During an interview with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for the Third Hour Today show on Thursday, NBC reporter Sheinelle Jones grilled the prominent African American Republican on whether race relations were “worse” under President Trump. Rice immediately rejected the notion and called on the press to knock off the “hyperbole” in its coverage.
“There are people who will say it feels worse now when we’re talking about race, or it just feels like a divisive environment,” Jones claimed. Rice completely dismantled the premise: “Look, it sure doesn’t feel worse than when I grew up in Jim Crow Alabama, okay? So let’s drop this notion that we’re worse race relations today than we were in the past.”
The nation’s former chief diplomat continued to scold the reporter: “Really? That means we’ve made no progress, really? And so, I think the hyperbole about how much worse it is isn’t doing us any good.”
Undeterred, Jones followed up: “So for people who say, you know what, it’s top down, it starts with the President, it starts with the words that he speaks.” Rice again shut her down: “Oh, come on, alright. I would be the first to say we need to watch our language about race….but when we start saying, ‘Oh, you know, it’s worse today,’ no, they’re not.”
Earlier in the exchange, Jones engaged in similar exaggeration when discussing the President’s recent comments about foreign influence in elections:
President Trump said last week that he would be open to listening to foreign entities if they had dirt, if you will, about some of his adversaries. Critics have suggested that he’s almost put a for sale sign on the upcoming election. Do you worry that he’s done that?
Rice took her to task: “Let’s not overstate this, alright? People say things, the President has a tendency to want to say provocative things.”
Asking about the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation, Jones wondered: “Were you surprised by the conclusion of the report?” Rice replied: “Look, I guess Congress can decide. I think most Americans would like to move on.” Jones pressed: “Does the report warrant talks of impeachment?”
It’s good that Rice took the time to point out the absurdity of some of Jones’s questions, especially on the topic of race. Reporters should be held accountable when they’re just repeating liberal talking points without scrutiny.
Here is a transcript of the interview aired on June 20: