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Katie Couric opens up about Matt Lauer and the Today Show on ‘Going There’: NPR




Go by Katie Couric

Little, Brown and Co.


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Little, Brown and Co.

Go by Katie Couric

Little, Brown and Co.

“On TV, you’re larger than life but somehow smaller too, a carefully cropped version of who you are,” Katie Couric writes in a new, teasingly titled memoir. Go. “In real life, the complications and contradictions, the messy parts stay out of the box.”

Television, she writes, “isn’t the whole story, and it’s not all me. This book is.”

Excerpts from the book, released on Tuesday, were leaked to the tabloids, which in recent days have aired numerous jaw-dropping covers claiming Go “torch” or “eviscerate” various celebrities and professional rivals. Much of this is shamelessly cited out of context, but the “there” of Go turns out to encompass many intimate details of Couric’s life: she’s open to industry sexism, professional rivalries, the death of her first husband, and her relationship with the former Today’s show co-host Matt Lauer, who was fired after allegations of sexual misconduct.

One of the most unexpected and interesting aspects of the book is the way it is packed with bodily experiences: Couric’s skin turning orange after a misguided carrot diet or years of battling bulimia, plus stories. funnier and cruder about not showering for days or squirting breastmilk across the room to shock her husband. You get the feeling that Couric is relishing her ability to be visceral and vulnerable after so many years of styling and posing onscreen.

The distorting effects of her appearance managed and curated by various media overlords are exhibited in Couric’s frequent depictions of herself as an ugly goofy duckling, with what she calls “the Campbell’s Soup Kid appearance” . She contrasts dramatically with “sleek and sophisticated” Diane Sawyer (as if they weren’t basically identical blonde women with TV presenter looks). These passages could be read as not entirely convincing relativity offers, and I can imagine they are annoying to anyone looking to break into television while at the same time. not being blonde and weighing 125 pounds (Couric mentions this in a tone that makes it clear that she thinks that’s a high number).

But while she sometimes comes across as clueless or blind, it’s also harder to blame her for those opinions when she writes about, say, CBS ‘post of a promotional photo of her edited to make it appear. considerably thinner, or a media official saying he never wanted to see her onscreen without makeup. (She was covering a riot and “[a]As far as I know, they haven’t invented tear gas mascara yet. “)

The brief also digs into other “complications and contradictions”. Couric reflects on the mistakes she’s made in her job: dressing up as a homeless man for a stunt report (“I’m going to atone for this play for the rest of my life.”), Asking a shemale actress with no clue and pervasive questions about her body, or how her coverage was so much more focused on victims of crime when they were young white women.

One choice, which made headlines, involves an interview with late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She asked Ginsburg for his take on Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against black men. “I think it’s stupid and disrespectful,” Ginsburg replied. “It’s a contempt for a government that allowed their parents and grandparents to live decent lives. Something they probably couldn’t have experienced, in the places they came from. … . youthful madness. And that’s why education is important. ”

Couric deleted the last part of this exchange, she admits, because she “wanted to protect” Ginsburg. “I lost a lot of sleep because of this one and I’m still struggling with the decision I made,” she writes. “If I had interviewed Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito and they had said something that was sure to embarrass them, would I have given them the same courtesy?” The answer seems obvious no.

The sections on Lauer feel really sorry. “Decent. Kind. Generous. Conscientious. The epitome of a good guy. That’s how I’ve always described Matt. My partner in crime,” Couric writes. When he was initially accused of sexual misconduct, she wanted to stand by his side, texting him a supportive text, offering to speak. But as increasingly cruel details emerged, Couric found it impossible to maintain the friendship. “I know Matt thinks I betrayed him, and that makes me sad,” she wrote. “But he also betrayed me by the way he behaved behind closed doors during the show we both cared about.”

Couric works hard to keep the promise she made in the first few pages of Go, to put as much of herself in the book as possible. But Couric has built her reputation on her ordinary, approachable appearance, with an approachable “person next door” that she can’t seem to shake even now. She is, in her own words, “an ordinary girl suddenly catapulted into the upper layers of the New York media world.” There is something a little sad about this description, not only “regular” but also that passive word “catapulted”. It’s like nothing is off limits except the idea that Couric might hope to be, in some way, exceptional.




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