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Couric explains 'the' Sarah Palin interviews, but Letterman wants dirt

November 21, 2008 |  7:34 am

Message to Ticket readers planning to guest on late-night talk shows: Never go there expecting to explain anything serious.

Yes, they're taped in the late afternoon when some thoughtful exchanges are theoreticaAlaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin meets Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York Sept 24, 2008lly possible.

But they're broadcast late at night, when folks are nodding off or about to, especially the older crowd watching CBS.

So it's mainly about the yuks. (And, it turns out, what or who turns David Letterman on.)

And if it's the Letterman show and involves Republicans, it's all about relentless revenge for John McCain standing up the big star that night last fall.

And choosing instead to do an interview with Katie Couric, who, coincidentally, Dave just had as his guest to talk about her famous or infamous interviews with Alaska Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. (See video by clicking on the "Read more" line below.)

David's been reading the new "Charlie Rose Guide to Guest-Interrupting." Couric kept trying to explain the Palin case and ...

... smiled noncommittally like a professional news person who wants no extant film clips of her expressing an opinion.

Despite the interruptions, she still managed to shed some light on the interviews that so sank Palin in the minds of many -- that she didn't read a newspaper (Couric suspects she didn't want to admit reading the New York Times), etc.

It turns out, by Couric's account, the McCain campaign was "tremendous, very generous" with its access to Palin. How smart were they, eh? And it was the same McCain campaign people who suggested the CBS anchor interview Palin during her high-profile visits with foreign leaders at the United Nations.

Apparently, the campaign did not anticipate this would open for interrogation the entire area of foreign affairs, hardly the forte of any state governor, which Couric admits.

The CBS anchor revealed she did not use tape of Palin or Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden answering the important policy question: What do you miss most while campaigning?

Palin's answer: Daily running outdoors in Alaska. Biden's: Being chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

At the end of the video below, in case you were wondering, Letterman, always the gentleman, admits that Gov. Palin is the first vice presidential candidate he's ever become "aroused about."

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Associated Press

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