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Katie Couric corrects Sarah Palin on reading question

November 20, 2008 |  9:27 am

In an appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” Wednesday night, Katie Couric discussed the now-infamous interviews Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin granted her during the presidential campaign.

The CBS anchor said that Palin might have been thrown by some of the initial questions she posed about her views on Vice President Dick Cheney and the Supreme Court decisions with which she disagreed.

And Couric took issue with one of Palin’s complaints about the interviews, which some said gave  impressions that the Republican vice presidential nominee was in over her head.

After the election, the Alaska governor told NBC’s Matt Lauer that she found it “a little bit annoying” when Couric asked her "you know, 'What do you read up there in Alaska?'"

“I read the same things that you guys read in New York -- and there in L.A. and in Washington state,” Palin told Lauer. “What do you mean what I read up there?”

But on Wednesday, Couric noted that she had merely asked Palin what newspapers and magazines she read -- without making any reference to Alaska.

“Nobody’s really asked her, 'Why didn’t you answer that question?'" the anchor told Letterman. “She claims I said, ‘What do you read up there in Alaska?’ as if people in Alaska don’t read, or don’t have access to reading materials. ... But I never said that. I’m aware that people in Alaska have access.”

“It was really something I was just curious about,” Couric added. “And I’m not sure whether she was afraid to offend certain people by -- you know, she would offend conservatives by saying she read the New York Times ... "

“She’s afraid of offending people who don’t read,” Letterman said. “Maybe that was it."

The Palin sessions helped spotlight the interview chops of the CBS anchor, although they failed to lift the ratings of the third-place “CBS Evening News.”

When asked by Letterman Wednesday if she has other aspirations in television journalism, Couric replied, “I love my job.”

“I mean, it’s been tough at times and challenging because I think we tried to make a lot of changes initially,” she said. “And I think just to have a new anchor person, a new face, someone that this very traditional evening news audience wasn’t used to, being a female and then sort of trying to, to redo the show slightly was probably too much too soon. But I think we’ve hit our stride.” 

“If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth doing,” Letterman said.

“Exactly,” she responded. “You know, everyone says they want to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. But they kind of forget that that’s sometimes uncomfortable.” 

-- Matea Gold

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