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Thursday, March 27, 2008

"The Dukakis Effect"

by Tommy Christopher
I am one cheesy fuck. I'm about to do a copy-and-paste job from my personal blog, but it's because it's a really interesting story. It's an unvarnished view from behind the scenes of today's conference call, which I, as a total novice, find fascinating. I hope you do, too. Keep in mind, the "voice" is my personal one, not my journalist's voice. In other words, read it as you would "Slam Poetry" rather than a reasoned assessment. The pictures are out of context smart girls who I find sexy.

Is 'Sniper-Gate' Hillary's Dukakis Moment?

So, Wolfson wants to yell at me, huh? For the record, I cut in to verify who I was talking to, all reporters do that, and even if I did, fuck him. He was trying to shit the same answer into my ear again that he gave me Tuesday. I don't know what he thinks his job is, but mine is not just to ask questions, but to get fucking answers.

They all try this shit, where they "run out the clock" on your question so you look like an asshole for following up. Lucky for me, I have good editors.

I figured something out about reporters. I was wondering today why it is that so few of them ask challenging questions, and the ones who do don't get answers. I think it's because there are 2 kinds of reporters. One tries to prove they're the smartest kid in the class by asking super-wonky policy questions, and the other tries to prove they're "plugged in", and will ask a leading question in a way that will not get a response, but show how "tough" they are.

Example of second kind: Today, a guy asked a long question saying something like "How do you respond to the gathering impression in the mainstream media that you are in denial about the statistical realities of the race, etc., the math isn't there..."

It's a fine question, but what kind of answer are you gonna get? "Yep, Jeff, we're in denial. Thanks for clearing that up. We'll pack up now, can you hit the lights?"

No, you get the same 5 talking points they give you for free at the top of each conference call, and that's your one question wasted. There's a better way to construct that question. You need a question that gets you a useful answer no matter how they answer it.

It aggravates me a little, actually. During these calls, I only half-listen most of the time because they're only pulling out shit we've heard before, and I jot down follow-ups that should be asked, but I get 1 or 2 shots, I'm not gonna waste them asking someone else's fucking question.


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