Media

Should Journalists Decline Interviews If Questions Are Banned?

If I'm a journalist, and a campaign tells me it prefers not to talk about something, that's immediately what I want to ask about.
But Wolff told me that the preference was expressed by a low-level logistical person in the Romney camp, and so it didn't matter to the station, which wasn't interested in the topic anyway.
I asked Wolff if his station would have conducted the interview, with some questions banned outright.
"We've never agreed to any kind of stipulations and never would," he said. "So it wouldn't be an issue for us."
Dave Price, a reporter at WHO-TV in Iowa who also interviewed Romney yesterday, told Talking Points Memo that he also would not have agreed to the Romney interview, if he'd been told that Akin questions were banned.
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4 Denver TV Stations Fact-Check Political Ads This Season

"We're committed to it," said CBS4 News Director Tim Wieland. "We have a system in place that allows us to begin when the ads start rolling in. People are frustrated, and they want something that cuts through the BS. That's the intent of this project."
For its part, 9 News is ramping up its ad-checking segments, called "Truth Tests," with an idea that other media outlets may want to copy, straight up.
"Due to the sheer volume of political ads, 9NEWS has hired a team of three graduate students from the University of Denver to work as researchers for Truth Tests," wrote 9News Political Reporter Brandon Rittiman, who's the station's primary Truth-Test reporter. "With the extra help, we hope to be able to tackle more ads than ever before this political season."
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Some Bachmann Home State Newspapers Reluctant to Cover Her Latest Conspiracy Mongering

That's right, the Pioneer Press ran this story--about how the most influential national politician in Minnesota was alleging an Islamist, anti-American conspiracy inside the U.S. State Department--on page two. What did the PiPress paper run on page one? The more important story, in their view: how to get in to see the new 'Batman' movie. And Stillwater won't be holding its Lumberjack Days Festival.
This should trigger something in your head about why and how Minnesota government gets chronically paralyzed by kooks at the extremes, about about why and how the MN GOP came to be dominated by liars, nuts, extremists, and con men. If this is how the Pioneer Press calibrates its coverage of the misdeeds of the highest profile politician in Minnesota--how trustworthy do you think the PiPress is on the less notorious stories? On the budget story, on the voting ID story, on federal news stories? This is cowardly, fish-wrapper cr*p journalism, from one of the two most influential papers in the state.
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Columnist Clarence Page Spoke at Rally for Iranian Militant Group

Late last month, syndicated columnist Clarence Page appeared at a rally in Paris in support of the Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian group that has been lobbying Washington to be removed from the U.S. government’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.
Before a huge crowd waving portraits of MEK leaders Maryam and Massoud Rajavi as well as Iranian flags, Page called for the MEK to be removed from the official terrorist organization list.
Contacted about the appearance by ProPublica, Page said he has decided to give back his speaking fee for the event, as well as reimburse the cost of travel to and from France, which was paid for by a group called the Organizing Committee for Convention for Democracy in Iran.
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