Katie Couric has reportedly admitted that she was "protecting" Ruth Bader Ginsburg from criticism by cutting out negative comments the late Supreme Court justice made about athletes who kneel during the national anthem.
The former "Today" show host says in her new book "Going There" — set for release Oct. 26 — that she let her personal political views influence her editing decisions during her 2016 interview with Ginsburg, the Daily Mail reported.
In the memoir Couric writes that she edited out a part where Ginsburg said that those who kneel during the national anthem are showing "contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life."
The published story, which Couric wrote for Yahoo News in 2016, did include quotes from Ginsburg saying refusing to stand for the anthem was "dumb and disrespectful," but left out the harsher remark, the news outlet reported.
In the memoir, Couric writes she thought the then 83-year-old Ginsburg was “elderly and probably didn't fully understand the question,” the Daily Mail reported.
According to the news outlet, Couric writes that she always tried to keep her “personal politics” out of her reporting, but faced a "conundrum" when Ginsburg made comments about Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player who became the controversial figurehead behind the national anthem protest against racial injustice.
"Would I arrest them for doing it? No," she told Couric, the Daily Mail reported. "I think it's dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning.
"I think it's a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn't lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act."
When Couric pressed her, asking if she believes athletes are "within their rights to exercise those actions," Ginsburg replied: "Yes. If they want to be stupid, there's no law that should be preventive."
"If they want to be arrogant, there's no law that prevents them from that. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that," she added.
Ginsburg went on to say such protests show a "contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life. Which they probably could not have lived in the places they came from...as they became older they realize that this was youthful folly. And that's why education is important," the Daily Mail reported.
Couric felt when Ginsburg said people like Kaepernick were "dumb and disrespectful" they were comments "unworthy of a crusader for equality" like Ginsburg, she wrote, the Daily Mail reported.
The final version of the story included her criticism of "stupid" and "arrogant" protesters, the Daily Mail reported.
Ginsburg died Sept. 18, 2020 at age 87.
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