Softball Interview Question Leads to Awkward AnswerS

Michelle Bernard, MSNBC's right-wing pundit, is married to CNN's Joe John's. But as wowOwow's Andrew Belonsky learned rather awkwardly in an interview, they are currently separated. Also: Johns gets some seriously racist e-mail.

Bernard, who's been on MSNBC since August of last year, is the CEO of the Independent Women's Forum, an advocacy group that sounds non-partisan, but isn't—she also served on the Bush-Cheney 2000 Inaugural Committee. She and Johns, who was for many years an NBC News' congressional corresponden and joined CNN in 2004, married in 1996.

When Johns was working on a story about "a Republican member of Congress," Bernard told Belonsky, he got some lovely notes from CNN viewers about how they were going to rape his wife. And a lot of people liked to call refer to him as CNN's "Nigger Reporter," which makes Lou Dobbs the network's Cracker Shithead, no?

wOw: And you are married to Joe Johns, who works for CNN. Does that make easier? To be with somebody who's in the business?

MICHELLE: We are married but we're separated.

wOw: Oh, pardon me.

MICHELLE: Oh, it's OK. You know what, it doesn't really matter either way. It just doesn't really matter. I will tell you, being married to Joe … When we first got married I was still working in a law firm and not doing any media at all, and that is the most unsafe I have ever felt. And it wasn't because of me being in the media, it was because of him. Just as a quick aside, he was covering a story about a Republican member of Congress. He was out West covering a story and someone was unhappy about his reporting. And they made physical threats against me, and said that they were going to find his wife and they were going to rape her. It was absolutely terrifying. And I used to save the nasty e-mails he would receive, like, "You nigger reporter," just as an example of how awful human beings could be. And I can say that my early experiences with him and the threats against both him and me have made it easier for me to let a lot of the stuff roll off my back.

Bernard may say "it's OK" to talk about the separation, but someone at the Independent Women's Forum doesn't agree—someone using an IP address owned by the IWF tried to strip Johns from her Wikipedia entry on Wednesday. The attempt was blocked by one of the the site's editors, but the page now says—inaccurately—that the couple is no longer married.