Sunday, April 08, 2007

Couric’s ‘60 Minutes’ Interview With Edwards Was More Soft Journalism
By Parisa Esmaili

“There’s not a single person in America who should vote for me because Elizabeth has cancer. Not a one. If you’re considering doing it, don’t do it. Do not vote for us because you feel some sympathy or compassion for us. That would be an enormous mistake. The vote for presidency is far too important for any of those things to influence it,” Senator John Edwards told CBS’s Katie Couric in a recent ‘60 Minutes’ interview.

Twelve days ago, Senator Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, publicly announced they would continue their 2008 presidential campaign, regardless of Elizabeth Edwards now incurable cancer. Three years ago Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, however, the family received news two weeks ago the cancer was back and now has spread to her bones.

While many husbands and wives argue over coming home late from the office, Couric, who has also had her public share of cancer, was now questioning the decision of why Senator Edwards and his wife have chosen to continue their campaign. Disputes of family value, work, and publicity have all come into question of the Edwards decision.

Edwards told Couric at the beginning of the interview, that, “the decision was made by the two of us, no one else, as it should be. And she said to me, ‘this is what I believe in. This is what we’re spending our lives doing. It’s where our heart and soul is. And we can not stop.’”

The ‘60 Minutes’ decision to have Couric conduct the interview, a 14-minute clip that aired, seemed more like a choice of empathy and soft-journalism. Couric has been under immense pressure for not delivering “hard-news” since her move to CBS. Reaction to that criticism can be seen in many of Couric’s questions, which were direct, but repetitive. However, Couric did exactly what America asked for -- getting answers to the domestic situation from the family of a presidential hopeful.

Senator Edwards’s media popularity had not really galvanized until his wife’s recurring cancer was made public. It is unfortunate that this is the most attention he has received since he announced he was running for the presidency.

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