Compare and Contrast Posted on 28/09/200828/09/2008Author AKMAPosted in Uncategorized3 Replies I have the feeling that Henry Woolf’s character is making more sense than Sarah Palin. Share this:TwitterFacebook
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perhaps the saddest part was the accuracy of the portrayal of Katie Courik. she captured exactly the American journalistic profession’s conviction that no matter how stupid, how idiotic, how dishonest, how foolish a politician may be, the journalist must never, never, never, challenge them.
We love catching clips from the BBC on public radio, and hearing the news readers actually pressing interviewees about their fatuities, errors, and deceptions. Wasn’t there a flap, a few years ago, when an Irish journalist gave President Bush a harder time than he’s used to getting from U.S. interviewers?
When did “deference” become a desirable quality in a reporter? The guys swilling whisky and sleeping in rolltop desks in His Gal Friday would never have bought into that ideology.
Diane Rehm in Washington, and Terry Gross nationally, are pretty good examples of interviewers doing a much better job. But NPR (where they come frome) is not all sweetness and light either. I once got very upset with Ray Suarez (in his NPR days) for a failure to interview aggressively, and he replied that his job, as an interviewer, was to facilitate the communications channel between subject and audience; that he should help the subject get their message out. Sometimes one could ask a hard question, but never, he thought, should an interviewer challenge what the subject said as being incorrect or wrong-headed.