The internet is abuzz this morning with angry bloggers railing against Katie Couric's line of questioning during her sitdown with John and Elizabeth Edwards on last night's 60 Minutes.
For those of you who haven't seen the interview, the gist of it is this: For 14 captivating but simultaneously excruciating minutes, Katie questioned John and Elizabeth regarding the couple's decision to continue on with John's run for the presidency despite Elizabeth's newly-returned cancer. Although the interview started out friendly enough, Katie quickly began to engage in what one CBS News commenter rightly describes as a cross-examination, questioning John and Elizabeth's priorities using the dreaded "some people say" pretense:
"...some say, what you're doing is courageous, others say it's callous."
"Some have suggested that you're capitalizing on this."
"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."
"I guess some people would say that there's some middle ground."
..."Even those who may be very empathetic to what you all are facing might question your ability to run the country at the same time you're dealing with a major health crisis in your family."
We understand that in journalism, asking the tough questions is of the greatest importance. But Katie Couric didn't do the Edwardses — or herself — any favors by rephrasing the same questions and opinions over and over and attributing them to "some people". Doing so made Katie — the first solo female network news anchor, mind you — come across as the sort of person who wants to be taken seriously but feels she has to attribute her most difficult, uncomfortable assumptions to others so she doesn't come off as an asshole.
Please, Katie: If you're going to be an asshole, own it. This passive-aggressive stuff is precisely what gives women a bad rap.
Update: Once again, Nora Ephron explains it all for us.