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Kentucky reporter stands behind Rand Paul interview

Yesterday I linked to this interview between WHAS11 reporter Joe Arnold and Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul, portraying it as (1) the lone video interview Paul gave after his "Good Morning America" interview and (2) easier treatment than he was getting from the national media. Arnold responds:

Weigel owes me an apology. He implies that the local press, namely me, has some agreement with Paul as to what questions I will ask, or that I am unwilling to ask tough questions.

My view of my performance is certainly biased, but I believe that I was persistent in seeking both clarification and comment on the Civil Rights Act controversy, while also seeking some new information. By the time I got to Paul on Friday, he had already clarified his Civil Rights Act stance on both CNN with Wolf Blitzer and on ABC's Good Morning America. I could have exhausted my limited time with Paul for what would have essentially been a repeat of those other interviews, or I could try to break new ground.

I apologize to Arnold and didn't meant to imply that he was doing shoddy work. There's nothing wrong with an interview that engages instead of combats the subject, and Arnold got Paul to analyze and criticize his own strategy and the media's coverage of him in an interesting, newsy way. My only point was that after a series of interviews in which Paul was asked about how his philosophy would lead him to vote on burning (or, in the Civil Right Act case, theoretical) political issues, he eschewed another round of such interviews while opting to answer hard, but not politically dangerous, questions about his views and the media. Indeed, the headlines that came out of this story were along the lines of "Paul criticizes MSNBC bias" -- the headline that came out of "GMA" was "Paul says Obama 'un-American' to criticize BP."

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 8:41 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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