Confrontational interviews — the best way to be fair?

This link here is about Piers Morgan, Toure and the Trayvon Martin story. Apparently, Toure thought Morgan was far too accommodating of Robert Zimmerman, George Zimmerman’s brother.

Rosen says journalists of the past were usually content to be passive. I’m not so sure.

Coincidentally, Outside the Lines this weekend looked back at Al Campanis’s disastrous interview on Nightline, in which the Dodgers executive killed his own career by saying blacks may not have the “necessities” to be a manager or general manager.

In that interview, Ted Koppel was confrontational, even if he was basically trying to give Campanis a way to dig himself out of the hole and explain himself.

The difference between this and the modern Chris Matthews interview is that Koppel gives Campanis plenty of time to talk. Koppel isn’t playing “gotcha” here. Nor is he sitting back in passive mode.

That, to me, is what good old-school interviewers did. Not that all old-school interviews are good, or all good interviewers are old-school. But Koppel was making an effort to follow up on something important without shouting, screaming or bullying. That’s a good model to follow.

D@J: David Andrew Johnsons Tumblr – jayrosen: Should BS be called out on air,….


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