Author Topic: A reporter’s guide to dealing with the White House  (Read 98 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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A reporter’s guide to dealing with the White House
« on: March 23, 2014, 09:12:02 AM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2014/03/22/a-reporters-guide-to-dealing-with-the-white-house//?print=1

A reporter’s guide to dealing with the White House
By Al Kamen, Updated: March 22 at 10:00 am

After Politico’s Dylan Byers posted a play-by-play this week illustrating the cat-and-mouse games the White House plays with the press, frustrated reporters took to Twitter recounting their favorite response lines from administration officials with the hashtag:  TweetYourAnonymousFlackQuotes.

This friction is, of course, nothing new. Past White Houses and government agencies have certainly been evasive. But judging from the frequent complaints we hear, the lack of transparency is worse than ever.

Our colleagues have found that a number of truly unhelpful responses have become the standard repertory at many agencies (maybe there’s an administration-wide crib sheet?). Now, as a Loop public service in honor of the end of Sunshine Week, we include some of the most common — and egregious — examples (along with some suggested responses for reporters).

1. “Why is this a story?” (Because I say it is.)

2. “Who told you that?” (A person who sits in your building.)

3. “Where did you get that?” (From the e-mail you sent out to your colleagues this morning.)

4. “That’s not accurate.”  (And what exactly is not accurate?)

5. “You’re way off base?” (Am I?)

6. “I have nothing for you on that.” (So, “No comment?”)

7. “You’ll have to contact. . .” [another agency, which happens to be in the midst of an "all hands" conference in Vegas]. (I did. They told me to call you.)

8. “So, what’s the question?” (Repeat the same question.)

9. “No Comment.” (Thanks, that’s helpful.)

10. “Who are you? Politico?” [In other words, insulting a fine news organization by implying you're asking a trivial question.]  (Defend Politico and/or ignore and repeat the same question.)

11. Everyone’s favorite: “Off the record, no comment.” [Most people not in the business intend this to mean "Don't use my name" or "on background," or "don't use my name or agency," meaning "deep background." The beauty of this one is that you can't use the "no comment."]  (Ignore this, and just say the agency “declined to comment.”)

12. Their final tactic, when they realize their efforts to stop the story have failed: “We are going to point out that this is wrong.” (Go ahead. Then you’ll be lying to a lot more people than me.)

13. Then: “!@#$%^&*.”  (Hang up.)

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Offline mountaineer

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Re: A reporter’s guide to dealing with the White House
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 09:18:40 AM »
Quote
“Who are you? Politico?” [In other words, insulting a fine news organization by implying you're asking a trivial question.] 
:silly:
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

Offline Gazoo

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Re: A reporter’s guide to dealing with the White House
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 09:34:52 AM »
The WH denying the other day that anyone is pre-set up with topics and questions is a joke.

It has been reported many times that the Obama WH has private off the record meetings; with favored reporters. Why are the reporters themselves forgetting this?
"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?


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