Sunday, April 08, 2007

To “Some People” Couric Grills Edwards On The Campaign Trail
By Benjamin Peryer

Katie Couric’s interview with Democratic Presidential candidate Senator John Edwards and wife Elizabeth, who has within the past couple of weeks discovered the return of cancer, has been criticized as been too harsh. To “some people”, an anonymous group Couric repeatedly cited in the interview, say she went too far with her stern demeanor and overly forthright questioning.

In a press conference in mid-March, the Edwardses announced that Elizabeth’s breast cancer has spread to her bones and is incurable with treatment that does not always prolong life. The Edwardses continued to say that the campaign trail to the White House would continue regardless of this news.

Following this press conference, the Edwardses have faced criticism that questions whether it is appropriate for this trail to continue. It has also been brought into question of whether Senator Edwards is using his wife’s ailment as a way to garner public attention.

The two had the opportunity to speak to the American people on March 25 in Couric’s ‘60 Minutes’ interview about these concerns. However, they were faced with a stern anchor asking hard questions. Remember, Katie the perky personality has left NBC’s morning show Today, and is now Katie Couric the anchor realm of CBS Evening news.

After giving John and Elizabeth Edwards a chance to repeat whatever positive statement they could conjure up from the press conference by asking if they were in denial, she says, “Some people watching this would say, ‘I would put my family first always, and my job second.’ And you’re doing the exact opposite. You’re putting your work first, and your family second.”

Senator Edwards’ well stated response was, “But this is not work…this is a service.”

Couric’s convenient group of “some people” provided the means for which she could base her question, but does it also provide a one-sided attack on the Edwardses that leaves us saying, “Katie,” sorry, “Couric 1, Edwards 0”? Or is it simply a question that a majority of Americans have thought? However scrutinized Couric is for this interview, she can at least be credited with getting the public a response for a common concern. Keep in mind; this was the point of conducting the interview.

A beautiful story this reads for Edwards’ campaign -- it was evident that this election was not something either of them are willing to sacrifice. It is clear that Edwards recognizes the message that would be conveyed by continuing his presidential bid. It is something that has come up, and of course, it is something that will be addressed now and throughout campaign. Whether Senator Edwards is capitalizing on it will be left up to “some people”.

Although there may be a need to further investigate this group called “some people”, Couric accomplished every aspect of the interview with a level of professionalism and poise. Let it be noted, this definitely was not Katie. She asked the questions the public wanted address, leaving little room for vagueness, and gave the Edwards an opportunity to respond and further confirm the strength of his campaign. Edwards got the last word saying, “If you asked me today whether I’m in this campaign for the duration, the question to that answer is ‘Yes.’”

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