Ahead of its Oct. 26 release, Couric’s book has made headlines based on her admissions about not being overtly friendly to rival women at NBC, willingly cutting damning quotes from a Ruth Bader Ginsburg interview to “protect” her, and the current state of her relationship with ex-friend and disgraced anchor Matt Lauer.
Couric began her The View appearance by insisting that the book isn’t as “provocative” as people are making it out to be, to which Hostin responded, “It kind of is.”
“To me, it’s been distorted, cherry picked, and rewritten in a way that, to me, bears very little resemblance to what I wrote,” Couric argued. “And it’s been fascinating… to see people who haven’t read the book write and comment about it. I think that says a lot about our current culture.”
Hostin pointed out that people may find Going There provocative because they previously knew the media personality as “the girl next door.” She also brought up Couric’s admission that in the past, she’s viewed other women in the male-dominated broadcast journalism field as her competition.
“I think if you actually read that section, which is a paragraph, I said there were times where I felt territorial,” Couric shot back. “I think almost every woman or man in this very competitive job has felt that way at one time or another. So I felt it was very honest of me to say I was plagued by those feelings, especially when there were very few positions for women at the time.”
Hostin also brought up Couric’s decision to write about ex-coworkers Deborah Norville and Ashleigh Banfield, both of whom have publicly stated that they felt hurt by her comments. Couric, who hosted Today from 1991 to 2006, took over the position that Norville had previously held. As reported by the Daily Mail, in Going There, Couric comments on the Today audience’s “residual bad feelings” toward former co-host Norville after she took over for longtime host Jane Pauley in the early 1990s. She added that Norville had a “major relatability problem” and a “relentless perfectionism” that viewers didn’t like.
Norville recently released a statement about Couric’s comments to the New York Post, saying, “I’m really too stunned and, frankly, hurt to comment.”
“First of all, if you read the book, I say Deborah was sunny…incredible hardworking, thrust into a homewrecker narrative through no fault of her own,” Couric said on The View. She added that viewers’ anger at Norville for replacing Pauley was misdirected, and that the men in charge of the show at that time miscalculated viewer loyalty.
“I sent Deborah a book, and I think when she reads it in its totality, she’s gonna see that I was highly complimentary of her,” Couric concluded.