Couric ‘Humiliated’ Ashleigh Banfield at 2000 Olympics, Report Says
Katie Couric mocked and humiliated her NBC rival Ashleigh Banfield during an incident at the 2000 Olympics, a network source told The Daily Mail. The “disgraceful” scene occurred as both journalists were setting up to interview Olympic Gold medalist Michael Johnson. A producer working for Couric is said to have loudly shooed Banfield out of the TODAY Show’s Sydney set, telling her to “sit outside the studio door.” Couric made fun of her junior colleague to her team afterward, reportedly joking, “I hope it wasn’t too mean having her kicked out of here,” according to the report. Couric then reportedly made Banfield wait outside as she and her daughter interviewed Johnson.
When Banfield was finally allowed on set, one of her questions to Johnson was about alleged drug use by athletes at the Olympics. Banfield had been told she could address the rumors with the athlete, but Johnson apparently halted the interview soon after. Couric, in the studio, reportedly called the incident “so embarrassing,” quipping as Banfield walked by, “Ew. That was awkward, Ashleigh. Ew. Awkward.”
Though Couric discusses the Sydney Olympics in her forthcoming “scorched earth” memoir Going There, she reportedly makes no mention of the incident. When reached by the Daily Mail for comment, Banfield said, “I don’t want to reopen old wounds, but Sydney certainly was a professional challenge for me.”