March 26, 2007

Couric asks Edwards a tough question about cancer.

And then another and another and another. Oh, why not fill the entire space you have to fill with the only question you've got? Surely, the fact that it's an insensitive and awkward question won't make it any worse than all those other times you've repeated the question. A reporter's got to get to the truth, you know. And really, aren't you a power-mad lout, Mr. Edwards?

54 comments:

AllenS said...

If it wasn't for Elizabeth having cancer, there'd be no reason to interview John.

MadisonMan said...

That's an interesting way to listen to the interview! I'll say that I really dislike questions that start "Some say that..." "Some people say..." . There is no context to that kind of question. Who is saying that? Friends? Enemies? It makes a difference.

I wonder how Katie's past history with cancer influences her questions.

Al Maviva said...

My wife had the same reaction that cancer survivor Katie Couric had, apparently. Mrs. Maviva went off on a rant about the Edwards being slimy and how if he actually cared about his wife more than power, he'd take time off and focus on helping her full time, "because he's still young, and they don't have much time. He can run later if he's still interested." Edwards' comments on the Today Show this morning really set my wife off, when Edwards said that he felt he had to run, it was his duty that he owed to the country.

My wife is pretty apolitical, BTW, and this has convinced her that Edwards is basically a well-heeled con man. Take her reaction for what it's worth.

Fen said...

Perhaps, but Couric should have turned a few of those questions back on herself: are you a power-mad ratings whore, Katie?.

OTOH, maybe this was just a pre-screened interview for Edwards to field hard questions in a more friendly enviroment, like having Hannity interview Rudy about his marriage and cancer.

I don't fault Edwards. Can't stand him, but he's right to get this all out of the way. He has a duty to his supporters and contributers to lay his cards on the table.

The Drill SGT said...

While I don't like Edwards much, and thought that what I would do would be to "spend time with the family", I abhor the personal interviewing style that Couric exhibits here.

Agreeing with MM, "some people say" is the lawsuit avoidance gimmick that people use to spread falsehoods about their opponents. My favorite example was Howard Dean doing the "some people say that George Bush knew about 9/11 in advance.. " or words to that effect. a disgusting method of operation whether from a pol or a newsy.

slander by innuendo

Fen said...

a disgusting method of operation whether from a pol or a newsy.

And a very common tactic amoung reporters: "Ms Couric, there's a growing perception that you beat your cat."

Bissage said...

She's got the hots for him.

It's pretty obvious.

Nayh, nayh, nayh, nayh, nayh.

Katie and Johnny sitting in a tree, k - i - s - s - i - n - g.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Katie with a baby carriage.

Pogo said...

Some people say Katie Couric is an irritating interviewer, and not actually a "perky" one.

RogerA said...

This particular interview turned my stomach. It is totally the Edward's business what they choose to do with their lives together. I assume Ms Edwards made the decision to go on with the campaign; and I understand her reasons very well. She is facing a really lousy prognosis; low survival when cancer metastacizes to the bone, and now a spot has been discovered in her hip.

The fact that she chooses to lead a life in the face of a bleak outcome is a really good thing--and I suspect its also theraputic.

I found the interview disgusting even by the low standards of the American media.

Every best wish to the Edwards.

Tim said...

So Edwards believes his duty is to the country and it involves running for president rather than attending to his wife who very likely will not live to see the end of any prospective first term Edwards Administration.

Delusions can be shared. Sweet. This might work for him until such time she begins to visibly fail - although he certainly isn't a front runner - if this happens before too long, he's politically dead. Ambition is fine; overweening ambition trumping your wife's terminal illness is ugly. Even dopey Dems inclined to vote for him might recognize that.

Fen said...

This particular interview turned my stomach. It is totally the Edward's business what they choose to do with their lives together. I found the interview disgusting even by the low standards of the American media.

I agree, but I'm betting the interview questions were screened in advance by the Edwards camp. I wish there was a way to find out.

Fen said...

if this happens before too long, he's politically dead.

He's already dead b/c of this. Investors will refuse to take a risk on him b/c its unlikely he's in it for the long haul. They'll send their cash elsewhere.

/off to work now b/c I'm becoming a chatterer, hogging the thread. Blue skies to all.

MadisonMan said...

This might work for him until such time she begins to visibly fail - although he certainly isn't a front runner - if this happens before too long, he's politically dead.

What if EE simply has goals that mesh with her husband's -- maybe she wants him to be President because he wants it (you know, people in love with each make those choices), and his campaigning would fulfill her wishes. Maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic, but I don't see how that hurts him. Certainly wouldn't if he's running against Newt. After all, it's not like he's leaving her for another women while she's in the hospital being treated for cancer.

My best wishes to Elizabeth Edwards in her fight.

Doug said...

My thoughts are similar to Madison Man's, maybe this is Elizabeth Edwards' final dream, to see her husband become President. If she thinks this is his best shot at the job, perhaps she doesn't want to go to feel that she is stopping holding him back.

Like many here, I have no interest in an Edwards Presidency, but I have no problem with him continuing his run. I think he is full of himself when he says he is doing this as something he owes the country

RogerA said...

I am very sympathetic to the Edwards' dilemma because of my personal experience. I was treated for prostate cancer with surgery followed by radiation 3 years ago. Every six months I have my PSA checked; 18 months ago it started to rise which means my cancer was not eliminated. I am also an epidemiologist by training, so I know my survival odds which are not particularly good. I also know when the cancer metastzcized it will mestacize to the bone or lymph system; in the case of metastacized prostate cancer treatment by hormone therapy or one of recently fielded "end stage" chemo; both lousy choices and lousy outcomes.

I went through the various possibilities, and basically I chose the one that retains my career, keeps me working and busy, and lets me enjoy life on my terms. I feel that I know exactly why the Edward's made their decision, and irrespective of my political feelings for the Senator, I understand entirely why they chose as they did; in my judgment, they made the right choice.

Joe Baby said...

As silly as the questions were, the answers were even nuttier.

Except for the part about the 6 and 8 year olds needing to sprout wings or whatever. Good use of bird metaphor. Nest and all. Not sure what this means for a 6 and 8 year old, however. Maybe they're supposed to get drivers licenses or something. Start attending university. Don't studies show that kids who lose one parent were glad the other was on the campaign trail?

jkemp said...

I seem to remember that even though Katie Couric worked through most of her husband's illness, she still spent a good deal of time at home. I believe I remember an article that said she left the Today Show at around 1-2 everyday and went home and spent the remainder of the day caring for her husband and spending time as a family.

I would hardly compare her approach to work-life balance to what Edwards is embarking on. For the two situations to be comparable, Katie Couric would have had to, upon hearing of her husbands grim prognosis, take a job as a traveling correspondant that took her away from home 50-60% of the time.

Jeff said...

Watching Katie use the standard "when did you stop beating your wife?" legacy media tactics on a Dem like Edwards is like watching a snake eat it's own tail.

I wonder how much time off she took while her husband was being treated for colon cancer?

jkemp said...

I seem to remember that even though Katie Couric worked through most of her husband's illness, she still spent a good deal of time at home. I believe I remember an article that said she left the Today Show at around 1-2 everyday and went home and spent the remainder of the day caring for her husband and spending time as a family.

I would hardly compare her approach to work-life balance to what Edwards is embarking on. For the two situations to be comparable, Katie Couric would have had to, upon hearing of her husbands grim prognosis, take a job as a traveling correspondant that took her away from home 50-60% of the time.

Jeff said...

The question is answered: "she left the Today Show at around 1-2 everyday". She had to be at the Today show by 6, 7 at the latest, so her workday was curtailed by an hour or two at best.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Katie Couric got up at 4AM every day and was home every day before her kids were back from school.

To compare Couric's 'going to work' and Edwards campaigning for the presidency is absurd and disingenuous, if not outright deceptive.

I'm no fan of Couric, but in fact, it precisely because she's been through it that she is more than qualified to make those observations.

Pogo said...

I was nearly undone by viewing Katie Couric's colon in 2000.

I sincerely hope this does not mean she'll show me her breasts, whether externally, internally, or radiographically.

For the love of God, please, Katie, don't do this.

Zeb Quinn said...

The proper perspective is that Edwards, at a time when he was trailing miserably in all polls, called a press conference with his wife at his side to announce that his wife's breast cancer had returned, but that he wasn't changing a thing and that he was still running full bore for president.

Why was a press conference needed for that? The better question is, why was a press conference wanted for that?

I don't like Couric, never have, but at least now at this point in the arc of her career, for whatever reason, she now sees that these questions she is asking of Edwards are the right questions to be asking. At least in the nature of the right questions to be asking. Not necessarily the phrasing or compound way she asked them.

Jim said...

For those of worrying that Katie has lost her perk, don't.

Perky Katie will be back just as soon as she has her next interview with Hillary.

What is it about the press and Hillary? How come Hillary is never, ever, tossed ANYTHING other than slow arching softballs?

I know most reporters are Democrats, but have none of them any pride in their work?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

To be completely insensitive and politically incorrect, I'm betting that "some people" won't vote for Edwards just so we won't have to be drawn into a long national nightmare of suffering along with Elizabeth's illness.

It is bad enough going through a lingering death of a family member from cancer in a private way. (I have a close relative who died from lung cancer) Do we as a Nation need to have the inevitable 24/7 coverage. The drama!!! The pain!! The poor children!!! The breathless reporting!!! Imagine Anna Nicholl Smith 24/7 for years.

People won't admit this, but I think that it will be in the back of their minds.

Ok Throw stones at me...I'm insensitive.

paul a'barge said...

Pogo said: I was nearly undone by viewing Katie Couric's colon

Well, isn't that interesting ... especially considering it was her husband's colon, and he died and she became a champion for men getting colonoscopies. Ask my wife, she brow beat me into getting mine, may the lord bless her loving soul.

Katie will have to pay for her interviewing habits in the marketplace. I don't watch her, but dude, try and get your basic facts straight.

SteveR said...

Katie had a colonoscopy on the Today Show (March 2000) after her husband died.. fact

Pogo said...

Yes, paul, it's true; "live on national television", as they say.
I saw it, and am scarred forever.

And please, if you see her, ask her to avoid stories about the HPV vaccine, lest I be subjected to her Papanicolaou smear.

Daryl Herbert said...

I thought Couric was a horrible little witch.

Everyone paying attention knows Elizabeth Edwards is very committed to politics and very much so wants her husband to run.

Edwards is doing what his wife wants--what sort of stupid feminist would be upset with that? The kind of feminist who wants to savage men, replace men with the government, so women can be protected from themselves? If that's Couric's deal, she should be supporting Edwards for his politics.

PatCA said...

I thought that interview was the most cruel, stupid thing Couric has ever done--and that's saying something. I guess talking slowly in a monotone while you repeat aggressive allegations means she's a serious newscaster now.

Until you get that diagnosis (and I am a cancer survivor) you have no idea how you will respond. Right now the Edwards' world is upside down. If she refuses to "start dying" now, I commend her and him. Who knows how they'll feel tomorrow!

So, best of luck on the campaign trail (except for actually winning) to them! I hope they have the time of their lives.

Goatwhacker said...

The proper perspective is that Edwards, at a time when he was trailing miserably in all polls, called a press conference with his wife at his side to announce that his wife's breast cancer had returned, but that he wasn't changing a thing and that he was still running full bore for president.

Why was a press conference needed for that? The better question is, why was a press conference wanted for that?


I had the same questions. While the decisions of whether to continue in the race and how best to handle Elizabeth's cancer are the Edwards' alone, I too thought that announcing it at a press conference was very odd and I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Essentially he called a press conference to announce his wife had terminal cancer.

On Katie I can't get too worked up, to do so would mean actually taking her seriously.

truth said...

Some say Katie Couric should have stopped working to take care of their small children when her husband fought his cancer. But she didn't. She went to her job and appeared on TV every day. What position is she in to judge John and Elizabeth Edwards? Who among us should judge?

George said...

Ghastly.

To turn the clock back a few days, I decided to turn on CNN/Fox the morning the Edwards' made their announcement. Hadn't watched either channel in months, maybe years.

I spent 15+ minutes staring at a video image of a brick courtyard and a pair of French doors during which time I listened to well-dressed reporters say absolutely nothing and pretend that they had some insight into what was happened. Useless, useless experience. The combined salaries of all
the anchors and reporters I saw in that brief period must have been $1M. What a colossal waste.

We're all going to spend the next umpteen months being subjected to Mrs. Edwards grueling ordeal.

Spare us, o ye gods of media, this Peoplemagazineification of reality.

Cedarford said...

AllenS said...
If it wasn't for Elizabeth having cancer, there'd be no reason to interview John.


Pretty accurate. You are talking about a wealthy trial lawyer with no executive experience who was well-behind in Senate reelection polls when he decided to set his sights higher. As VP, he ticked off a vast number of Party bosses by slacking off his campaigning in the last month of the 2004 contest.

Edwards is a longshot contender because he is a one-term Senator hated by many Dem power brokers for his 2004 performance - though blessed with a slick stump speech, beautiful hair, and who has invested 2 years wining and dining every special interest group of "Blue" Iowans.

His wife is far more ideological liberal, partisan than Edwards and likely demanded he continue Team Edwards because she honestly thinks John is the gift to America.....

Sad. But we have seen other terminal cancer people - most of us - in deep denial of how short their time may be doing some meaningless project someone else could do, insisting that everyone else just ignore them and continue their plans without factoring that person's dying days into the equation..good "team players" to the end.
**************
Dust Bunny Queen - To be completely insensitive and politically incorrect, I'm betting that "some people" won't vote for Edwards just so we won't have to be drawn into a long national nightmare of suffering along with Elizabeth's illness.

It is bad enough going through a lingering death of a family member from cancer in a private way. (I have a close relative who died from lung cancer) Do we as a Nation need to have the inevitable 24/7 coverage. The drama!!! The pain!! The poor children!!! The breathless reporting!!! Imagine Anna Nicholl Smith 24/7 for years.

People won't admit this, but I think that it will be in the back of their minds.

Ok Throw stones at me...I'm insensitive.


No, I'll throw rose bouquets at you!

I had this awful mental image of the same sort Anna Nicole Smith saga played out for years, along with the idiot Leftists of the media who confuse victimhood with heroism making it all about Team Edwards "bravery and courage" to be on the road with a full medical staff in tow. Joined by celebrity victim-heroes like the four 9/11 widows (they toured with Edwards before), Beth Holloway Twitty, Cindy Sheehan, Tammy Duckworth in a wheelchair, Lefty hero "Mad Max" Cleland, miscellaneous Hollywood stars legitimated and given moral authority by their breast cancer status, number of rehab visits, etc.

Exclusive pics of the two young Edwards kids with their nanny while Mom is on the road ought to be worth as much as Danielle the Famous Baby of Anna is worth - between 1-2 million to sick in the Edwards personal, overflowing cash coffers...

The free publicity of Greta, Geraldo, Katie, Nancy Grace, Matthews, Rosie&Babs all chasing the Hero Edwards Couple saga adds a phantom 10-15 million to the Edwards campaign advertising budget...

"Awww, shucks", slick Johnny will say as his adoring, beaming wife looks on *"Was that a momentary grimace of pain in Liz???!!"*, don't vote for us for just being as heroic as any two people deep in love and devotion facing down the evil enemy! We're just common regular folks like you and wouldn't dream of making a lemon into lemonaide. Elisabath is doing a journal, I urge you to go to my website and read it, and don't contribute unless you believe in us.."

Anna Nicole writ larger and endlessly (we hope on one level). While our inner voice screams "Shut up!!!, go away. Die Geraldo! Die Greta! Die Katie, Rosie!" Even.....

It might be time. I pay 800 bucks a year for cable TV. In return for the moments when I think I couldn't live without it - 9/11, Katrina, the Sopranos...I put up with 99% of my money going for tabloid dreck, sports I don't watch, and highly irritating public service ads that are endlessly looped. Why? I can get Sopranos on DVD as well as major news events with complete coverage. For immediate news in detail I can listen to radio or hit the Internet feeds.

Why suffer through those awful PSAs, trade listening to 20 minutes of the hunt for Natalie Holloway for 2 minutes of Tsunami coverage now that You Tube exists.
Why pay 800 bucks so I can get the MSM media spin on how awful America is and how badly Iraq is going when I can get the straight story, pictures, and videos straight from the Milblogs?

Why continue to pay so much for so little?
Remember how they sold cable as a monopoly by it's being commercial-free? Then the rates tripled as quality decreased? Then all the commercials came back and we were told the tradeoff was "huge numbers of diverse channels"?

johnstodder said...

I didn't see the interview, but has anyone considered whether Couric's aggressive tone might be displaced anger? Being a caregiver and then watching the person die despite your best efforts leaves you very wrung out, traumatized. Perhaps her better judgement just fled for the moment as she was forced to relive a horrific experience. Perhaps that surprised her.

You also develop this "what's really important in life?" mentality after you've watched someone you love die. Maybe what Couric was really trying to say was "Don't you get it, fools? You've got so little time left... do you really want to spend it gladhanding people and sleeping in strange beds? Wouldn't you rather take your kids to Yosemite?"

Maybe subconciously, or consciously, she was trying to serve as a reality check for the Edwards, who are still probably dealing with a fair amount of denial. If I were their campaign advisors -- hell, if I were there friends -- I would have said don't do this interview! It's too soon.

In response to this statement:
I'm betting the interview questions were screened in advance by the Edwards camp.

Doubtful. I'm sure they thought about this very sentimentally, and came to the wrong conclusion "Awww, Katie knows what it's like. She'll be very sympathetic."

Revenant said...

I always thought Katie Couric was an obnoxious twit, and this interview does nothing to change that impression.

Fen said...

You also develop this "what's really important in life?" mentality after you've watched someone you love die. Maybe what Couric was really trying to say was "Don't you get it, fools? You've got so little time left... do you really want to spend it gladhanding people and sleeping in strange beds? Wouldn't you rather take your kids to Yosemite?"

Thats a good point. Maybe Couric was merely playing at "tough love" because she's been down this road.

I find myself wondering why Edward's would push on. It makes sense in a way, because of the next 5-6 years, this is the best time for Elizabeth to travel about the country. I would want to do that myself, before my daily routine is reduced to bleak hospital rooms.

Edwards will also get to network more by staying on the campaign trail. I'll be curious to see how much money is left in his warchest when he steps down, and how much he keeps. And if he intends to stay in the Senate.

MadisonMan said...

And if he intends to stay in the Senate.

He'd have to be in the Senate if he wanted to stay there.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

My bad, I forgot his term expired Jan 05. I assumed that since I hadn't seen him around, it was business as usual. :P

MadisonMan said...

I had to look up his Republican Successor. I never hear of him.

Mortimer Brezny said...

This interview made me feel uncomfortable. I dislike extremely personal and somewhat nasty questions served up with in a familiar tone. Aren't you a phony black person, Mr. Obama? What if Elizabeth keels over and dies right now, are you going to cry, Senator Edwards? Ugh. Yet when it comes to hard substantive questions, like "Why do you keep changing your position on the war?" no reporter has the time to ask the tough questions.

Cedarford said...

Fen, I don't know where you get your optimism from about Stage 4 metastatic cancer.

I find myself wondering why Edward's would push on. It makes sense in a way, because of the next 5-6 years, this is the best time for Elizabeth to travel about the country.

She might have 5-6 years.

She might have months.

She might have variations in how long she lives based on treatments that could knock her on her ass during the campaign but treatments she forgoes to "meet John's voters"?

She might have a better idea of how much time remains when doctors finish evaluating how aggressive the cancer variant cells are and how well they can be held back a while with rads or chemo...or learn that the beast within is on the march and nothing will delay it.

They went out way too early, IMO, in saying Edward's longshot candidacy is ON.

While they have oodles of money for nannies and medical people to support her in a motor home as John tools across Iowa in the summer or the SUV caravans across Beverly Hills and Malibu to schmooze with rich Hollywood moguls and stars - they have two small kids...what they plan to do doesn't make much sense to me.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

don't know where you get your optimism from about Stage 4 metastatic cancer.

I must have misheard. I thought the offical statement implied something like 5 years. My mistake.

My point was that her strength will only degrade as time passes. If you want to tour the country, now is probably the best time to do so. Am I right?

Cedarford said...

Fen - I think some people put it in the context of "some Stage 4 breast cancer patients have lived as long as 5-6 years" not that it is guaranteed.

There are odds that it will be a good deal less than that max for some patients. Even down to a few months from a cancer-caused bleedout or stroke.

My Mom died from breast cancer. She was given 3 months to 3 years on diagnosis. Lived almost year, but the last 3 months were in Zombieland from the cancer spreading into her brain.

It is an insidious disease.

Kirk Parker said...

Pogo and Jim,

You say "perky" as though it weren't a bad thing...

Meanwhile, nothing but sympathy and best wishes to the Edwards as they deal with their situation.

Fen said...

My Mom died from breast cancer. She was given 3 months to 3 years on diagnosis. Lived almost year, but the last 3 months were in Zombieland from the cancer spreading into her brain.

My Father from cancer too. We were lucky, he was lasted long enough to put up a good fight, but not so long that he suffered alot. I think he was on the morphine drip for only three days.

boston70 said...

As someone who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer in March of 2002 I empathize with the Edwards and only hope for the best for Elizabeth Edwards. She seems like a nice person.

One of the first things my doctor told me was to try to return to a sense of normalcy. Yeah, right, easy for him to say. He told me that Wisconsin is good for cows but people come from Wisconsin (and other parts of the world) to see him for my type of rare cancer-no offense to Wisconsin. I was calling doctors in Wisconsin anyway. I was ready to go home to Wisconsin and die initially, go out on a LOA at work, and cash out my 401k. After multiple phone conversations with my oncologist I ended up staying in Boston. Best decision of my life and I continue to see this amazing man every three months.

Three days later I was sitting in a chair having chemo looking at other people sitting in chairs having chemo, getting fed from people who have had chemo and watching a little tv.

There is no "normal" way to deal with cancer. Everyone is different.

I don't think Elizabeth Edwards should be judged by others who have "the know" in how she should live and deal with the disease.

She has made her decision and I believe that people should respect her decision.

Katie Couric's interview on the other hand was disgusting. "Some people say" is lazy journalism. Also, to repeat over and over "some people say" in rapid fire questions was gross. Couric came across as cold. The interview was more about her than it was about the Edwards.

And no, I am not supporting John Edwards for president. I would feel the same if this horrible disease hit any other candidate's spouse.

boston70 said...

What I do find interesting about this post is cancer is non-partisan.

It is something to see that cancer really affects everyone.

And once you or your family are being told that awful word it is really the most overwhelming feeling you can even imagine.

Joe Baby said...

boston70,

I don't respect the decision at all, no matter what Katie Couric did.

The country doesn't need a martyr...but those kids deserve the attention of two parents, b/c they're not going to have two for long.

C'mon -- what would you say if they were friends of yours? Yeah, go out campaigning, spend every night in a different bed, hand off your kids to nannies as much as possible.

This is really a no-brainer. If it was just John + Elizabeth, who cares what they do? But they have two young children, who have likely already been deprived of their parents' attention.

There may be no "normal way" to deal with cancer, but there is a normal way to raise children, by spending time with them and raising them yourselves...especially if one parent's health is in real jeopardy and you have all the money you need.

And if you think I'm judgmental, wait until those kids are 15 or 20 years older...and all they have is their father, who dealt with their mom's cancer by campaigning for President.

TMink said...

This is none of my business, and I do not see it as a political decision as much as a family decision, but here goes.

I can empathize with Ms. Edwards' position. She wants to live and not be dying of cancer. And if her husband dropped out of the race, she would feel it was her "fault" and that the cancer was winning I guess.

But I think if I were he, I would immediately stop the campaign and travel with my dying wife and children. She would protest and I would say "I am not wasting a moment of our time together as a family, I can run whenever I want to."

I would not vote for Edwards because of his politics, but I think that shucking the country for your family would appeal to voters and show him to be a man with proper priorities. Or, he would at least appear that way.

Trey

hdhouse said...

anyone who is involved in treating people with cancer will tell you that normalcy and being in control of one's life is paramount.

it is very very sad that there are such political haters on here who leap to an errant conclusion based on their mindset or lack thereof.

damn you people. you are jerks.

The partisan moderate said...

It was both a fair question and a fair answer. Reasonable people can disagree whether it is the best thing for Edwards to be campaigning while his wife is afflicted with cancer and he has two young kids. Therefore, there was nothing improper about the question and Edwards gave a perfectfully legitimate answer. I am not sure why anyone is criticizing Couric, who husband died of cancer for the question.