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View Full Version : What it looks like to get screwed by the media for "off the record" remarks


patteeu
03-19-2008, 08:08 AM
jAZ, A few days ago you were concerned that a key Barack Obama adviser had been screwed by a reporter because, after calling Hillary Clinton "a monster" the adviser had tried to cover herself by hastily saying "that was off the record". The adviser, Samantha Power, later resigned over the remark.

At the end of the article (posted in a previous thread (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?p=4619928)), it is explained that a news source can't unilaterally declare a comment "off the record" after the fact.

Here is an example from Stephen Hayes' book "Cheney" (p396) of a case where journalists really are screwing someone. The events take place on May 7, 2003. Dick Cheney has traveled to Dallas for an event at Southern Methodist University. An agreement was reached in advance that the session was to be off the record. One of the things discussed was the attempt by US forces to kill Saddam Hussein on the opening night of the war at a retreat just outside Baghdad called Dora Farms where our CIA believed the dictator and his two sons were staying.

Cheney was surprised to learn that his remarks about the targeting of Saddam were published the following day in the Dallas Morning News, which had co-sponsored the event.

... In the very story in which Cheney's remarks appeared, the newspaper admitted violating the ground rules of the event.

"Before Mr. Cheney's remarks, university officials announced late Tuesday afternoon that the session would be considered off the record," wrote the reporter Gromer Jeffers Jr. "News cameras were allowed to film the event without sound for the first 10 minutes."

The article quoted Robert W. Mong Jr., the president and editor of the paper. "As one of the event's sponsors, we were not consulted in advance about the ground rules for Vice President Cheney's lecture. Had we been asked, we would not have found the rules acceptable. The event should have been open."

Amnorix
03-19-2008, 08:51 AM
Yes and no. Looks like the University is the one that really screwed up, telling Cheney that the remarks would be off the record without getting the newspaper/co-sponsor to AGREE to the ground rules.

I'm sure Cheney felt shafted, and well he should have. But it looks like it was the University and not the newspaper that screwed up, especially since the newspaper discussed exactly what happened in the very same article.

Radar Chief
03-19-2008, 08:55 AM
Duh, Cheney is evil and deserves it. What are you, new? ;)

Amnorix
03-19-2008, 09:01 AM
Duh, Cheney is evil and deserves it. What are you, new? ;)


Well, yeah, but that goes without saying...


:D

SBK
03-19-2008, 09:04 AM
This would be news if it was Obama that this happened to. Since it's a rich white man nobody cares.

StcChief
03-19-2008, 09:23 AM
This would be news if it was Obama that this happened to. Since it's a rich white man nobody cares.
yeah. Obama will turn in to 'Tefelon Bill Clinton' soon. as the media lets him slide.

jAZ
03-19-2008, 09:27 AM
jAZ, A few days ago you were concerned that a key Barack Obama adviser had been screwed by a reporter because, after calling Hillary Clinton "a monster" the adviser had tried to cover herself by hastily saying "that was off the record". The adviser, Samantha Power, later resigned over the remark.

At the end of the article (posted in a previous thread (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?p=4619928)), it is explained that a news source can't unilaterally declare a comment "off the record" after the fact.

Here is an example from Stephen Hayes' book "Cheney" (p396) of a case where journalists really are screwing someone. The events take place on May 7, 2003. Dick Cheney has traveled to Dallas for an event at Southern Methodist University. An agreement was reached in advance that the session was to be off the record. One of the things discussed was the attempt by US forces to kill Saddam Hussein on the opening night of the war at a retreat just outside Baghdad called Dora Farms where our CIA believed the dictator and his two sons were staying.

Cheney was surprised to learn that his remarks about the targeting of Saddam were published the following day in the Dallas Morning News, which had co-sponsored the event.

Sounds like Cheney failed to ensure with the MEDIA outlet that his ocmments were off the record in ADVANCE. Sounds like he screwed himself not all that much differently that Powers. Well, at least she made the request directly to the media herself. Cheney's staff iddn't even do that.

:p

jAZ
03-19-2008, 09:28 AM
This is a terrible way to try to make the point you were hoping to make.

patteeu
03-19-2008, 09:37 AM
Yes and no. Looks like the University is the one that really screwed up, telling Cheney that the remarks would be off the record without getting the newspaper/co-sponsor to AGREE to the ground rules.

I'm sure Cheney felt shafted, and well he should have. But it looks like it was the University and not the newspaper that screwed up, especially since the newspaper discussed exactly what happened in the very same article.

Discussing what happened in the same article makes it more audacious but it doesn't have any bearing on the merits of the argument.

This was a group event. While the DMN was one of the sponsors of the event, the event was being run by a certain group of officials who were, in effect, acting as their agents (although obviously the DMN would disagree with that characterization). Chief among these officials was Hugh Sidey, a long-time Washington journalist who had had relationships with 9 different presidents. One could understand their position if they were not made aware of the arrangement beforehand and had not had the opportunity to object, but they were informed and they chose not to speak up. I agree that it would be even more cut-and-dried if Cheney had gone around to each and every reporter present to secure a written background agreement *and then* to the corporate management of the sponsoring news organizations to make sure that they also agreed, but he shouldn't have to do that in order to have confidence that the ground rules for an organized event like this are solid. I can't verify it, but I'd bet that Hugh Sidey believed that the DMN was bound by the agreement.

patteeu
03-19-2008, 09:47 AM
This is a terrible way to try to make the point you were hoping to make.

Haha. I'm sorry if I embarrassed you by bringing up the Samantha Power incident again. It wasn't my intent to embarrass you. I just wanted you to see a real controversy instead of an imaginary one.

Amnorix
03-19-2008, 09:51 AM
Discussing what happened in the same article makes it more audacious but it doesn't have any bearing on the merits of the argument.

This was a group event. While the DMN was one of the sponsors of the event, the event was being run by a certain group of officials who were, in effect, acting as their agents (although obviously the DMN would disagree with that characterization). Chief among these officials was Hugh Sidey, a long-time Washington journalist who had had relationships with 9 different presidents. One could understand their position if they were not made aware of the arrangement beforehand and had not had the opportunity to object, but they were informed and they chose not to speak up. I agree that it would be even more cut-and-dried if Cheney had gone around to each and every reporter present to secure a written background agreement *and then* to the corporate management of the sponsoring news organizations to make sure that they also agreed, but he shouldn't have to do that in order to have confidence that the ground rules for an organized event like this are solid. I can't verify it, but I'd bet that Hugh Sidey believed that the DMN was bound by the agreement.

You obviously provide much more background in this post than the initial post in this thread, and if everything you present here is about right, then I would likely change my position as to the matter.

I have no idea who Hugh Sidey is, but if he's previously acted in the role of pseaking for multiple news organizations, etc. in coordinating activities with senior government officials, then it's fundamentally unfair for one media outlet to unilaterally change the rules that everyone agreed (implicitly) were in place.

patteeu
03-19-2008, 10:12 AM
You obviously provide much more background in this post than the initial post in this thread, and if everything you present here is about right, then I would likely change my position as to the matter.

I have no idea who Hugh Sidey is, but if he's previously acted in the role of pseaking for multiple news organizations, etc. in coordinating activities with senior government officials, then it's fundamentally unfair for one media outlet to unilaterally change the rules that everyone agreed (implicitly) were in place.

I don't know if he has acted in the role of speaking for multiple news organizations before, but he's a very experienced journalist. He was a former Washington bureau chief for Time. Here is a picture of the event in question with Cheney and Sidey seated at the center of the stage.

Note: I did get the date of the event wrong. It was apparently May 6, 2003, not May 7. I assume the DMN article came out on May 7. It was a part of the Willis L. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at SMU.

jettio
03-19-2008, 11:13 AM
This would be news if it was Obama that this happened to. Since it's a rich white man nobody cares.


It's apples and oranges.

If it was Obama, the strike to take out the sum'b*tch on the first day would have been successful.

Obama and his VP won't have to go around braggin', off the record, about how they took the the best military in the world and pooped in their hat.

SBK
03-19-2008, 11:41 AM
It's apples and oranges.

If it was Obama, the strike to take out the sum'b*tch on the first day would have been successful.

Obama and his VP won't have to go around braggin', off the record, about how they took the the best military in the world and pooped in their hat.

Save your breath and just call me racist.