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Posts Tagged ‘Manti Te’o’

Here’s the Katie Couric We Haven’t Seen in a While

Katie Couric built her reputation at the “Today” show as an interviewer who could be both tough and tender. Couric could just as easily pepper Pres. George H.W. Bush with hard-hitting questions during a White House Christmas tour or, two days after the Columbine massacre, in the falling snow interview a grieving survivor and a father in mourning.

But we haven’t seen much of that Katie Couric recently. Anchoring a half hour evening news program for 5 years will do that. But today that other Katie was on full display during an hour-long interview with Manti Te’o one of college football’s best, who says he was duped into believing he’d been in a long distance relationship with a woman who never existed.

Couric probed Te’o to prove skeptics wrong. That he was not in on it.

“Either you’re the most naive person on the planet or this is the saddest story ever written,” said Couric after Te’o talked about learning that ‘Lennay Kekua’ had been diagnosed with leukemia, after surviving a car accident. “At this point did you think to yourself ‘What? Are you kidding!? Now she has leukemia?’”

Couric pressed the football star about why he lied, keeping the story alive even after learning the dead ‘Lennay’ had resurfaced, before eventually learning she wasn’t real at all.

“You stuck to the script. Why?” Te’o responded with a question, “What would you do?”

So Couric answered for him: “I think I would have gone to my coaches or gone to someone and said ‘this situation is so messed up. I have been, I think, the victim of a cruel prank.’”

Couric asked Te’o about “the many theories making the rounds;” that he made up the scenario as a cover. “Are you gay?” she asked.

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ABC Rolls Out Manti Te’o Interview as Family Cites ‘Comfort Level’ with Katie Couric

Katie Couric‘s interview with Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o airs on her syndicated show tomorrow. But clips are already being previewed on ABC News. (After the jump)

In the New York Times, Richard Sandomir and ESPN expert James Andrew Miller break down how ESPN dropped the ball (pardon the pun) on the Te’o hoax story, as well as how ESPN’s sister network ABC and Couric got the on-camera scoop.

The Te’o family chose Couric over Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil McGraw, as well as other shows. “I’ve watched Katie on television, and she represents somebody that I felt I could trust and share our story with,” Ottilia Te’o, Manti’s mother, said Monday, during a brief telephone interview. “We have a comfort level with her.”

The article also notes that Te’o and Couric share the same publicist, Matthew Hiltzik.

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Katie Couric Gets First On-Camera Interview with Manti Te’o

Manti Te’o has granted his first on-camera interview following revelations of a hoax involving a fake girlfriend to ABC’s Katie Couric. The interview will air on Couric’s syndicated show “Katie” on Thursday with previews airing on all ABC News programs.

Couric will sit down with Te’o and his parents, Brian and Ottilia Te’o, who are speaking out for the first time and say they were also victims of the hoax.

In an off-camera interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap Friday, Te’o reiterated that he’s the greatest victim of the hoax, while admitting he’d made mistakes, including telling his father he met “Lennay Kekua.”

Given that the interview is for Couric’s show, but that she also contributes to ABC News, one might wonder if Te’o and his family were paid for their appearance. ABC News tells us no money changed hands. Couric’s PR man Matthew Hiltzik was hired by the Te’o family in recent days.

The Te’o interview comes a week after Oprah Winfrey got a big “get” in Lance Armstrong for her network, OWN.

Networks Angling For Manti Te’o Interview

As the Manti Te’o hoax story spreads across the media landscape, the race is on to get the first interview with the star Notre Dame football player.

TVNewser hears that ESPN and NBC News have both been making their pitch to Notre Dame and people close to Te’o, and it is safe to assume that many other news outlets have been as well.

Sports Illustrated‘s sports media ace Richard Deitsch got a comment from ESPN on the matter:

Te’o is likely to face tough questioning when he does decide to talk, given the inconsistencies in the story he has presented publicly. Even if he is telling the truth about being hoaxed, it begs the question how he could be fooled so easily.

He could also take a cue from another sports star: Lance Armstrong. Armstrong decided to come clean via an interview with Oprah Winfrey, airing tonight on OWN. Winfrey makes her interviewees seem a little more human, and it is clear she is gunning for any big interview that she can get.

Right now, Te’o is that big get.

Chip Reid on Te’o Hoax: ‘We Were All Duped’

“CBS This Morning” spent 5 minutes of today’s show on the Manti Te’o hoax, revealed by Deadspin late yesterday. CBS was one of the news outlets taken in by the inspirational story of the death of Te’o's girlfriend who, we now know, never existed. It was all an elaborate hoax that played out on social media. Te’o says he was a victim. So were several news outlets that ate up the emotional tale over many months this Fall, about a relationship that reportedly — reported inaccurately — began two years ago.

“We were all duped,” said Chip Reid, who reported a 3-minute story on January 7, a full 11 days after Notre Dame, where Te’o was star linebacker, learned of the ruse. “It’s pretty stunning that (Notre Dame) knew on Dec. 26 and didn’t make it clear to the world then,” says Reid, who reached out to the school for his story.

This is Deadspin’s biggest story ever with nearly 2.9 million views. Reporters Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey continue making the media rounds exposing their story to another 12 million viewers on the morning shows. Burke was on “Good Morning America” and “Today” while Dickey was featured in the “CBS This Morning” story, after the jump.

And don’t expect the story to go away anytime soon. Insiders tell us ESPN, for one, is doing the digging it should have done months ago.

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