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In its 11th broadcast, the "Free Speech" segment of the September 19 edition of the CBS Evening News featured Washington Post associate editor and liberal columnist Eugene Robinson, who spoke about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Robinson denounced those who would judge Rice based not on "foreign policy" but "on whether or not she thinks like most African-Americans."
He went on to say: "I think the war in Iraq is a disaster. I think this administration has created more anti-American feeling in the world than we've seen in my lifetime, and I look forward to the day when they have to pack up and go home -- and that certainly includes Condoleezza Rice."
Media Matters for America has monitored the Evening News' "Free Speech" segment, and, for the past week, regularly noted CBS' failure, through its 10th broadcast, to include any progressive pundits or Democrats, despite featuring conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former Bush aide and speechwriter Michael Gerson.
From the September 19 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:
KATIE COURIC (host): Among the dignitaries at the U.N. today for the opening of the General Assembly was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She spent some of her time here in New York defending President Bush's policies on everything from Iran to the treatment of terror suspects. Rice has her supporters and her critics; and in "Free Speech" tonight, you'll hear from someone who has decidedly mixed feelings. He's Eugene Robinson, associate editor and columnist for The Washington Post.
ROBINSON: It's safe to say that Condi Rice provokes passionate feelings among black Americans, both pro and con -- mostly con, in my case. But not always.
I've tried to get over the fact that a woman who grew up in Jim Crow Alabama is so loyal to a president for whom black America has so little love. I realize that black conservatives have the same right to be wrong as any other conservatives. She should be judged on foreign policy, not on whether or not she thinks like most African-Americans.
OK, fine. I think the war in Iraq is a disaster. I think this administration has created more anti-American feeling in the world than we've seen in my lifetime, and I look forward to the day when they have to pack up and go home -- and that certainly includes Condoleezza Rice.
That's the way I feel -- until I hear some commentator describe her as, quote, "articulate," which is code for a black person who speaks standard English. Excuse me? You were expecting the Secretary of State to be inarticulate?
That's when I get this involuntary twitch and I want to defend Condoleezza Rice -- when she's patronized, the way black pioneers in all walks of life have been patronized. Look, Condoleezza Rice is a major, major player in this administration. So, call her whatever you want, but don't call her a token or a puppet, and please, don't call her "articulate."
COURIC: Eugene Robinson.