In Te'o interview, Couric shows value of follow-up questions

"Good Morning America" | Yahoo | Poynter | Deadspin

Did Manti Te'o make a good damage-control decision when he decided to give his first big post-non-dead-girlfriend interview to Katie Couric? Far from it.

Christina Ng writes that Couric (who shares the same spokeperson as Te'o) found parts of Te'o's story a little hard to swallow.

"Are you that technologically challenged?" she asked him when he said video chats with Lennay never worked because of a so-called camera problem that only showed a black box where Lennay's face should have been.

"Either you are the most naïve person on the planet or this is the saddest story ever written," she said at another point in her exclusive interview.

"Te'o's inability to suss out even the most basic details of this case is either astounding ... or unsurprising," Jay Busbee writes.


Surely Te'o's advisers are familiar with this clip from Couric's series of interviews with Sarah Palin, which she won an Alfred I. duPont award for in 2010.

Couric, unlike many interviewers, doesn't like to move on when someone evades one of her questions. "I’m often frustrated when I watch interviews and I feel as if (a) the person didn’t listen to the answer or (b) didn’t pick up on something or (c) moved on even though they were given a non-answer answer," she told my colleague Mallary Tenore in 2010.

Deadspin's staff applauded Couric's questions during the Te'o interview: "We're all really impressed with Katie Couric so far. She's giving him a tough time," they wrote in their live blog of the interview.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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