Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ron Paul Walks Out On Interview After CNN Analyst Gloria Borger Bullies Him About "Racist" Newsletter; National Media Arrogance Off The Charts

Public officials and candidates for elective office incur an obligation to hold themselves accountable. But in the process, they incur no obligation to take abuse, as Congressman Don Young demonstrated to the surprise and chagrin of Rice University professor Douglas Brinkley three weeks ago.

Now Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has delivered the same lesson to CNN reporter Gloria Borger. During a December 21st, 2011 interview with Ron Paul, Borger questioned Paul about the newsletter published under his name back during the early 1990s. When Borger asked whether he looked at them when they were published and decided they did not represent him accurately, he said not all the time. Pressed on whether he read them he said, "Not all the time. Well, on occasion, yes. I've never read that stuff. I've never read - I came - I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written and it's been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time". When asked about the money Paul reportedly made off the newsletters, Paul replied “No, I’d like to see that money. I never read that stuff. I was probably aware of it ten years after it was written and it’s been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time. So when are you going to wear yourself out?”

But Borger wouldn't quit. She then pressed Paul on whether or not this was a legitimate topic, and he became a bit testy saying "Yeah and when you get the answer, it's legitimate that you sort of take the answers I gave. You know what the answer is? I didn't write them, didn't read them at the time, and I disavow them. This is the answer." At that point, he decided this was a set-up, had the mike removed, and calmly left the premises. YouTube video below:

Ironically, during the first part of the interview, which is shown later in the video, Borger conducted herself much more professionally when asking him about some hard-hitting campaign commercials. But for some reason, she decided to slip into Mr. Hyde mode when she started discussing the newsletter. Mediaite takes CNN to task, writing "Why cover this now? And why so much? You’re not looking at a decades-old story from a different angle, you’re not revealing new information, you’re merely reheating the same embarrassing, racist meal (just…. go with it) you keep serving us every few years. This is becoming, at this point, the McRib of Embarrassing Political Stories. Why?"

Unfortunately, this type of bullying by the national media is becoming more prevalent. Sean Hannity and Chris Matthews regularly bully their guests on a nightly basis. In 1999, NBC reporter Jim Gray disrespected Pete Rose during a commemorative occasion during the World Series which represented his first return to a MLB event since getting banned (video HERE). And, of course, there was that infamous incident between quarterback Jim Everett and ESPN reporter Jim Rome back in 1994, when Everett snapped and jammed the table into Rome's gut.

There have been local incidents in Alaska as well. In one incident, Alaska Dispatch reporter Tony Hopfinger ended up getting restrained and trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey after getting too uppity with U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller in October 2010. And when Dan Fagan was doing his talk show on KFQD, he would bully his guests from time to time, the most notorious example being when he went stark raving bonkers on Assembly candidate Chris Blankenship in 2008.

These national reporters didn't start their careers as bullies. At one time, they were just as respectable as most of our current local reporters here in Alaska. But something happens to them when they go national -- they become arrogant, power-drunk, and full of themselves. They forget that the job of a journalist is to report the news, NOT become the news. Comment posted to Politico and to Yahoo News are overwhelmingly sympathetic towards Ron Paul -- the national media is becoming increasingly reviled amongst middle Americans.

On the other hand, a lot of us have been complaining that Ron Paul has been either ignored or marginalized by the national media. Such is obviously no longer the case. Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to get preferential treatment from the national media.

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