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Robin Roberts: “I’m Going to Get Real Right Here…”

Tony Cartagena

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Walt Disney Media Company

Icon Robin Roberts recently admitted to being human.

In anticipation of the launch of her new roundtable news talk series on Disney+, Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America anchor sat down for an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE and said there was one interview she almost said “no” to doing.

Reminder, Roberts has been conducting top-notch interviews with the utmost professionalism for decades and has gone back-and-forth with legendary names in entertainment such as Ozzy Osbourne and Michael Jordan.

But a sit-down with President Barack Obama was a little different. It was personal.

“I’m going to get real right here. I can’t believe I’m going to share this. I was ill but people didn’t know I was ill, it was the second time around, and I was asked to go to the White House to interview then-President Barack Obama,” she said.

“They said that he was going to most likely change his stance on marriage equality. I had not come out yet.”

Roberts had previously gone through a bout with cancer.

PEOPLE took a deeper dive into the reasoning behind Roberts’ nerves regarding the interview with the 44th President of the United States.

“So here I am going to interview him, and I was like, ‘Oh, are people going to ask me about (Amber Laign)’ I wasn’t ready,” she said.

Laign is her current partner of over 16 years.

“If I was walking down the street with Amber, I would introduce her as my girlfriend. I wasn’t hiding, but I wasn’t ready for the world and I was fearful.”

That’s when she shockingly revealed that she almost passed on the opportunity.

“I almost said, ‘I’m not going to do the interview,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Robin René Roberts, this man is going to change the course of so many lives and you’re afraid that you’re going to be outed? No.’

“I marched there and I did the interview and I’ll never forget sitting across from him and saying, ‘President Obama, have you changed your stance on marriage equality?’ And he said yes.”

She has interviewed Obama multiple times since 2012.

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News Television

CBS Reportedly Seizes Files From Laid-Off Journalist After Investigations Into President Biden

Many staffers questioned the motives of the company and its reasoning for dealing with Herridge’s files and possessions differently than other fired employees, with one manager calling the situation “outrageous.”

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CBS is facing backlash after reportedly seizing files from an investigative reporter it laid off as part of cost-cutting measures earlier this month.

According to an opinion piece from Jonathan Turley on TheHill.com, CBS News took possession of the “files, computers and records, including information on privileged sources” of investigative reporter Catherine Herridge, who was one of 20 staffers whose jobs were eliminated in a round of reductions last week.

“I have spoken confidentially with current and former CBS employees who have stated that they could not recall the company ever taking such a step before,” wrote Turley. “One former CBS journalist said that many employees ‘are confused why [Herridge] was laid off, as one of the correspondents who broke news regularly and did a lot of original reporting.'”

Turley added that several employees inside the network questioned why Herridge was removed in the first place, noting that she regularly broke major stories for the outlet. He continued by noting that many staffers questioned the motives of the company and its reasoning for dealing with Herridge’s files and possessions differently than other fired employees, with one manager calling the situation “outrageous.”

After his comments and column went viral early Friday morning, Turley noted that — under public and internal pressure — the outlet was making arrangements to return the files and information to Herridge.

“I am hearing from CBS sources that the network is moving toward a resolution to turn over the files after the outcry,” he wrote in a post to X. “However, the concerns over Herridge’s termination and the network’s handling of her confidential notes continues to raise alarm in the journalistic community.”

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News Television

Alleged Fox News Hacker of Viral Tucker Carlson Clips Indicted

“We obviously emphatically deny these charges and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to defend him and exonerate him.”

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A photo of Tucker Carlson drinking a beer
(Photo: Media Matters)

After being arrested last year as the accused hacker of the viral clips of Tucker Carlson after his exit from Fox News, former Deadspin editor Tim Burke has been indicted in a federal court.

Burke was arrested Thursday morning in Tampa Bay, and is charged with 14 crimes, including conspiracy.

Law enforcement officials allege Burke and an unnamed accomplice used “compromised credentials” to illegally access video streams from Fox News to distribute unflattering clips of Carlson after his high-profile exit from the conservative cable outlet last April.

The complaint also alleges that Buke took “specific steps” to mask how and where the clips — which were ultimately published by Media Matters — were obtained.

Attorneys representing Burke allege he did nothing wrong in obtaining and disseminating the videos.

“It’s not hacking, it’s just good investigative journalism,” Maddux told the Tampa Bay Times Thursday. “We obviously emphatically deny these charges and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to defend him and exonerate him.”

Earlier this year, the ACLU of Florida agreed, claiming the details of Burke’s case have a “chilling effect on journalism.”

The videos of Tucker Carlson were released in a steady stream by Media Matters. Over the course of several days, clips of Carlson railing against the FOX Nation streaming service, drinking on the job, asking a makeup artist if she had pillow fights during sleepovers, and his controversial interview with rapper Kanye West that featured anti-Semitic comments from the artist were all released by the media watchdog organization.

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News Television

Mehdi Hasan Joins The Guardian After MSNBC Exit

“It’s a huge honor and a privilege.”

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Mehdi Hasan
(Photo: MSNBC)

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan departed the cable news network earlier this year. He now has a new home at The Guardian.

Hasan has joined The Guardian U.S. as a regular columnist, giving his commentary on politics, culture, race, and other topics for the outlet.

“I have been poring over columns in the Guardian since I was a teenager. Now I get to write some of my own in what is perhaps one of the busiest and biggest news years of my lifetime,” said Hasan told Semafor. “It’s a huge honor and a privilege.”

The outlet’s editor, Betsy Reed, said the publication is “proud to provide a platform for his incisive political commentary, relentless advocacy for human rights an

d free speech, and fearless accountability for those in power. Mehdi is the latest addition to a stellar, expanding roster of opinion writers here at Guardian US, and I look forward to his contributions in the months ahead.”

MSNBC canceled The Mehdi Hasan Show in November. The network faced charges of silencing Muslim voices after several members of the faith were removed from their posts on the network. It denied the accusations that came weeks after the October 7th terrorist attacks from Hamas against Israel.

Hasan then announced his departure from the network last month, saying it was his decision to leave MSNBC.

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