Multiple choice questions usually end badly when the newsmaker is duped into delivering an answer formulated by someone else, usually the reporter. However, this scenario didn’t play out as predicted in this story.
President Obama fielded a multiple choice question from CNN’s Dan Lothian.
Lothian asked the President if GOP candidate support for waterboarding was: A) uninformed, B) out-of-touch, or C) irresponsible? The President essentially selected D) none of the above (a choice not offered) and explained why.
Answers A), B) and C) may have played out nicely in the reporter’s story, but the President, as any newsmaker should, made the story his own by answering the question in his own words – not the reporter’s.
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Christine O’Donnell, the failed 2010 GOP Delaware Senate candidate, gave us all something to ponder this week when she walked off the set of an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan:
O’Donnell went on the show, she says, to promote her book, but she refused to talk about a topic that’s in the book. Ultimately, she shifted the focus away from her book and it’s content, placing the spotlight on her conflict of the moment with the interviewer Piers Morgan.
His question was pretty ordinary and predictable, and anything in the book was absolutely fair game for this interview.
On the same book tour O’Donnell hung-up on a radio talk show when the questioning got tough. Her handlers say it was a technical problem, but they didn’t try to get O’Donnell back on the air.
This behavior may sell books in the minds of the O’Donnell’s media advisors. But it says to me that O’Donnell was unprepared for these interviews that fairly questioned her past statements and what she says in her book.