COURIC: What do you think is most surprising about working in cable news?
MADDOW: I don’t know. I feel different talking to you about this than I would to anyone else. So my answer to anyone who’s not Katie Couric… [Addressing Katie] Can you not listen?
COURIC: [Laughs.] Earmuffs!
MADDOW: I was going to say that what’s weird about cable is that people get really engaged with news hosts as brands. But I guess that was really a hallmark of your career, too, on the networks. No matter what you’re talking about, people wanted to know more about what you thought about it, because they are interested in you as a person.
COURIC: It’s a hinky balance, no?
MADDOW: Yes. And I don’t want to insert myself into the story. I just want to give a useful analysis of it to help people come to their own conclusions. It’s why I have a conveyor belt of gray blazers—I try to look exactly the same every day.
COURIC: Do you consider yourself a journalist, or a commentator?
MADDOW: This is going to sound like a cop-out, but I really just consider myself a cable-TV host. I really believe in trying to increase the amount of useful information in the world and in being accurate in the sense that you can take what I say to the bank, even if you disagree with me.