Dutch Media Mock Katie Couric for Skating Snafu

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Katie Couric attends Under the Gun NY Premiere Event With Katie Couric & Stephanie Soechtig on May 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for EPIX)
Monica Schipper/Getty Images for EPIX

The Dutch media are mocking NBC Olympics commentator Katie Couric for suggesting Friday that speed-skaters from the Netherlands are racking up medals because speed-skating is an “important mode of transport” in their country.

HuffPost observed:

Couric called skating “an important mode of transportation” in the city of Amsterdam.

“As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winters,” Couric said during the Opening Ceremony.

“So, for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other and also to have fun.”

While that might sound like a nifty explanation, it’s not entirely accurate. Amsterdam has canals, which can freeze in winter. Certainly, some people enjoy skating on them at those times. But the canals don’t freeze all winter and in plenty of years, they don’t freeze at all.

Couric was mocked mercilessly on Twitter:

It was only the latest geography error by NBC, which apologized Sunday for a remark by an analyst who credited Japan for South Korea’s development. Japan occupied Korea, often brutally, from 1910 to 1945.

Couric was lauded for her aggressive interviews of then-Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in 2008, where she famously asked the Alaska governor whether she read newspapers, implying that she was ignorant.

“I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?” Couric asked.

The question, which caught the governor off-guard, was credited by many on the left for destroying Palin’s image. Couric received awards and plaudits in the months to follow.

Today, Amsterdam residents might well ask Couric the same question she posed to Palin ten years ago.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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