Much of Suzanne Malveaux's face time on CNN is spent doing stand-ups on the White House lawn parroting whatever a "senior Bush administration official" is peddling that day, or the day before, as she's often working weekends.
But she was actually liberated from Pennsylvania Avenue to cover Laura Bush's Mideast trip. Good for her. Until she blew it. On a report I caught early this morning, Malveaux wanted more than just the spotlight. She craved being a part of the story herself.
The report in questions was about some ostensibly tense moments when the First Lady entered the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem to pay her respects at the Muslim holy shrine. Malveaux went in with her, head scarf and all.
There were a few protesters nearby as they were ushered in, but between the Secret Service and Israeli security, nobody was getting near. Still, Malveaux breathlessly worded a report as if she was about to be branded an infidel and have her limbs ripped asunder. She unforgivably slipped into the first person twice while recounting events.
A pleasant encounter? Hardly. But even CNN's cameras had trouble mustering images of more than a few Muslim protesters. Malveaux's dispatch made it seem like Mrs. Bush was in danger, which was never close to being the case given the numerous guys with earpieces and automatic weapons.
There were louder protests from Jews when the First Lady visited the Western Wall, but Malveaux gave them shorter shrift. Maybe it was because she didn't have to wear a head scarf, just like when she's back on the White House lawn.