Monday, June 26, 2006

Reporter to Rice: "We Love You Here In Greensboro"

Nancy McLaughlin's June 14 interview with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was a lot of things -- but an example of so-called "liberal media bias" was not among them.

McLaughlin, the religion writer for the Greensboro News & Record, covered Rice's speech at the Southern Baptist Convention in the North Carolina city. And maybe she was just giddy at the chance to interview a national figure, but McLaughlin couldn't have been more unprofessional.

The seven-minute interview started this way:

QUESTION: Secretary Rice, thank you. As a brilliant and accomplished woman who has risen to the highest office of public life, what would you say to the Convention which would limit your abilities as a woman?

And it ended this way:

SECRETARY RICE: I thank you very much.

QUESTION: We love you here in Greensboro. I just wanted to say that with my time.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, thank you. Really nice to meet you. Thank you. Want to take a picture together?

QUESTION: Yeah, sure.


It's positively Jeff Gannon-esque. No wonder the State Department posted the interview online.

Just imagine what might have happened if a reporter was caught on-record framing questions that way for, say, Sen. Hillary Clinton?

Oh, the "conservative media" would have a field day. It'd be the talk of hundreds of blogs. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and the rest would offering heated criticism.

But do a Google search, and you'll find nary a conservative blogger saying boo about McLaughlin.


Perhaps worse is that McLaughlin wasn't even given a slap on the wrist for her actions -- which either showed her to be a sycophant or not ready for prime time.

Editor John Robinson, in his blog on the paper's Web site, started off by scolding his reporter:

ROBINSON: "Nancy's closing comment to Rice -- 'We love you here in Greensboro' -- was inappropriate, to say the least, and she shouldn't have said it. She knows it, too.

Then came some spin:

ROBINSON: "She told me that her mouth outran her brain and that she intended to convey respect for Rice's accomplishments. Didn't come out that way. And while it wasn't meant as a political endorsement, I can see how it will be read that way."

You know that wouldn't fly if McLaughlin had been interviewing Sen. Clinton.

Robinson then ends the post with what I guess was an attempt at humor:

ROBINSON: "To avoid any perception of preferential treatment, Nancy won't be covering stories about Rice or the State Department."

Of course she won't. McLaughlin, remember, is the religion writer.

I guess that's the way they do things in Greensboro.


Anonymous Bobby Seele said...

I guess JABBS, in all its infinite wisdom and lefty political correctness, is oblivious to the fact that Rice is a black woman. While I know its hard to give Bush credit for anything, his move to appoint Rice to such a lofty post is both unprecidented and clearly historically significant. How far did a black woman get in Clinton's administration? Perhaps our "bias" reporter does admire Rice. As a woman, I would imagine its hard not to. So give her a break, think of it along the lines of Dan Rather kissing Clinton's Ass.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Bobby -- maybe your reading comprehension skills are poor, or maybe you just don't care about the subject of the story.

JABBS isn't writing about the worthiness of Rice as Secretary of State. He's writing about obvious bias from the reporter, and the fact that the newspaper didn't do anything about it.

Using your example, if Rather had kissed Hillary Clinton's ass and been caught on tape doing so, you would have screamed and shouted about bias -- along with every conservative pundit on the radio or television or blogland today.

Why aren't you equally annoyed in this instance? Could it be that you have a double standard?

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Bobby Seale said...

Hey Alias Dingbat, I addressed the Bias subject. Oh, never mind. I don't know why I bother. It's just another case of people trying to keep a Brother and a Sister down.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

You said; "give her a break."

I doubt you'd have the same reaction if the reporter had said: "Hillary, we love you here in Greensboro."

The fact that Condi is a black woman has nothing to do with the point JABBS makes. I know you'd like to turn this into a racial issue -- "trying to keep a Brother and a Sister down" is a load of crap -- but it isn't.

The fact that you insist on making it a racial issue shows either that you lack reading comprehension skills, or that you favor a double standard of condemning reporters for liberal bias, but giving them a pass for conservative bias.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Also, the fact that you made fun of my name just shows how weak your argument is.

You want to call people names? Go back to 2nd grade.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Buzz Clik said...

Only an idiot (i.e. wingnut) believes all media lean left

I don't see the big deal here. A local religion writer gets all goo goo over Condi Rice. Was someone under the impression that a religion writer is actually a journalist?

5:47 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...


Maybe you don't know how newspapers work. A religion writer for a daily newspaper is a reporter assigned to cover news related to religions. A sports writer covers sports. A political writer covers politics. Other reporters cover a specific town.

So yes, she's a real reporter. And yes, she did show off unnecessary bias. And yes, she should be held accountable, just the same way a reporter fawning over, say, Hillary Clinton would be held accountable by the "conservative media."

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Bock said...

Heaven forbid the reporter should say something nice to her.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous maxsolomon said...

pundit, sure
reporters are supposed to be objective.

it only takes 2 to make a 'we'.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Clark2008 said...

Saying something nice, sure.

I mean, when I was reporting, I told officials their suit looked nice or their new hair cut looked good, but I never told a public official that "everybody here loves you."

That goes from passing a nice pleasantry to sucking up BIG TIME.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

this wasn't just saying something nice

This was fawning. And if the reporter had done the same for, say, Hillary Clinton, the "conservative media" would have gone bonkers with claims of liberal media bias. Because she fawned over Rice, the "conservative media" wants to give the reporter a pass.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend's sister lives in Greensboro and she hates Condi Rice's guts.

4:06 PM  

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