Couric/Palin: A Tragedy with a Happy Ending

Enough time has passed that I felt I wouldn't develop ulcers by closely re-watching the Couric/Palin interviews. This time I did it from Ms. Couric's perspective, all tinged with self-hatred, horror and angst.

Paying attention to Couric lessens the uncomfortable feeling I get when I hear Palin speak, because Couric seems to get that feeling too. Sometimes her eyes shift away from Palin. She seems to be thinking, "How the fuck am I in this ridiculous situation?" Others, "I am throwing the ball to you. Please please please take the ball," and later, "I am so sick of this shit. Are you fucking serious." I know. Katie Couric has a potty mouth. But it must be disappointing and embarrassing to work hard looking for something informative only to come up with something comedic. I mean not for me. For Katie. During her subsequent early show interview, Couric seems enervated and shell-shocked, commenting that "[Palin]'s not always responsive... it was a really interesting experience to interview her yesterday." (Quote taken madly out of context).

Later, while describing her selection process for interview questions, Couric tells David Letterman about what the VP candidates told her they missed most on the campaign trail: "[Governor Palin] said she missed running every day and Senator Biden said he missed being chairman of the senate foreign relations committee."

Through everything Palin is all "oh my god fuck fuck fuck what!" which is impressive in a ferretty sort of way. I think that she drank too much caffeine always, but I am glad that she no longer holds political office. My opinion of her performance in the interview is that she is in freshman speech class. "Calm down," my inner debater wants to tell her, "This is only practice. Just keep going. Think about what you're saying and what you know, and in a little while you'll be doing great. Remember that you are in charge of the room and that people are here to listen to you." (But it is not practice! It is for serious!)

"What are you talking about?" the inexperienced speaker replies, "I am expressing myself clearly. Look at the forum in which I am speaking! I'm already important, which means I am competent. Obviously you don't understand the level of expertise I'm operating at. Your analysis of my performance is biased by your pre-existing opinions. You're not listening, you're not understanding and you're being difficult." Some internet people (The Young Turks? Who are they?) take a look at Palin's accusation that Couric engaged in "Gotchya Journalism." They ridicule Palin.

As a side note, Matt Damon says that Palin's story is like a Disney movie where the down-to-earth hockey mom is suddenly vice-president. College Humor was inspired to make a trailer (I don't know whether anyone will like it).

A truncated version of the interview is called Sarah Palin's Greatest Hits, but you'll probably feel more fulfilled by watching the whole thing.

I like to talk about this interview because it is interesting and strange. Not exclusively to make fun of or vilify Sarah Palin, who is just a person who put herself into a situation over her head.

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