WASHINGTON — Former CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric said President Donald Trump’s “behavior” and actions have warranted “greater scrutiny” from the media than past presidents.
Couric was asked if she agreed with former ABC Nightline Anchor Ted Koppel who recently said some news outlets have “decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad” for the U.S.
“I think that this is the most unconventional president we’ve ever witnessed, certainly in my lifetime and probably in history and I think his behavior has and his actions have warranted, probably, greater scrutiny than other presidents so I don’t agree we that,” Couric said at the Newseum’s Free Expression Awards on Thursday.
“I do think that the news cycle influences how administrations and politics are covered now but I think there is some great journalism going on. I would love a few more really deep and thoughtful policy discussions and maybe a little less time devoted to the tweet of the day and the obnoxious behavior,” she added.
Couric, the host of the event, opined that the commentary on cable news is hurting the country.
“Certainly on cable it has become talk radio with heads because everyone is giving their opinion and that’s a new thing and I think it’s further polarizing the country but I think that’s what’s happening right now but I would say by and large journalists are doing an incredible job under very difficult circumstances when they’re maligned every day and ridiculed and mocked and so I really admire people who are in the trenches and won’t give up,” Couric said.
“It seems to me that down-the-middle news doesn’t seem to be super desirable right now. People are looking to see their own views reflected back at them and I think that can be dangerous and I think people need to make a greater effort to have a wide variety of positions, but it has become so deeply, profoundly personal, so I think it is very tough for that to happen,” she added.
PBS Newshour Anchor Judy Woodruff, an honoree at the Free Expression Awards, said she does not agree with Koppel.
“I don’t see it that way. The people I know in the news media, the major news organizations and the newer ones online, television and print, most of them that are news organizations, and I don’t mean opinion organizations, they’re trying really hard to report the facts,” she said.