (“You’ve said, quote, ‘John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.’ Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more examples of him leading the charge for more oversight?”), Couric did what reporters too often don’t do: she asked again.

COURIC: But [McCain’s] been in Congress for 26 years. He’s been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

(Yeah, that was a question.) And when Palin again failed to answer (“He’s also known as the maverick though…”), Couric… asked again.

COURIC: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you’ve said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?

And when that version, too, went unanswered, Couric — this time, almost apologetically — asked again.

I’m just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

At which point Palin promised, “I’ll try to find ya some and I”ll bring them to ya.”

Kudos to Couric for continuing to ask (that is, for doing her job) rather than giving up and moving on. Couric followed up. (Will Palin?)

Overall, solid work on Couric’s part. She kept focused on the economy; she didn’t let a vague talking point/assertion go unchallenged (when Palin said, “Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. They’re not waiting to see what Barack Obama is going to do. Is he going to do this [Palin licks finger and holds it aloft] see what way the political wind’s blowing?” Couric asked what she was talking about, particularly in light of recent poll numbers hinting otherwise); she maintained her gravitas face, for the most part, (even when Palin used the m-word!).

We’ll see what happens when more of the interview airs in the coming days.


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.