Liberal media? MSM: Mainstream media or man seeking man

by Jordan Green

Washington Post media critic Al Kamen took note a of gushing exchange between Condoleezza Rice and News & Record religion reporter Nancy McLaughlin during the secretary of state’s visit to Greensboro on June 14 to address the Southern Baptist Convention ‘— a personal exchange that, of course, did not make its way into print.

In her seven-minute interview McLaughlin attempted, among other things, to pin Rice down on her view of gay marriage, noting that many Southern Baptists would have been disappointed about the failure of the same-sex marriage amendment in the Senate and that polls show increasing acceptance for the idea of non-hetero couples tying the knot.

‘“Well, look, this is not my area of expertise or, frankly, my area of concentration at this point,’” Rice responded. ‘“I do think that this issue can be debated and can be discussed in our country with respect for every human being. And when we get into difficult debates about social policy, we get into difficult debates that touch people’s lives, the only thing I ask is that Americans do it with a kind of sensitivity that real individuals and real human beings are involved here.’”

The interview ended with McLaughlin saying, ‘“Well, I won’t be disrespectful. I understand that I only had seven minutes.

‘“I thank you very much,’” Rice said.

‘“We love you here in Greensboro,’” McLaughlin said. ‘“I just wanted to say that with my time.’”

‘“Well, thank you,’” Rice said. ‘“Really nice to meet you. Thank you. Want to take a picture together?’”

‘“Yeah, sure.’”

Editor John Robinson said in a June 21 post on his weblog that McLaughlin knows the ‘“I love you’” comment was inappropriate. Robinson said his reporter won’t be covering the State Department and Rice in the future. We note that original coverage of Washington politics is not a regular feature of Greensboro’s daily newspaper.

‘“She told me that her mouth outran her brain and that she intended to convey respect for Rice’s accomplishments,’” Robinson wrote. ‘“Didn’t come out that way.’”

McLaughlin certainly conveyed that at the beginning of the interview when she prefaced her first question to Rice with this: ‘“As a brilliant and accomplished woman who has risen to the highest office in public life’….’”

One reader, Chris Simmons, objected more to that tribute than McLaughlin’s parting expression of adoration.

‘“Someone less admiring of Rice might have began,’” he wrote, ‘“’As a dolt and liar ‘— for your role in leading America into war’….””