01 August 2005

Cooked in her own sauce


Glenn Reynolds links to Matt Drudge’s latest update on Helen Thomas’s meltdown after being caught saying that “I’ll kill myself” if Dick Cheney announced he’d be running for the presidency. Drudge reports that “White House press doyenne Helen Thomas is plenty peeved at her longtime friend Albert Eisele, editor of THE HILL newspaper in Washington, D.C.”:

Thomas said yesterday at the White House that her comments to Eisele were for his ears only. “I’ll never talk to a reporter again!” Thomas was overheard saying.

“We were just talking — I was ranting — and he wrote about it. That isn’t right. We all say stuff we don’t want printed,” Thomas said.

Why, yes we do, Ms. Thomas. But that’s never stopped you. But thanks for providing a justification for never talking to a reporter.

This story illustrates for me the precise reason why I, and apparently so many others, despise journalists and their “craft”. It shows that claims of “objectivity”, “transparency”, “informing the public” are not principles but only rhetorical tricks, to be discarded whenever they create inconvenience for journalists. The lesson here is that no one should agree to be interviewed by Old Media with the right to video tape the interview and publish the tape later on.

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