I’ve learned that some of the people I grew up thinking were in the enemy’s camp, so to speak, are spectacular people who share many of the same interests and opinions I do.[….]
I learned that I will never be competitive with Roland Martin on the fashion front, but he makes an excellent road trip companion through South Carolina. One of the most formative moments of my career at CNN was standing outside a hotel with Roland Martin and tourists began handing him luggage and keys as if he worked at the hotel — only because he was in a suit. His courteousness to the people when he did not have to be courteous and the fact that in the 21st century that’d happen at all really struck me profoundly.
Because of CNN I’m not just better at my job, but I’m a better person. For all the hate and angst from a lot of folks on the right over me going to CNN, I know many of the contributors I consider good friends were initially skeptical of my hiring. I had to learn an art form too often missing these days in partisan talk — the art of conversation, particularly with those who might disagree with me. I had to learn to be friends with people who I disagreed with. And I leave deeply caring for those people.
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