Not really a surprise considering the greatest risk to President Obama advocating for same sex marriage would be from the black constituency. However, if Mitt Romney had requested to only be interviewed by a white person, that might have made a headline or ten.
(POLITICO) — For President Barack Obama’s groundbreaking interview on gay marriage, the White House turned to a friendly face — ABC’s Robin Roberts.
She’s a respected journalist who knows both Barack and Michelle Obama well, isn’t regarded as a difficult “gotcha” interrogator and whose own identity — and shared love of sports with the president — was a key factor in the decision to grant her one of the biggest gets of the president’s time in office, according to insiders at ABC and elsewhere.
“The White House went with Robin because of her personal rapport, their friendship, the past interviews — but also her race [African-American], even her age,” one producer at ABC said to POLITICO of the 51-year-old Roberts. “There is a very strong, very basic connection there.”
Jonathan Wald, executive producer of CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” said, “The White House is very careful who it picks for which message. Robin is universally regarded as an excellent interviewer, and she and Obama have a relationship. It’s clear that the president likes to do interviews with her.”
By giving the interview to an African-American and Christian — two groups whose opposition to same-sex marriage has been significant — the White House may have been aiming to make Obama’s announcement more palatable to groups that differ with his support for gay marriage. (Christianity has long played a central role in Roberts’s life — she has credited her success to her parents’ emphasis on the three “D’s”: Discipline, Determination and “De Lord.”)
But while respected inside ABC and throughout the industry as a skilled and experienced interviewer, Roberts was also viewed as a safe pick for the Obama administration, in part because she comes from the world of morning network television and rarely flexes any political muscle or attack-dog approach to journalism.
“She’s friendly turf,” one executive at a rival network said. “I assume if Oprah was still Oprah, she would have landed this interview.” Keep reading. . .