Denzel Washington Interview w/Katie Couric
Netlore Archive: Circulating via email: embellished version of a politically-charged TV interview hosted by Katie Couric and featuring Manchurian Candidate stars Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.
Description: Forwarded email
Circulating since: Aug. 2004
Status: Partly true (see details below)
Email text contributed by A. Benjamin, Aug. 18, 2004:
Denzel Washington interview with Katie Couric 8/13/04
I bet this one will never see the light of day again. I think I'll ask NBC for a copy of the videotape of this segment. Will be interesting to see how/if they respond.
Did You See or Hear About This
Did you see the Denzel Washington interview with Katie Couric on NBC last Friday morning (13 August 2004)? Not many people are talking about it. They are wishing it would go away and are trying to sweep it under the rug. But it's not going to happen! It basically went like this.
Meryl Streep and Denzel were on the today show "live" with Katie Couric to talk about the movie "Manchurian Candidate."
At one point Katie asked Denzel, "have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11?" To which Denzel replied, "No, and I have no intentions on seeing it." Katie and Meryl were "so noticeably" taken aback! It was so cool!
Then, a discourse (or more preferably, a fight!) began between all three of them with Denzel being barraged with all kinds of anti-Bush, anti-republican comments, but "the man stood his ground" and soon enraged the women so much that they couldn't get a word in edgewise. Meryl Streep turned blood red and she sat with her legs crossed and her one leg shaking up and down, fuming! Then Katie uttered the words that put the final nail in her coffin, she said to Denzel "you see, that's the problem I have with "you people."
She of course did not get to finish her sentence because Denzel pounced on her verbally by responding "YOU PEOPLE! YOU PEOPLE! Just what do you mean you people! Do you mean "You People" as in me as a Christian, or do you mean "You People" as in me as a REPUBLICAN? She then tap danced her way through the next minute of the show. But Denzel went out fighting and declaring that Fahrenheit 9/11 is nothing but propaganda and lies distorted to support a cynical democratic film director's views.
Whoo hoo!! I love the man!
There's a celebrity that deserves to wear the uniform in movies and I don't mind at all. Everybody else is a hypocrite!
Analysis: Not exactly true. An exchange roughly resembling the above between Manchurian Candidate stars Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, director Jonathan Demme, and host Katie Couric did take place on Dateline NBC in July 2004, but a transcript of the segment reveals that the anonymous author of this email has freely embellished the facts.
1. Couric did not ask Denzel Washington if he had seen Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, nor did Washington announce he has no intention of seeing the film. The actual exchange proceeded as follows:
Couric: "And how do you feel about the current political situation?"
Washington: "You know, I haven't seen Fahrenheit 9/11, because I live in America. I grew up here. I'm an ex-slave. I'm a result of what this country can do. So it's nothing knew to me. I'm not surprised at all. It's just business as usual..."
2. At no point did Washington call Moore's film "nothing but propaganda and lies distorted to support a cynical democratic film director's views."
3. At no point was Washington "barraged with all kinds of anti-Bush, anti-Republican comments" by the others present. In fact, it was he who dominated the political discussion.
4. Couric did not say, "You see, that's the problem I have with 'you people.'"
5. At no point did Denzel Washington respond with anything resembling, "Do you mean 'You People' as in me as a Christian, or do you mean 'You People' as in me as a REPUBLICAN?"
This segment of the conversation actually began with Couric asking Washington how he felt about the frequently-made statement that "Hollywood folks should stick to acting."
"I'm not a Hollywood folk," Washington protested. "I don't know who they are."
Couric: "Okay, all right, well, let me rephrase the question. Are you one of those people that "
Washington: "Ah, there you go. Am I one of those people? Hmmm, isn't that interesting?"
Couric: "Oh, stop, stop, stop."
Washington: "No, don't stop. I heard what you just said. 'Am I one of those people?' No, I'm not."
Couric: "No, are you an actor who would rather not "
Washington: "No, I'm not that either. I'm a human being. My job is acting."
Couric: "Okay, are you somebody who would rather not express his political views publicly? I mean how do you feel about that? Some people are more outspoken than others..."
The interview ended with these comments by Manchurian Candidate director Jonathan Demme:
"It's fundamental to a democracy that you're not only permitted to speak out, you're supposed to have an opinion, you're supposed to speak out, you're supposed to engage in a discourse. And in this way, we arrive at ideas that can move us forward in a positive fashion. I wish everybody could get on TV and talk about how they feel. Maybe we'd learn something."
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Sources and further reading:
'Manchurian Candidate' Cast Talks Politics
Dateline NBC transcript, 25 July 2004
Last updated: 08/21/04