June 12, 2014

BuzzFeed | Politico | National Journal

You know I really, I have to say, I think you’re being very persistent,” Hillary Clinton said to Terry Gross on “Fresh Air” Thursday. The NPR show’s host was trying to pin Clinton down on her changing positions on gay marriage, something that Clinton apparently didn’t enjoy. “I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons,” she told Gross.

The exchange was “taped by America Rising, a Republican research group that’s spent the majority of its time focused on Clinton,” Maggie Haberman and Katie Glueck report in Politico.

Clinton discussed her new book in New York Thursday (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Gross’ tenacity during this exchange is remarkable in American political journalism. The host is “famous for her laborious research that often involves lugging boxes of books home” and “regularly puts her subjects’ entire lives on the table, moving far beyond whatever they happen to be there to promote,” Alex Seitz-Wald writes in National Journal. She’s “more likely to open a line of questioning her subjects are not expecting and then push them with impunity, since she doesn’t have to be too concerned about alienating those close to her subjects.”

Here’s Clinton’s position on gay marriage in 2000, courtesy Rachel Weiner at The Washington Post: “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.”

Her change on the issue reflects a broader shift nationally: As Pew reported in March, 2011 was the first year a higher percentage of Americans said they favored gay marriage than opposed it.

Related: Former NPR ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin discusses Terry Gross’ 2003 interview with Bill O’Reilly, which he walked out of | A transcript of Gross’ interview with Gene Simmons

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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