Friday, March 07, 2008

Reporters Are Not Your Friends

You know how you can vent your raw thoughts and feelings when you're jawing with your friends, and then say, "But don't tell anyone I said that"--and they won't?

News flash: Don't do this with a reporter during an interview.

One would think that Samantha Power, a professor at Harvard's JFK School of Government who won an NBCC award for A PROBLEM FROM HELL: America and the Age of Genocide, would have known this basic fact.

Per an AP story, Power, a foreign policy adviser to the Obama campaign, gave an interview to The Scotsman, in which she said about Hillary Clinton: "She is a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything." The AP reports:
Though Power immediately attempted to withdraw the remark, the newspaper insisted she had agreed in advance that her interview — part of a book tour — would be conducted on the record.
A spokesman announced that Obama "decries" such characterizations. (But he didn't "denounce and reject" them, so Hillary's really steamed.) And now, per the UK Guardian, Clinton is demanding the resignation of Power, who has released an abject apology. The Guardian quotes NY congresswoman Nita Lowey:
"You really have to wonder how Senator Obama can have a person like that - as bright as she may be - advising him."
Well yeah. How could an adviser on foreign policy and expert on the Balkans--land of inflammatory rhetoric and bloodshed--say something so incendiary and undiplomatic?

Power should have read comment #18 in "If Only I'd Known!":
That these people may be friendly but they are not actually your friends.
Update: Power has resigned, per AP.

1 comment:

Gina Black said...

This is so right on. I've worked with reporters most of my adult life. I like most of them. (And no, I am not a reporter.) They are a different breed. They think they are going after truth (and ratings) and everything else is secondary. Often times they do find truth, which we want them to as readers/viewers. But for that reason, one has to be careful in their dealings with reporters.

Not surprised Powell resigned. There is always a ritual sacrifice after events such as that.