Perky Katie's Decade of Loving Liberalism

On Thursday, April 5, NBC will commemorate Katie Couric's tenth anniversary as co-host of NBC's top-rated Today show, where she has become nearly as much of a mouthpiece for liberal beliefs as her one-time sidekick, Bryant Gumbel, now at the helm of CBS's floundering Early Show. Over her years on Today, Couric has accused Republican pro-lifers of being "rigid" or "narrow-minded," described Fidel Castro "one of the most charismatic leaders of the 20th century," and asked that NRA President Charlton Heston drop his support of the Second Amendment. (See box.) A brief review of some of her most left-wing comments:

Poor Bill Clinton: "With the exception of the pardon of Marc Rich and some other moves that probably were somewhat questionable, would you concede this morning that it's gotten to the point where there is a bit of piling on going on here? I mean, it seems to me that he has done some things that other Presidents have done in the past." (Question to MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Mike Barnicle, February 20, 2001.)

The public wants campaign reform that will make the media more powerful: "But it's so ridiculous, you know. People watching this just think that reform is so necessary. They can't understand why you guys can't get your acts together!" (Statement to Senators Arlen Specter and Robert Torricelli, October 8, 1997.)

Dick Cheney kept Mandela in jail: "Do you have any problems with the fact that he [Cheney] did vote against Head Start - because you care so deeply about education - and against a resolution that would have allowed Nelson Mandela to be released from prison?" (Question to Colin Powell, August 1, 2000.)

Reviving the ketchup canard: "Since the states won't have to adhere to any federal guidelines and they can basically go do their own thing, aren't you worried that we're going to go back to the days when Ronald Reagan suggested that ketchup and relish be designated as vegetables?" (Question to Rep. Duke Cunningham, Feb. 22, 1995. Reagan never suggested that.)

Of course. Another government program: "It sounds like a no-brainer. Seniors spend billions of dollars on prescription drugs every year, often putting them in terrible financial situations. So what's wrong with this plan [to create a Medicare prescription drug entitlement]?" (Question to pharmaceutical industry spokesman Alan Holmer, June 29, 1999.)

Conservative intolerance killed Shepard: "The tragic beating of the college student has some activists in this country saying there is a climate of anti-gay hate that's been fostered by a provocative advertising campaign by the political right in this country." (October 13, 1998 show.)

Clinton never got enough credit: "Why do you think that he doesn't get the credit for the good news that's going on? And, if Reagan was the Teflon President, it seems like Bill Clinton is the Velcro President - every piece of bad news just sticks to him." (Question to the DNC's Tony Coehlo, August 18, 1994.)

Ronald Reagan was an airhead: "Good morning. The Gipper was an airhead! That's one of the conclusions of a new biography of Ronald Reagan that's drawing a tremendous amount of interest and attention today, Monday, September 27, 1999." (Introduction to show.) - Rich Noyes