NBC’s Gregory: “I Wasn’t Promising A Friendly Forum” For Sanford

Over the weekend, NBC’s David Gregory responded to charges raised by TPMmuckraker and others that he was overly solicitous in trying to woo Mark Sanford to come on Meet The Press during the imbroglio over the South Carolina governor’s disappearance.

In an email to a blogger at Daily Kos, Gregory wrote:

Thanks for the email. I wasn’t promising a friendly forum. I was offering a fair forum to discuss his problems. I meant my forum allows him to have the time to discuss the situation in a fullsome way, to say what he wants and move on. I appreciate your sensitivity on this. It’s a fair question to ask. I have never pulled punches in an interview. Thanks.

Hours after Sanford confessed to an affair last month, Gregory wrote in an email to the governor’s press secretary (subsequently released to the media through public records requests):

Look, you guys have a lot of pitches.. I get it and I know this is a tough situation… Let me say just this is a place to have a wider conversation with some context about not just the personal but also the future for him and the party… This situation only exacerbates the issue of how the GOP recovers when another national leader suffers a setback like this. So coming on Meet the Press allows you to frame the conversation how you really want to… and then move on. You can see you have done your interview and then move on. Consider it.

We report, you decide.