I am increasingly disappointed by Judy Woodruff’s anchoring of the PBS NewsHour. I think she is increasingly strident in attacking American history and America as she sees it now. This has usually been while discussing issues of blackness and inequality, but most recently I was struck by her interview with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. At the end of the interview dealing with poor treatment of American Indians in boarding schools, Woodruff asked:
Secretary Haaland, you also wrote recently about the challenge of loving your own country, a country that was responsible for committing these acts.
How do you explain that to others, to other Native Americans, who look at this and question, how can they — how can you love a country that has done this?
This sounded like she was giving Haaland an opening to attack the United States, but Haaland did not. She replied in a loyal way:
Well, first of all, my ancestral homelands are here, and I can’t go anywhere else. I — this is my home. And this is where my family is. This is where my history is.
We have been here for tens of thousands of years. And we want to make sure that we’re defending this land for future generations. I believe very strongly in democracy. And if you look at tribes across the country, so many Indian tribes had longstanding historical democracies in their communities.
And I’m confident that our country can live up to its promise to people, to our citizens. And I want to be a part of that.
I thought that during the whole interview Woodruff was being belligerent, but that Haaland responded mildly and thoughtfully. I was impressed favorably by Haaland and unfavorably by Woodruff.