Katie Couric reveals in her new autobiography that her mother was Jewish, contrasting her mother’s upbringing with that of her father, who was apparently proud of his Confederate ancestors.
Couric looks at the revelation in “Going There,” published this week, which she also discussed Thursday in a lengthy interview with Rebecca Traister, a Jewish feminist journalist, in New York magazine. Even well into adulthood, the former NBC “Today Show” and “CBS Evening News” presenter did not discuss her mother’s Jewishness.
Katie Couric first realized she was of Jewish descent when she was 10, and spotted a menorah in her mother’s brother’s house. The first thing that crossed his mind was the song by Jewish satirist Tom Lehrer: “Oh, Protestants hate Catholics, and Catholics hate Protestants … and everyone hates Jews.”
Her mother and grandparents seemed ambivalent about being Jewish; she discovers a letter from her mother’s father to her daughter urging her to mingle with non-Jews. His mother grimaces when Couric, as a TV personality, adopts the word “Oy”.
The book also gained publicity for its revelation that Couric in 2016 quashed parts of an interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Jewish liberal Supreme Court judge. In the interview, Ginsburg spoke derisively about Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who protested racism in America by kneeling during the national anthem.