Katie Couric on Sarah Palin interview: She ‘just wanted me to be gone’

Laura Donovan Contributor
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Within a day of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s announcement that she won’t seek the presidency, former “CBS Evening News” host Katie Couric reflected on her viral 2008 interview with the conservative politician.

Speaking about the highly publicized discussion at the Thursday Atlantic/Aspen Institute Ideas Forum, Couric said it’s bothersome when others only seem to remember that the 54-year-old asked Palin what sort of newspapers and sources she read, according to FishbowlDC. When prompted with that question, Palin could not name a specific source or newspaper she’d read and was disparaged worldwide as a result.

“It does kind of bug me when people only remember that question,” Couric said.

Couric, who conducted the interview during the 2008 election cycle, said there was much more to that discussion than many are willing to admit and that Palin had appeared annoyed during the chat.

“I spent 45 minutes talking to Palin about foreign policy issues,” Couric said. “We talked about nation building, Iran, a surge and how it might be effective. It was at the height of the fiscal crisis. It’s funny to me that that one question got so much attention. She was so annoyed with me at that point and just wanted me to be gone. What can I say?”

Couric asserted that she was genuinely interested in what Palin read, given the GOP powerhouse’s “strong” beliefs. (RELATED: Sarah Palin’s parting diss for outgoing ‘CBS Evening News’ anchor Katie Couric)

“When I asked the question about what do you read, I was curious,” Couric went on. “It was just kind of a spontaneous question. I thought, gee I’m interested. She has such strong political views. Her ideology is so…specific. I wanted to know what she read on a regular basis that helped shape her world view.”

The interview, which some have argued lost Palin and former presidential candidate John McCain the election, involved Couric repeatedly asking the “Going Rogue” author what she read.

“And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?” Couric asked.

“I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media,” Palin said.

“But which ones specifically?” Couric continued.

“Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years,” Palin replied.

“Can you name any of them?” Couric asked.

Earlier this year, Palin appeared on Fox News’ “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” and said she’d heard that Couric would be leaving CBS News.

“Yeah, I think I read that in a newspaper… one of many newspapers that I read, online,” Palin said, making an obvious reference to Couric’s interview question. “And yeah, I hear that she wants to now engage in more multidimensional storytelling…[versus], I guess, just the straight-on reading-into-that-teleprompter-screen storytelling. So more power to her. I wish her well with her multidimensional storytelling.”

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