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Cynthia McFadden's 11-Year-Old Son Has Been to 30 Countries

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Jennifer Lee:Just one week after the passing of her mother, award-winning journalist Cynthia McFadden, co-anchor of ABC's "Nightline," sat down to talk with momlogic.

Cynthia McFadden

On traveling with her 11-year-old son, Spencer (he's been to 30 countries so far!):
"People have often asked me if I'm exposing him to too much," says Cynthia. But she feels that travel is life-enhancing, and that Spencer (who's named after Spencer Tracy) has blossomed from his exposure to other people and places. "He's curious and passionate," she says. "He's learned compassion and understanding. He has a great sense of adventure or respect for people who are different and live differently than he in other parts of the world. He's gained a sense that we are all connected in some way."

On what she's learned about prejudice and racism from traveling with her son:
Awaiting their arrival on the hills of Soweto, South Africa, Cynthia and Spencer were welcomed by a group of about 400 AIDS orphans. "Spencer stayed in the car," she recalls. "When I asked why, he said, 'I don't think I can get out. I've never been the only white kid before. What if they don't like me?' And it was such an insight for me [in] understanding the beginning of prejudice. It really affected me in my understanding by having him with me."

On the importance of staying objective even when you're upset:
Ten years ago, Cynthia reported on a Mexican children's mental hospital, where she found children handcuffed to a radiator. "You don't worry about losing your objectivity, but about losing a little part of your heart," she says. She tries to keep her emotions in check and to be fair and accurate in telling the story -- which she learned from working with one of the media greats: Fred Friendly. "The requirement isn't to not have a point of view; it's to be fair and accurate," she says.

On her interview wish list:
"Elizabeth Taylor. She is the last of the great lionesses left," Cynthia says. "I would love to talk to her about her journey."

On some of the people she's interviewed who have made an impact on her:
They are not so much celebrities, but everyday people -- such as the 87-year-old grandmother who's raising her six grandchildren. "So many people who moved me and touched me were those who I could give a voice to who wouldn't have [had] a voice otherwise," explains Cynthia.

next: 5 Reasons I Don't Want a Pot Dispensary in My 'Hood
1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen June 9, 2010, 7:41 AM

I think traveling, especially to foreign countries is one of the most enriching experiences you can give a child.

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