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Friday, January 18, 2008

OMG: A Reporter Not a Stenographer!

posted by on January 18 at 8:22 AM

Romney lies and a reporter busts him—in real time, on camera. Romney says his campaign isn’t run by lobbyists, and he doesn’t have lobbyists “tied to” his campaign. Watch this:

The reporter sitting on the floor putting actual, tough, reality-based questions to Romney is AP reporter Glen Johnson—and someone ought to pin a medal on him. Romney lied, Johnson called him on it. He didn’t run off and find a Democrat or a rival for the GOP nomination to “dispute Romney’s claim.” He reacted the way any reporter—any person—ought to react when they’re being lied to.

And you gotta love the Romney campaign douchebag/senior staffer that reprimands Johnson for “being argumentative with the candidate.” God fucking forbid. And I love the Romney supporter who felt the Johnson was “rude”—as opposed to, you know, the candidate that just lied to her face. But most of all you gotta love Johnson’s response. The staffer tells Johnson to “save your opinions,” and “act professional.” and Johnson responds like any professional reporter should: “It’s not an opinion. It’s a documentable fact.”

Thank you for that, Glen Johnson. I’m sure it won’t be but… gee… wouldn’t it be nice if Johnson’s stand marked an end to the kind of reporting characterized by leads like this: “Leading Democrats-today contested the president’s assertion that the moon is made of green cheese.”

RSS icon Comments


Can I vote for Glen Johnson for President?

Posted by WA | January 18, 2008 8:28 AM

"I think you're rude and ugly!"

Posted by bitter romney supporter | January 18, 2008 8:34 AM


Posted by Mr. Poe | January 18, 2008 8:36 AM

Is that Michael Moore's nephew?

Posted by DOUG. | January 18, 2008 8:42 AM

I rmember a few years back when it was OK for Americans to be less than satiusfied with America but Americans were careful to point out that they ,"Weren't happy with AMerica but they loved Americans."

I recently heard the old man, George Carlin saying something along the lines of, "Someone's electing these assholes. Face it, Americans suck too. Fuck hope. The public Sucks."

I think you're rude and ugly (As opposed to the candidate who just lied to her face...way to fuckin' nail it Savage!)

The public sucks. Fuck hope.

It doesn't matter who America elects. We need a better public.

Posted by Romney's The Sweetest, Most Polite Douchebag | January 18, 2008 8:43 AM

Which is why we should elect someone like, say . . . Ron Paul, who will do away with the Department of Education, so that nobody is smart enough to make an informed decision at the polls. Then we'll see who's rude and ugly!

Posted by Ziggity | January 18, 2008 8:48 AM

Hear hear! Best work from a mainstream reporter I've seen in my life.

Posted by kurt | January 18, 2008 8:49 AM

Wow. The amazing irony of someone who will, in the same breath and sentence tell someone they are both rude AND ugly. Because telling someone they're ugly when they, you know, do something you disagree with, is apparently not rude. Classic Republican thinking right there.

Posted by switzerblog | January 18, 2008 8:58 AM

That's awesome. Let's daydream for a bit about what it would be like if all reporters were like that... Sigh.

Posted by Julie | January 18, 2008 9:01 AM

I try to hate Romney's guts, but his sons are just too damn hot. Does good breeding genes trump bad politics? Anyone?

Posted by Rye | January 18, 2008 9:01 AM

@8: Republican thinking. Weird, explain, please.

Posted by huh | January 18, 2008 9:02 AM

@8: In the South, "ugly" is used more often than not to describe behavior, not one's physical looks so she was being redundant when she said "rude and ugly."

Posted by RichardZ | January 18, 2008 9:05 AM

The woman wasn't calling Johnson ugly in the sense that he is unattractive. This usage of ugly is a southern colloquialism meaning "mean" or "ill-tempered." Yeah, she's not the sharpest tool, but she certainly wasn't calling him bad looking.

Posted by Heath | January 18, 2008 9:06 AM

I think the only time that good genes should trump bad politics is if you're running in the Triple Crown.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 18, 2008 9:09 AM

That does it! I'm switching my support to Fred Thompson. It's been too long since we had a President who slept through eight years in Reagan.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | January 18, 2008 9:14 AM

As an aspiring journalist, I can say that this reporter is my new hero. Fantastic.

Now, can someone tell me why Romney was holding his press conference in an office supply store? He couldn't find a reasonably nice office? Is this some kind of trick to be seen as the "common man"?

Posted by Jo | January 18, 2008 9:29 AM

Whoa, wait a minute...are you trying to say that the moon ISN'T made out of green cheese?

Posted by Spaceman | January 18, 2008 9:34 AM

It's an Office Depot. I know those planograms!

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 18, 2008 9:35 AM

War is peace. Lies are truth. Let's give Mitt the benefit of the doubt, shall we? I mean, maybe he just got confused and thought he was doing a screen test for the film version of the book 1984?

Posted by sprizee | January 18, 2008 9:38 AM

@ 19...well put.

I'm at the boiling point with doubletalk and newspeak.

I'm not sayin' I'm just saying'.

Posted by Save The Poetic License For Activist Judges (Yikes...Even Scared Myself That Time) | January 18, 2008 9:48 AM

Mostly useless clarification to Mr. Poe:

It's actually in a STAPLES (they're having a 20% rebate special on Sharpies all January. I recognize the sign behind Romney).

Now, carry on.

Posted by Tracy | January 18, 2008 9:56 AM

Then Staples is copying Office Depot's planograms. Which is typical. And sad. At least OD shoppers have a helping hand.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 18, 2008 10:05 AM

It's Staples. Romney helped start that company.

Posted by RJ | January 18, 2008 10:12 AM

i don't know -- i think it might be inappropriate for a reporter to interrupt a speaker before the question period. not only that, he was argumentative.

it would have been better for him to wait, and then ask his brutal but appropriate questions at the right time. also, he got emotionally involved, which isn't a sign of a good reporter.

what i'm saying, is there is a better way to do this.

people only like the reporter's actions when they both agree with the reporter and don't like the candidate.

Posted by infrequent | January 18, 2008 11:03 AM

@24. No. I want reporters interrupting politicians. I want them cutting them off and saying to their faces "you aren't telling the truth." I want an argumentative, distrustful, obnoxious press corps.

This is absolutely routine in England and western Europe. In the US the press is barely better than hand-fed lap dogs.

Posted by gnossos | January 18, 2008 11:56 AM

@24: The problem with the vast majority of journalists in this country is that they are trained in J-School is be "objective", and therefore never get emotional, which is guised as professionalism.
Journalism didn't emerge as a "profession" (as in, there were no university offering degrees in it) until right around the 1920's, not coincidentally, during the consolidation of major newspapers, and the trampling of literally 1000's of independent publications stocked of opinionated, passionate writers. Where has that led us? Journalists self-sensor themselves or are pressured to sensor themselves and we end up with the bullshit farce of..."we report, you decide".

Posted by Medium | January 18, 2008 12:04 PM

i don't know -- i like a person to have the ability to state their case, then defend it later. i mean, this guy was somewhat hostile. i don't want that happening to hillary or obama on issues that could be taken up with them... i mean, it would kind of be a free-for-all. i'm all for debate, but to work, it has to be structured.

that said, maybe i should add that i do like it when someone calls another on a lie. maybe that's the seattleite in me.

Posted by infrequent | January 18, 2008 1:43 PM

Hooray for Glen Johnson! Romney is the most shameless liar running for president (a title not easily attained). He will say ANYTHING to win. I wish every reporter had the balls to interrupt a candidate when they're spouting bullshit - that's what a good reporter SHOULD do!

Posted by BobR | January 18, 2008 2:08 PM

Yeah, well, Clinton flat out lied in the Nevada debate - she said she took Bob Johnson's word that he was referring to Obama's community organizing and not youthful drug use, then IN THE NEXT BREATH answered that yes, what Bob Johnson said was "out of bounds" - so either communtity orgainizing is now out of bounds or she just lied. But whatever.

Posted by Phoebe | January 18, 2008 2:27 PM

Gnossis wrote:

@24. No. I want reporters interrupting politicians. I want them cutting them off and saying to their faces "you aren't telling the truth." I want an argumentative, distrustful, obnoxious press corps.

I second that.

Posted by Phil M | January 18, 2008 2:49 PM

Good for Glen for pointing that out. It would have been better if he had not proceeded to get argumentative about how close lobbyist-guy was to the campaign or not, but I'd much rather he err on the side of calling him on b s than letting it slide.

Posted by Not that Dan | January 18, 2008 3:40 PM

I think it is fine for the reporter to call Mitt out on the lobbyist on Mitt's staff. But I think the reporter acted like a little child. He just blurts out his objection. He should have waited to ask a formal question at the end. "Gee Governor, you say this, but what about Mr. Kaufman." Glen Johnson write-up about the apparent discrepancy is fine and objective. But his behavior at a press conference was absolutely out of line. I thought Romney handled it very well. He certainly didn't miss a step. So I doubt he was lying.

Posted by Ben S | January 18, 2008 4:28 PM

that is another point -- pick your battles. i was left with the impression that mitt didn't think he was lying, and the reporter seemed childish. but whatevs...

Posted by infrequent | January 18, 2008 4:39 PM

Anyone else listen to As It Happens? The mild-voiced anchors in that program interrupt and challenge the statements of the people they interview. This happens *occasionally* in the US, but it should be ROUTINE. The deference is one of the worst things about the US media.

I'm so jealous. I enjoy As It Happens but half the time when I'm listening to news about Canada I'm wishing that the program was US-based.

Posted by daniel | January 18, 2008 5:21 PM

@ daniel (34):

Actually I hear that on some BBC programs (programmes?) broadcast in the US, and I spend my spare time in Italy and you see that there too.

In fact, I would wager that it's the norm around the world, except on state-run networks... and on the private networks in the US.

Sad that we're one of the few countries in the world explicitly guaranteed freedom of the press, and said freedom is used so poorly. I'm all for porn, but I think that asking hard questions of leaders (and potential leaders) should be the very first thing we should expect of our 'free' press.

Posted by r€nato | January 18, 2008 5:27 PM

Doesn't Mr. Johnson know that his job is to report what he's been spoonfed?

His disobedience of his corporate masters is not likely to be forgotten soon.

Posted by TLjr | January 18, 2008 8:22 PM

here is the real deal on lobbyists and Romneys total lies....

oh ok, put the flip flopper in there too.

Notice that Paul and Kucinich have not taken lobbyist money... Dr paul doesnt need to.

Posted by julie | January 18, 2008 8:37 PM

"I think you're rude and ugly."


I think you're old and ignorant.

Posted by haroldmaude | January 18, 2008 8:46 PM

Think about it guys, if he waits until the end to object, then Romney has a nice clean soundbite to throw up on his website, and the local news has a clean 10-15 seconds to lead with, and nobody but the other 20 jerks in Staples hears the good stuff. Hear Hear for Captain Interruptus!

Posted by Cranky Kate | January 19, 2008 1:10 AM

Tubby Glen must be Moore's nephew, as Mickey is too effing fat to get off any more. Maybe Glen should ease off on pretzel consumption?

Posted by daveinboca | January 19, 2008 6:05 AM

I LOVE GLENN JOHNSON. I am making a bumper sticker and a poster. My God, he is one sexy Tiger.

Posted by Exposing Romney | January 20, 2008 10:48 AM

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