Frank Page Interviewed by Tavis Smiley
I want to offer a few reactions I had to the interview. First, I think Dr. Page came across as humble, generous, and overall, a really nice guy. Smiley, as usual, treated Page like an old friend, but he did grill the SBC President rather hard at times. I felt that often Smiley phrased questions in such a way that it made it difficult for Dr. Page to really explain his or the SBC's position. At one point he asked about immigration policy and framed it as if the SBC was taking its marching orders from the Republican party. And unfortunately, while Dr. Page did a descent job in that instance of remarking how the Democrats were divided on immigration (as Smiley had suggested about the Republicans), he did nothing to squash such a stereotype. Smiley also took a few cheap shots at the SBC in the midst of the interview, and, on a couple of occasions, making long statements before getting to the gist of his questions. In the end, I think it was one of the worst interviews I have seen Tavis Smiley do, mainly because I believe he gave off a sense of animosity toward Southern Baptists in the way he interviewed Dr. Page.
As for Dr. Page's demeanor, I think overall he did well. As I said above, he came across as humble and even gentle. But Dr. Page never seemed comfortable and to be honest, I wasn't impressed. He let Smiley bully him a bit with questions that Dr. Page should have challenged rather than directly answered. And Dr. Page's answers were often too brief and didn't explain his position adequately enough. Still, I think the President did what needed to be done -- project a sense of gentleness and humility, reflecting the need to minister and avoid too much political interaction.
The interview lasts less than 15 minutes, so take the time to listen and let me know what you think. Did Tavis Smiley come across as condescending toward the SBC? Do you think Dr. Page did well or did he seem uncomfortable and rattled to you at times? What about his answers -- did you agree or disagree with what Dr. Page had to say?