Monday, February 11, 2008

An Open Letter to Katie Couric and CBS News 60 Minutes Executive Producer, Jeff Fager

Dear Ms. Couric and Mr. Fager:

I stopped watching 60 minutes about 10 years ago, at the time when the show became less of an investigative news program and more entertainment programming.

Last night I watched the first half of your program because I saw a commercial that touted in-depth interviews with the Democratic presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In this close race, I want to see as much of each candidate as I possibly can so I can be sure I am making the right decision when I cast my final vote in November. But, rather than coming away from your program feeling more informed and enlightened, I felt enraged!

Although Steve Kroft did not ask Senator Obama what I would consider particularly probing questions, he treated Senator Obama with all seriousness and respect and limited his questioning to presidential campaign issues except toward the end of the interview which quickly touched on how Senator Obama combats fatigue.

However, Ms. Couric, your interview with Senator Hillary Clinton was, in a word, abominable. Unfortunately, that is not the only word that describes the questioning directed to Senator Clinton. More descriptive words are: demeaning, disrespectful, appalling, snide, condescending, ridiculous and unbelievably sexist.

You only asked one question about the war in Iraq and the rest were inane, insulting inquiries: The questions about her father; "What do you see yourself doing if this doesn't work out?"; and "Do you like Senator Obama?" On three occasions and in three different ways, you asked Senator Clinton if she feared losing. You asked her if she takes vitamins and drinks lots of coffee. Ms. Couric : “if it doesn’t work out?”??? This isn’t high school and you are not talking about a high school romance!

You insinuated that Senator Clinton is using her husband's campaigning ideas by saying "...she borrowed a page from her husband’s campaign playbook, stopping and shaking as many hands on the rope line as she could." Ms. Couric, where have you been? That is what politicians DO! They go out to meet the voters, shake hands and answer questions. With your logic, it could be said that Senator Obama has also borrowed a page from Bill Clinton's playbook. And, of course, that would be just as ridiculous.

Finally, the most disrespectful, demeaning question of the entire 13 minutes was "Someone told me your nickname in school was Miss Frigidaire. Is that true?"

Ms. Couric, someone obviously needs to remind you that Senator Clinton is a leading contender for, and may very well win, the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Further, she may be the first woman President in our history. Your questioning was sophomoric and irrelevant and only serves as evidence that you are unable to conduct a serious, meaningful interview with candidates or political figures of Senator Clinton's stature.

I would suggest that, in the future, you limit your interviews to those who would be willing to join you mud wrestling.

Oh, and Mr. Fager, I can assure you that, in the future, I will return to ignoring 60 minutes.


Sarah said...

Wow. You told her! I missed the show, but now I want to watch it.

Terri said...


I couldn't hold it back. I was just so angry!

You can view both interviews at this CBS News link:

Anonymous said...


{wake up} huh?