Mitt Romney and Signs of Life in the World of Journalism

Yesterday while at a campaign stop in SC, Governor Mitt Romney had a "heated" exchange with AP reporter Glen Johnson. The video can be found here.

Johnson interrupted Governor Romney's pontification on not having lobbyists "running" his campaign. Johnson observed that Ron Kaufman is a lobbyist and is a Senior Adviser to the Romney Campaign. Romney defended his point, not contesting that Kaufman was a lobbyist (he undeniably is) but saying that if Johnson had listened he said that there were no lobbyists "running" his campaign, citing his campaign manager and deputy campaign managers were not lobbyists. Romney later continued the confrontation and his staffers told Johnson that he should "Be Professional".

And they're right, Romney was mid-sentence when he was interrupted saying, "I don't have lobbyists tied to my..." and there are any innumerable ways that sentence could end.

Yesterday while at a campaign stop in SC, Governor Mitt Romney had a "heated" exchange with AP reporter Glen Johnson. The video can be found here.

Johnson interrupted Governor Romney's pontification on not having lobbyists "running" his campaign. Johnson observed that Ron Kaufman is a lobbyist and is a Senior Adviser to the Romney Campaign. Romney defended his point, not contesting that Kaufman was a lobbyist (he undeniably is) but saying that if Johnson had listened he said that there were no lobbyists "running" his campaign, citing his campaign manager and deputy campaign managers were not lobbyists. Romney later continued the confrontation and his staffers told Johnson that he should "Be Professional".

Last night on some news commentary show I was watching on MSNBC (I forget which) this had sparked a debate about journalistic professionalism and politeness. Personally I think its commendable that anyone would stand up and refuse to let a candidate for office put forth outright falsehoods, and do so right then and there on the spot. And for a journalist I would say its part of the job description.

Although on my second viewing of the video I decided maybe Johnson could have done with being a bit more polite. Just when Johnson cut Governor Romney off from completing the sentence "I don't have lobbyists tied to my...". Now had Johnson been a bit more "polite" we could have heard the end of that sentence which I would speculate is ""campaign". In fairness though there is innumerable ways that sentence could have ended that would not have undercut his iron-clad "I said running not advising" argument. He could have been about to say "I don't have lobbyists tied to my...upper campaign staff". Or perhaps "I don't have lobbyists tied to my...campaign staff which have some form of 'deputy' appearing in their title". How about, "I don't have lobbyists tied to my...dog". Maybe he was going to go with, "I don't have lobbyists tied to my...wagon". Or finally my personal favorite, the one I was hoping he would end on: I don't have lobbyists tied to my... hitching post." Clearly any one of these could reasonably be assumed to be an ending to Governor Romney's statement, and would be a testament to his principled leadership. Sadly due to Glen Johnson's rude behavior...we'll never know.

Tags: journalism, Mitt Romney, truth (all tags)

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