Another Palin-Couric debacle

Katie Couric interviews Sarah Palin yet again, and once again ends up with evasion and one truly puzzling answer.

Published October 1, 2008 3:54PM (EDT)

Tuesday night, CBS News broadcast yet another interview that Katie Couric conducted with Sarah Palin. The results were somewhat better for Palin than they have been in the past, but she still gave one truly puzzling response, and a few evasive ones.

The puzzling one came in response to a question Couric asked Palin about what newspapers and magazines she reads. Here's the ensuing exchange:

PALIN: I've read most of them, again, with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

COURIC: But, like, what ones specifically? I'm curious that you ...

PALIN: All of them. Any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.

COURIC: Can you name a few?

PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news to -- Alaska isn't a foreign country where it's kind of suggested it seems like, wow, how could you keep in touch with the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska. Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

Really? All of them?

Then, when questioned on social issues, Palin avoided giving straight answers. Here's the conversation about whether Palin opposes abortion even in a case of rape or incest:

COURIC: If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion. Why?

PALIN: I am pro-life and I'm unapologetic about my position there on pro-life, and I understand good people on both sides of the abortion debate.

Now, I would counsel to choose life. I would like to see a culture of life in this country. But I would also like to see, taking it one step further, not just saying I am pro-life and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country. But I want, then, those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal for them to be supported, for adoptions to be made easier.

COURIC: But ideally, you think it should be illegal for a girl who is raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion?

PALIN: I'm saying that personally I would counsel that person to choose life despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. And if you're asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anybody end up in jail for having had an abortion? Absolutely not. That's -- that's nothing that I would ever support.

Notice she changed the question from whether an abortion should be legal in that case to something Couric didn't ask -- whether she believes that someone who gets an abortion should be subject to imprisonment if the procedure is outlawed. Palin also dodged a question about her position on the morning-after pill.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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