Reporter Says, "I'll Never Talk To A Reporter Again!"
By Ed Driscoll · July 31, 2005 06:02 PM · Oh, That Liberal Media!
Glenn Reynolds links to Matt Drudge's latest update on Helen Thomas's meltdown after being caught saying that "I'll kill myself" if Dick Cheney announced he'd be running for the presidency. Drudge reports that "White House press doyenne Helen Thomas is plenty peeved at her longtime friend Albert Eisele, editor of THE HILL newspaper in Washington, D.C.":
Thomas said yesterday at the White House that her comments to Eisele were for his ears only. "I'll never talk to a reporter again!" Thomas was overheard saying.Glenn adds, "This kind of turnabout will only get more common, of course".
It will. But Thomas's meltdown--staggeringly ironic, as it comes from someone who spends her days praying for (and preying upon) similar gaffes from the president and his press secretary--is only the latest in a string of examples of reporters who specialize in playing "gotcha games" with their interviewees, and acting like hypocrites if the tables are ever turned.
In between setting up CNBC and then Fox News, Roger Ailes wrote a superb book on public speaking called You Are The Message, which, not surprisingly, given his career as a TV producer, had numerous tips on working with the media--and avoiding getting worked over by them. At one point, Ailes wrote:
Recognize that any time you are in the presence of a newsperson, the conversation is fair game for the record. Jimmy Carter's famous confession that he sometimes had lust in his heart for women other than his wife was uttered to a Playboy magazine journalist as he was leaving Carter's home at the conclusion of the formal interview.And Bernard Goldberg's second book on media bias, Arrogance, has a brief chapter called "File It Under 'H'", in which he wrote:
You know the old saying "They can dish it out but they can't take it"?Goldberg concludes, "File that memo under 'H' for Hypocrisy."
Of course, the ultimate example of an interviewee recording his conversation with a reporter has to be Hugh Hewitt's technique, where a few million people get to hear the interview, and his producer transcribes it, and can then compare that with how the reporter quotes his or her subject in the finished article. Hugh doesn't get many takers under those conditions, but something tells me that he doesn't mind.
A huge part of the arrogance (to borrow from Bernie's title) of the media comes from the fact that up until the launch of the Internet (thanks Al!), the tools required to broadcast or publish news were very, very expensive to acquire, and thus only available to a select few and their anointed representatives.
The next decade, as the mainstream media learns that they have to share the recording and shaping of news and opinion with millions of others with the exact same technology available to them, will be very interesting indeed to watch--not to mention, be a part of.
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