Did Katie Couric show more, you know, deference to Joe Biden than she did to Sarah Palin in her interviews with the two candidates? The American Spectator says yes:
CBS New anchor Katie Couric ordered staff to drop all references to “Governor” or “Gov.” from her interview with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. When a staff member pointed out that in other venues, Couric and CBS News had referred to Governor Palin’s opponent, Joe Biden, using his title of “Senator” or the abbreviation, Couric, according to a CBS News editorial aide, sought approval from CBS News management to drop the “Governor” reference during her broadcast interview with Palin that began on Wednesday night.
CBS denies preferential treatment. “It’s not true,” an unnamed network source told the Spectator. “We treat everyone the same.”
And yet. On Couric’s CBS blog, Couric & Co., the transcripts of the interviews suggest a different standard as far as honorifics go. Here’s the transcript of Couric’s September 22 interview with Joe Biden, emphasis mine:
Katie Couric: How is it preparing for the debates?
Sen. Joe Biden: Well, it’s kind of hard to prepare because I don’t know what she thinks. There’s been no — I don’t know a lot about her, so I have to assume for purposes of the debate that she agrees with John on everything.
And here’s the transcript of her interview with Sarah Palin, emphasis, again, mine:
Katie Couric: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundry that we have with Canada. It’s funny that a comment like that was kinda made to I don’t know, you know reporters.
Hmm. I’d also point out that the discrepancy seems to bear out in Couric’s own word choices. Take this sentence from her Biden interview: “Polls show that Sen. McCain and Sarah Palin are making inroads among white female voters who are less educated,” Couric told him. Again: Sen. McCain. Sarah Palin.
Still. Coincidence? Yeah, probably. Slip of the tongue? Yeah, probably. And, either way, it may be a moot point. Couric’s September 24 interview with Palin, whatever it lacked in special sauce, made up for in G-Love:
[h/t: Gawker]Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.