Saturday, June 26, 2004
Questions In Advance?
"The policy of the White House is that you submit your questions in advance, so they had my questions for about three days."So now their all upset that she didn't follow the script.
-Carol Coleman, RTE.
Angry White House pulls RTE interviewIf a reporter asks questions, all you have to do is get through the interview and then not let the reporter or the news agency come back.
THE White House has lodged a complaint with the Irish Embassy in Washington over RTE journalist Carole Coleman's interview with US President George Bush.
And it is believed the President's staff have now withdrawn from an exclusive interview which was to have been given to RTE this morning by First Lady Laura Bush.
It is understood that both RTE and the Department of Foreign Affairs were aware of the exclusive arrangement, scheduled for 11am today. However, when RTE put Ms Coleman's name forward as interviewer, they were told Mrs Bush would no longer be available.
The Irish Independent learned last night that the White House told Ms Coleman that she interrupted the president unnecessarily and was disrespectful.
She also received a call from the White House in which she was admonished for her tone.
And it emerged last night that presidential staff suggested to Ms Coleman as she went into the interview that she ask him a question on the outfit that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern wore to the G8 summit.
Also Via Atrios
The rest of the press will get the message loud and clear.
If only they would band together and not let the White House bully them, we might get someplace. What I mean by that is if a reporter asks tough, but fair questions, and then is shut out by the White House, the next reporter, from the same or from some other news agency, needs to ask the same kind of tough, but fair questions as well, because the White House can't shut out everyone.
The news agencies should also not back down if the reporter asks tough, but fair questions. If the White House shuts the reporter out, the news agencies should express confidence in that reporter and send he or she back the next time to show that they can not be intimidated.
Instead, what we get is the next reporter meekly coming to Mr. Bush as a suppliant, seeking what the White House gives out. In doing so, the let the White House control the process and act like they have all the power.
The press does this because reporters don't want to loose their position and they don't want to get in trouble with their news agency. But when they do this, they shirk their responsibility to ask tough, but fair questions of the administration to try and get the information the public needs, but which this administration try to hide.