News, Culture & Society

Katie Couric says she has ‘no relationship’ with ‘abusive’ Matt Lauer & defends censoring comments

Katie Couric attempted to restore her image on Tuesday morning by returning to the Today show for a sit-down interview ahead of the release of her explosive memoir, which she says has been ‘misrepresented’ in the media. 

Couric’s book, Going There, has not yet been released but DailyMail.com has revealed some of the most shocking revelations from the 500-page, scorched earth memoir, including how she censored Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comments about taking the knee in 2016, her sympathetic texts to Matt Lauer after he was fired for alleged sexual misconduct, and how she reveled in bitchy competition with female colleagues.   

Her searingly honest commentary has shocked industry insiders who say it lifts a lid on the cattiness and cruelty she had a reputation for. 

But on Tuesday, Couric said what has been shared about the book doesn’t represent who she is properly. 

She went back to the Today show, where she used to work, to be interviewed by Savannah Guthrie.  

She attempted to defend every criticism she has received, saying it was an ‘editorial decision’ to censor RBG, that morning shows do it ‘all the time’ and that she feels she did include the most important part of their interview. 

Couric, 64, trashed Lauer, calling him ‘reckless, abusive, callous, and disgusting’, and said that while she never deliberately sabotaged a female colleague, she wishes she had ‘extended herself a bit more’ to mentor them. 

 

Couric on Tuesday went on the Today show, where she used to work, to defend herself from the criticism she has recently received

Couric was slammed for editing the RBG interview to get rid of a newsworthy, controversial comment at at time when the debate over taking the knee was dividing the country. 

RBG had said people who take the knee ‘show contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.’ 

She was talking about Colin Kaepernick, the NFL star who kicked off the take-a-knee movement. RBG called him ‘dumb and disrespectful’.  

Couric writes in her memoir that she thought the justice, who was 83 at the time, was ‘elderly and probably didn’t fully understand the question.’ 

On Tuesday, she said: ‘I think what people don’t realize is we make editorial decisions like that all the time. I chose to talk about this and put it in the book for a discussion. I wrote that it was a conundrum that I asked about Colin Kaepernick. 

‘I did include that she said it was dumb and disrespectful and stupid and arrogant. There was another line that I thought… I wasn’t sure what she meant.   

 ‘I thought it was subject to interpretation. I wish I had asked a follow up and let her clarify or just run it, and let her clarify later.

‘The most pertinent and direct response, I did include. Maybe I should have run the other sentence as well.’ 

She also trashed Matt Lauer, her former co-host who she at first sought to protect when the first allegations of sexual misconduct against him were made public. 

‘It took me a long time to process. 

‘The side of Matt that I knew was the side you all knew. Kind, generous, considerate, a good colleague… as I got more information, it was really upsetting and disturbing. 

‘I did some of my own reporting. I tried to really excavate what had been going in… it was really devastating, but also disgusting… I tried to understand why he behaved the way he did, why he was so reckless and callous and honestly abusive of the women.  

In 2016, Couric interviewed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg said that anyone who takes the knee was showing a ‘contempt for government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.’ Couric edited that portion out, saying she wanted to ‘protect’ the then 83-year-old. She said on Tuesday it was an editorial decision 

Couric claimed in her memoir that she wasn't sure Ginsburg had understood the question. She said on Tuesday that she didn't understand what the Justice 'meant' and that she should have asked a follow up

Couric claimed in her memoir that she wasn’t sure Ginsburg had understood the question. She said on Tuesday that she didn’t understand what the Justice ‘meant’ and that she should have asked a follow up 

‘There’s always gossip in TV news, there always gossip in TV news, there was gossip here and there about certain people,’ she said. 

She then said she did nothing about the alleged sexual misconduct because ‘no one came to talk to me about it’ and says the pair have ‘no relationship now’. 

 When there are very few jobs for women and men are making decisions not based on the right criteria, sometimes you do get insecure and territorial. It’s human nature.

Couric said she included texts between the pair in her book in an effort to show how their relationship ‘deteriorated’. 

‘We have no relationship. I used those messages because I thought they were illustrative of how it revolved and ultimately deteriorated. 

‘It was a way to let the reader into my thought process,’ she said. 

Couric also defended her comments about not helping or mentoring female colleagues, saying it’s ‘hard to be generous when everyone is vying for your job’ and that everyone in TV is the same, she is just being ‘honest’.

‘I have mentored women, many of whom still work on the show. I think that when there are very few jobs for women and men are making decisions not based on the right criteria, sometimes you do get insecure and territorial. 

‘It’s human nature. Anyone in a high position, a coveted spot, even outside of the TV industry… I am just more honest about it.’

She said she had never deliberately sabotaged a female colleague, but wishes she had done more to help and mentor some. ‘I wish I had extended myself a bit more but when people are outwardly vying for your job it is hard to be generous,’ she said.

Couric also claimed she has been ‘misrepresented by the tabloids’ in previews of the book and that she is an ‘imperfect person’. 

‘I think it has been wildly misrepresented. I don’t think the tone and the spirit and the content of the book is like the tabloid headlines are portraying. 

'Disgusting, callous and reckless': Couric says it took her time to 'reconcile' the 'two sides' of Matt Lauer, shown above with his daughter Romy earlier this month. Lauer once boasted about sleeping with Couric and Ann Curry at a 2008 comedy roast

‘Disgusting, callous and reckless’: Couric says it took her time to ‘reconcile’ the ‘two sides’ of Matt Lauer, shown above with his daughter Romy earlier this month. Lauer once boasted about sleeping with Couric and Ann Curry at a 2008 comedy roast

Couric said in her book that she loved getting under 'Diane Sawyer's skin' when they were at rival networks.

Insiders say she also picked on Ashleigh Banfield her NBC rival

Couric said in her book that she loved getting under ‘Diane Sawyer’s skin’ when they were at rival networks. Insiders say she also picked on Ashleigh Banfield (right), her NBC rival 

Throughout the interview, Couric compared herself to Savannah Guthrie often, saying 'well you know, Savannah' when talking about the industry

Throughout the interview, Couric compared herself to Savannah Guthrie often, saying ‘well you know, Savannah’ when talking about the industry

‘It is honest, but it’s very complimentary about many people. 

‘I want it to be honest and I wanted to talk about my experiences. 

‘I couldn’t imagine writing something that wasn’t honest. I didn’t want to do like a victory lap of my greatest hits… I’ve had an extraordinary life, incredibly opportunities, huge successes and some pretty public failures too. 

‘I’ve embarrassed myself, been proud of myself… you can relate to this Savannah, people have always been like, “I feel like I know you.” 

Couric's book, Going There, will be published on October 26

Couric’s book, Going There, will be published on October 26

‘It puts you in a box… I wanted to share the messy parts. What life is really like. You see all sides of me and my truth.  

‘It’s such a fun ride. It’s an emotional roller coaster,’ she said. 

Elsewhere in the book, Couric rips into former boyfriends, friends, co-workers and bosses.

Ashleigh Banfield, who previously worked with her, said she must ‘remember things differently’ to how she does. 

In one example, she made Banfield wait outside while she interviewed an athlete at the 2000 Olympics. 

‘Katie Couric caused that problem in Sydney and she used it to trash Ashleigh Banfield within the network. It was disgraceful,’ an NBC insider told DailyMail.com.

She also told how she ‘loved getting under Diane Sawyer’s skin’ when the pair were at rival networks. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk