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Katie Couric barely lays a glove on Glenn Beck in hyped Webcast interview




It's the easiest thing in the world to second-guess a big newsmaker interview.

Everyone has questions they would have asked, issues they would have explored, and more. But watching CBS anchor Katie Couric's highly hyped 44-minute Webcast sit-down with Glenn Beck, I was more amazed by what she accepted from him.

-- Beck says he's an equal-opportunity offender; he slams both the right and the left. But watch one of his shows nowadays, and you won't hear much criticism of Republicans. Couric didn't challenge his assertion.

-- Beck says it's important to note that Osama bin Laden praised Jimmy Carter's statements about racism among critics of President Barack Obama. Couric didn't note that bin Laden delights in pushing America's buttons by remote -- why should we pay attention to anything he says or take it at face value?

-- Beck says "in my real life, I don't want to do this (obsess over politics) . . . look how much politics is sucking up our lives." But this struggle over politics has made him a very rich man with a highly rated TV show and radio program. Is he serious? Politics has made his fortune and career.

-- Beck basically cites as evidence that President Obama is racist because he went to Jeremiah Wright's church and that he criticized Cambridge, Mass., police for arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. But the president said, "the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home." So, even if you disagree with his conclusion, isn't that a fair criticism? And why didn't Couric ask him that question?

-- Beck ridicules the Democrats for pointing out that Bush had just as many advisers known as "czars" as Obama does, without explaining why he has targeted the current administration's advisers or why he has decided that czars are a bad idea now.

Couric did spend a fair amount of time pressing Beck on what he meant by white culture when he said President Obama has a deep-seated hatred of white people and white culture. His answer to her: "I can't think of a way to answer that that isn't a trap." But isn't it a trap of his own making?

Couric didn't really explore any of the real criticisms about Beck in depth -- that he makes unfair charges about the people he criticizes, that he advances wild conspiracy theories about how the Obama administration is ruining the country, that he rarely, if ever, features voices on his shows who disagree with him, or that he presents reports like a journalist while claiming not to be one.

Considering how rarely Beck talks to journalists, it was disappointing to see Couric prepared with so little specific information on what he actually does on his shows or why critics are concerned about his words.

Click below to read the entire interview and see for yourself.


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[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:01pm]


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