News Journalist Grilling, Not Interviewing

Army Lt Col Birther Explains Why He Will Not Deploy (Spoiler Alert! It’s Obama’s Birth Certificate)

Putting aside the subject matter and focusing on how an interview is conducted needs to be addressed. The aggressive style of interview towards people that represent unpopular views and brings higher ratings to the networks is annoying.

This is a difficult subject to write about because the people hardest to defend are the same ones most likely to get an on-air grilling. Pointing out the flaws in interviews often is misconstrued as endorsing the person or group being slammed.

There is an audience for giving those with unpopular beliefs an on-air grilling. The blogs show their support for this type of interview with comments along the lines of “Interviewer X slams the group I hate, so good job interviewer X! I’m surprised interviewer X did such a good job, because usually it’s just sucking up to that group.”

Included below are several other interviews which turn into debates and grilling of the guest. The last video on this list is an example of an interviewer keeping their cool while the person being interviewed is trying to stir a debate.

Regardless of the subject matter, I expect to be able to hear someone interviewed without interruptions, and not to hear a second question asked before the interviewee has finished answering. The point of doing an interview should be to gain insight into how the person being interviewed thinks, not solely how the interviewer thinks.

A test for any news journalist/television personality is doing an interview with someone who supports a view they personal find offensive. The test is to keep their cool, allow the person to answer and bring out the relevant facts.

Anderson Cooper failed the test and reminds me of a host of other bad interviews I’ve seen on cable news. Anderson Cooper has been added the list below in my mind.

Jeremy Glick vs Bill O’Reilly

Peter Schiff On The Ed Show

Shirley Phelps-Roper of Westboro Baptist Church on Fox News

Ron Paul vs Bill O’Reilly

Wolf Blitzer keeps his cool and focus while interviewing David Duke. While no journalist/television personality is capable of doing an interview as well as Mr. Spock, Blitzer comes fairly close to that level and may just have some Vulcan blood in him.

Wolf Blitzer vs David Duke

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