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Katie Couric, the famous TV personality who earned her fame working as a co-anchor of NBC’s “Today” from 1991 to 2006, reportedly talks a lot of trash about her former colleagues in her upcoming memoir, and one of those colleagues isn’t having it.
Back in 2000, around the time when Couric was considered the “queen of television,” current NewsNation Now host Ashley Banfield was hired as a reporter by MSNBC. She remained there until 2005, when she moved to CourtTV.
But before she left, she apparently drew the attention of Couric, as the legendary “Today” co-host documents in her upcoming memoir, “Going There“, according to the Daily Mail, which was able to review an early copy of the book.
“In ‘Going There’, Couric admits that she gave Ashleigh Banfield the cold shoulder early in her career because helping her would have been ‘self sabotage,'” the Daily Mail reported Wednesday about the book, which is slated for release on Oct. 26th.
“She writes that she was aware that ‘someone younger and cuter was always around the corner’ and singles out Banfield as an example,” the outlet adds.
That sort of fear is normal. What appears abnormal is the claim Couric made next.
“For a minute there, Ashleigh Banfield was the next big thing; I’d heard her father was telling anyone who’d listen that she was going to replace me. In that environment, mentorship sometimes felt like self-sabotage,” she reportedly wrote.
This “attack” on Banfield’s father upset her.
Watch what she said in response on her own eponymously named NewsNation Now show late Wednesday:
“I have to say I was pretty stunned to find out what Katie wrote. First I was scared, then I was surprised, and I’ll tell you why. … I was a bit of a peon at MSNBC back in 2000 when I first met Katie Couric, and she was, you know, the queen of television, and nobody was better than Katie,” she said of Couric’s fear of her.
She then pivoted to the allegation about her father.
“So I want to correct the record here, because you went after my dad. It’s just not true. When I was in Afghanistan, there were a lot of reports about it being a very dangerous assignment, and a New York Post reporter got the home phone number of my father who was near 80 and extremely senile and living in a care home,” she said.
“And they got his landline, and they called and said ‘are you afraid for your daughter,’ to which she said ‘yes, and I think NBC should bring her home and give her a desk job like Katie’s,'” she added.
That, she continued, “is a far cry from being able to even leave that facility, let alone telling anyone who would listen.”
Banfield then admitted that Couric had hurt her feelings and shared her hope that the legendary NBC host would correct the record.
As of Thursday morning, there was no mention of Banfield on Couric’s feed. Instead, she was tweeting about Britney Spears and mental health:
As Britney Spears’ fight for freedom (hopefully) draws closer to an end, we’re keeping tabs on the final stages of the legal proceeding. Here’s the latest:https://t.co/tQ5kpIXH5B
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) September 30, 2021
Today I’ll be going live on IG with @PatriceHarrisMD at 3:15 EST to discuss how Instagram and social media at large is affecting the mental health of teenagers — especially teen girls. Send in your questions below.👇
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) September 30, 2021
Meanwhile, Couric was being hit with relentless backlash.
And I watched Ashleigh Banfield response to your excerpt in your upcoming book. Which she handled it gracefully. How do you think her mental health was until she found out what you wrote?
— Dave Roosevelt (@Erneslo) September 30, 2021
@katiecouric Talk about sour grapes… That’s you & your tell all book… Not surprised though…Jealous??
— Patricia Evans (@Patrici23720844) September 30, 2021
@katiecouric Washed up celebrities/anchorwomen will attack and lie about those she had once had either a social or working relationship with. Your book isn’t worthy of taking to the toilet for wiping one’s arse.
— Barb44x (@aka_Phoebe) September 30, 2021
You have always had the personality of an arrogant narcissist, know it all! We got tired of you! Of course your book will criticize everyone! That’s all you know how to do! You are a bitter person!
— pamela (@pamela89133761) September 30, 2021
@katiecouric turns out Katie was exactly what I thought of her all these years, an attention whore threatened by anyone standing in her way. Funny she was so close to Lauer, an absolute jerk as well. Finally, her true self comes out in her book. I won’t be buying it.
— LoisNotLane (Wear a mask! Science = Facts) (@LoisVango) September 30, 2021
Oops. I’m sorry. Didn’t @katiecouric work alongside a bona fide sexual predator for YEARS while he abused young women and threatened to ruin their careers? He even locked women in his office. Please take several seats, hunny.
— Vee 🎙 Sussex Set Podcast (@MeghanMood) September 30, 2021
Notice what critics wrote about Matt Lauer, her longtime “Today” co-host who was booted in in 2017 over allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Couric waited until 2018 to say anything about it, at which point she claimed she’d had no clue that the man she’d worked alongside for years was a sexual abuser.
Notice also how critics slammed her for bashing “everyone.” They weren’t wrong. According to the Daily Mail, her book also trashes her ex-boyfriends, her “Today” predecessor Deborah Norville, Martha Stewart, Prince Harry, etc., etc., etc.
An unnamed high-profile critic of hers told the Mail that she’ll “never get a job at any television network or cable channel ever again because she attacks everyone.”
“She’ll be stuck with her newsletter and Instagram stories for the rest of her working life even though the book oozes of her desperation to be back on network television hosting her own show,” the anonymous critic added.
Yet despite Couric’s nasty behavior, Banfield had the grace to end her response by reiterating her praise for the former “Today” host’s TV skills.
“There is no one better who has ever been on morning television than Katie Couric. I looked up to her for years and years and years. I still do. I still believe she is the best person to have ever graced the screen in that venue,” she said.
That is class. But sadly, it’s something that it appears Couric for her own part lacks in droves.
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