Going there? Are you serious, Katie Couric?

January 31, 2023

going-thereI just heard the audio book, Going There, by Katie Couric. I found it interesting.

What I did NOT find it is controversial. Or shockingly revelatory, as reviewers insisted. Yes, Prince Harry smelled of booze and cigarettes. Is this a surprise to anyone? Deborah Norville was hurt at being called too perfect. Really?  Stuff like that. Louie CK acted badly toward her. Umm, yeah. Believable.

Not big WOW moments.

But. I did have a WOW moment. I lost respect for Katie for the manner in which she treated Matt Lauer after his misdeeds became public. She basically avoided seeing him for fear her own reputation would diminish. Before you get on a high horse about this sexual harasser, let me clarify:

Matt Lauer definitely did women wrong.

Katie purported to be a friend of his and reached with kindness out via text after publicity.

He texted back that he wanted to talk to her. That he needed to hear her voice.

Not once. Twice.

She ignored those plaintive pleas because … well, it became all about HER.

What would people think of her? What if paps caught her visiting Matt? And on and on.

So here’s what I think:

If you’re someone’s friend and they are in trouble and say they need to talk with you. the right thing to do is to give them that ear. Yes, he did wrong, but it’s not like he massacred children. You don’t need to cold-shoulder him before hearing him out. Not if you’re a real friend.

Lauer obviously has a serious problem. Who knows what would have resulted if she’d been a true friend and at least heard what he had to say. She wasn’t obligated to agree with him, to think it’s right or to sympathize with him. She didn’t need to keep seeing him. But if she were a real friend she would have at least given him that initial ear.

That’s what friends do.

She did her “own investigation.” Seriously, Katie? What qualifies you for that? Are you a detective? Did you take the time and make the effort (and spend your hard-earned cash) to TRULY investigate? I don’t think so.

After that, she concluded: “I think what I realized is that there was a side of Matt I never really knew. I tried to understand why he behaved the way he did, and why he was so reckless, and callous, and honestly abusive to other women.”

What does that really say? It says NOTHING. Of COURSE there was a side of her he didn’t know. Duh. And…if she’d really wanted to understand, she’d have given him the ear he asked for. Heard him out. Maybe even had a chance to educate him.

But she didn’t.

What does it mean to be a friend?

Don’t ask Katie. She doesn’t know.

16 comments on “Going there? Are you serious, Katie Couric?
  1. Karen Austin says:

    Carol: I have a friend who interacted with a local who had been arrested for soliciting sex from a minor on a computer over state lines. The arrested guy was a college teacher where I worked. The person he solicited was really a male police officer. The teacher was arrested in class in front of his students. My female friend wrote him and visited him in prison. I have always mulled that over. I do not think she approved of his wanting to have sex with minor girls, but she acknowledged that he was still a human being and interacted with him (“supported” seems too strong a word). Otherwise, I think he was only talking to guards, lawyers, and judges. She still saw him as human (dangerously flawed, but still a person). In the New Testament, Jesus does ask his followers if they ever visit people in prison. That’s something to chew on for avowed Christians.

    • I have had reason to meditate on the meaning of friendship these days and also on true Christianity. I do think if someone reaches out in a time of need it’s not so hard to step out of yourself, like Katie didn’t, and respond. Thanks for bringing up such a relevant point, Karen, that’s food for thought.

  2. I think, when it comes to friendship, it may not have been for the right reasons with Katie, but we do all have to draw a line.

    • That’s very true. But if someone reaches out in a time of weakness and need, it seems cruel to reject them. But then that’s me. I need to draw more lines, I suspect. but I would’ve responded, even though I think he’s an offender.

  3. Laurie Stone says:

    Wow. Complex issue. I found myself angry at Matt, but if he had been a good friend, maybe it would’ve felt different. Never been in that situation so not sure what I’d do.

  4. Diane says:

    I think being a friend is exactly that. BEING a friend. You don’t have to approve. But you can still be THERE for them.


    Katie…her personality on tv seems very jovial. She seems like the perfect friend, one who would never leave us. But two things

    happened in this situation. We found out her career is more important that people, and we found out she isn’t a very nice person. Well, mstbd that’s just one thing.. I liked her for her positive energy and then little by little I grew to dislike her. The fact lauer lost everything and simply wanted a friend, and she couldn’t do that? No

    • See, that’s the thing. Some people’s values are only on the surface. Maybe for show. Maybe to make themselves feel good. But when you get down to it, they really are not that nice.

  6. Lauren says:

    This is a tough spot to be in. Katie is a public person and a woman so I get her wanting to distance herself from Matt. However, you can still be a friend without supporting a friend’s bad decisions. To a point.

  7. Her reasons for avoiding him seem to be entirely selfish! While I’m not condoning his behaviour, I think she needed to extend support. One can always be candid with the press about how you feel about behaviour versus a person!

  8. You Know Who says:

    These folks are not “friends” in the way you & I might define the term. These anchors and presenters are the most cutthroat, vicious folks you’ll ever meet. Not even what you’d consider “work friends.” Highly skilled backstabbers. My money says her agent (among others) were on the phone to NBC the minute the word broke if not before.These guys make Paula White look like a social worker. “I’m not your friend but I play one on TV.”

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