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Madeline Albright criticizes Dennis Rodman, Robert Gates

KTAR's Bob McClay interviews former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright said former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman needs to shut up when it comes to diplomacy.

Albright said Rodman's attempts at North Korean Diplomacy are a "side show" at a press conference in Phoenix on Thursday. She even offered to make a deal with Rodman.

"I promise not to play basketball if he stops trying to do diplomacy," she said.

Albright recently visited the demilitarized zone that seperates North and South Korea, and said it was like stepping back in time.

"It's so Cold War that it's like out of a different era," she said.

Rodman recently told a news conference that he told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that "Your grandfather and your father did some bad things, but you are trying to change."

Albright said Rodman doesn't know what he's talking about.

"It is a cruel regime," she said. "Kim Jong Um, the new young leader, lives a very nice life, while, in fact, the majority of the people in North Korea are starving and can't do anything. Either Dennis Rodman needs to find out what he's talking about, or stop talking."

Albright is glad that Rodman has apologized for his recent outburst during a CNN interview about several former NBA players accompanying him to North Korea.

Albright also said that she's disappointed with former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

In his new book, Gates criticized President Obama for what he calls "losing faith in his own strategy" when it came to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Albright said that Gates was part of Obama's inner circle and the president trusted that he could openly express his concerns to him. She said it was wrong for Gates to write the book while Obama is still in office.

As for Obama himself, Albright said that "it is clear that President Obama is bound and determined to defend U.S. national interests. He has the utmost respect for the military. But he is not somebody that wants to keep fighting endlessly. He is trying to figure out how to bring troops home."

Albright made the comments while in Phoenix to promote her new book.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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