In the past, this site has been sharply critical - to say the least! - of the mainstream media ("MSM"), pointing out that they consistently fail to ask politicians tough questions that would reveal the glaring holes in those politicians' policies.
Now, I have to retract that, based on this video featuring Dan Balz (Washington Post, "WaPo") and Mark Halperin (Time Magazine) relentlessly interrogating Rudy Giuliani. They even did it in the aisles of the WalMart in Boone, Iowa... as Rudy was buying granola bars!
These two lions of the MSM relentlessly quizzed him in a "take no prisoners" approach that amateur journalists cannot hope to match.
First, they asked if there should be CostCo's and WalMarts in Manhattan. Rudy answers yes, because he thinks they lower prices. Now, at this point in time you might wonder why they didn't have a follow-up, such as inquiring about traffic and related issues, or disincentivizing walking vs. driving to WalMart, and such like that. But, don't worry: they were thinking of those follow-ups, and that question was just what's refered to in the newsrooms as a "set up". While it can take a full semester to explain that technique, in brief they were lulling him into complacency, ready to spring - like a bear trap - the real question these reporters wanted to ask:
"Is Alez Rodriguez the youngest player to ever hit 500 home runs?"
Ladies and gentlemen, that is how it's done. I shall be writing to the Columbia Journalism Review forthwith, urging that they include this tape in all courses for young journalists.
Note to "citizen journalists": you cannot compete with the MSM, so don't bother trying.
SPECIAL NON-MOCKING, BEHIND-THE-BLOGGING UPDATE: When I first started watching the video, all I knew was the title ("Rudy Giuliani at Boone, IA Walmart"). I originally thought it was going to feature a GHWB-vs-the-price-scanner type of incident. Then, when someone asked about WalMart, I started a bit of a celebration, as I thought that a random citizen - or at least someone from SprawlBusters - was trying to ask Rudy a tough question. I became more than a bit perturbed as there was no follow-up and as the "questioning" became more conversational in tone. Only then did I read the description of the video and realize why that was: the questioners were two MSM hacks.
I'm (thankfully) not familiar with NYC, but if someone proposed planting a WalMart at LaBrea and Wilshire I could outline the various ways that would be a bad idea and how things like traffic tie-ups or the need for road projects might result in costing more than it would save. I'd take that as an opportunity to show that Rudy either isn't able to think things through, or is able to think them through but doesn't care about the negative consequences (for some strange reason or other).
Obviously, that level of dialogue is foreign to Balz and Halperin: their goal is to get a few quotes and maybe ask about a scandal or similar. They are little more than stenographers to the stars (of politics).
I note also that the video is from someone named "mevanh" who signed up to YT just recently, who only has one other video (of Michelle Obama), and who deleted a comment I left on the video similar to the post along with another negative comment. Must be a Rudy fan.
Politics · Tue, 08/07/2007 - 10:46 · Importance: 1