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Katie Couric says she 'protected' Justice Ginsburg by cutting disparaging remarks on anthem kneelers

In her new memoir Couric details a way in which her 'personal politics' interfered with her professional duty

Published: October 14, 2021 8:22am

Updated: October 14, 2021 10:29am

In her new memoir "Going There," former NBC "Today Show" host Katie Couric acknowledges "protecting" the late-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her criticism about Americans who kneel during the national anthem that the TV journalist  thought would spark public backlash.

Couric writes that she cut from a 2016 interview with the justice part of the conversation in which Ginsburg said those who kneel during the anthem show "contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life."

The final interview, which aired on Yahoo News, included a quote from Ginsburg in which she said refusing to stand for the anthem was "dumb and disrespectful." 

After the interview, Couric said, she called her friend New York Times columnist David Brooks who told her Ginsburg – 83 and still a member of the high court at the time – probably didn't understand the question she had been asked. 

Couric writes that she "wanted to protect" Ginsburg, feeling that the issue of modern progressive racial justice was a "blind spot" for her. 

In the part of the interview that aired, Ginsburg said former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the anthem was "dumb and disrespectful" and that she would "have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning." 

Ginsburg also said: "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. ... 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." 

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