Yo Katie, now zing the Amish!

2006 03 03 NBCT 01Here is a short update on that Today showdown between Katie Couric and Thomas Monaghan, the Domino's Pizza founder who is now building Ave Maria University down in southwest Florida. The tech team at the conservative Media Research Center have put up a commentary by L. Brent Bozell III that includes a video link to the crucial section of the actual interview, which included Paul Marinelli, the developer for the town that will be called Ave Maria, Fla. Watch the showdown for yourself and see what you think. Here is a key piece of Bozell's commentary:

As NBC dutifully plastered the words "Catholic Town USA" on screen, Couric began pestering Monaghan about his hope that pharmacists would not sell contraceptives there. She asked about it four times. After four denials, she started dropping the bombs.

"Some people," she claimed, think Catholic values might be "deemed wholesome, but in other ways, I think people will see this community as eschewing diversity and promoting intolerance." Marinelli refused to take the bait, and instead calmly explained that this town was open to all people of all faiths with a "traditional family value perspective." Couric was unconvinced and shot back, "Does that mean you would welcome Jewish residents?"

Here are two other great Couric moments, as she auditions for the Dan Rather Memorial Chair of Broadcasting:

"... (You) can understand how people would hear some of these things and be, like, wow, this is really infringing on civil liberties and freedom of speech and right to privacy and all sorts of basic tenets this country was founded on. Right?"

And then her final zinger, delivered with a laugh:

"Well, we'll probably be following this story, because I know the ACLU is too."

jacob reitan equality rideBy the way, if GetReligion readers want to see a mainstream reporter working hard to be fair to people on both sides of a loaded, emotional story, check out reporter Michelle Boorstein's feature story in the Washington Post about the Soulforce Equality Ride campaign and its impact on the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

I won't have much to say on this particular story right now, since the CCCU is where I work. If I offer commentary on Equality Ride coverage later, I'll make sure that GetReligion readers (or even my Scripps Howard News Service readers) know about that link. I've been covering the Rev. Mel White and his Soulforce projects for ages.

I hope reporters along the Equality Ride route read Boorstein's story, and I think the Soulforce people would say the same.

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