I received a call from Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post today, requesting I call her back to discuss the nomination of John Roberts. I assumed that this is because (1)I worked with John Roberts in the White House Counsel’s office for a year and (2)the big document dump may have turned up memos with my name on them which are of interest to the Post. Goldstein had a big story on the docs in Wednesday’s Post.
Then again, it might be about the White House basketball team on which I was the player-coach and for which Judge Roberts played. That team’s level of play was truly a scandal.
Or she might be calling about the “White House V-Toes,” the 1985 White House Nike Capitol Challenge 5-k Team, for which both Judge Roberts and I ran.
The subject didn’t matter to me. I had my assistant call back and say fine. She could interview me. Only one condition: The interview had to be conducted on air, live, during my broadcast. Would she please call the show line at 3:06 Pacific?
I had a similar request from a New York Times reporter for a similar interview a couple of days back. I made the same offer. He didn’t respond.
Amy Goldstein did respond. She declined. My assistant relayed that Ms. Goldstein didn’t want her story “out there” before it ran.
Fine, I thought. But then I got to thinking: Isn’t journalism supposed to be in the public interest? If Goldstein wants information from me, and I am willing to give it to her, isn’t she putting her own interests in a “scoop” or an “angle” ahead of the public’s by refusing to conduct an interview she thought would be useful in the first place? And isn’t she going forward with a story she knows may well be unnecessarily incomplete because she doesn’t like the fact that her questions and my answers would have been on the record?
I of course want my listeners to get a chance if not to see the sausage that is MSM “news” being made, at least hear it being ground fine. I had hoped to compare whatever I was able to provide Ms. Goldstein with whatever it is that she publishes on the subject. Interesting all around, no?
But she declined to conduct the interview she requested. How interesting to note that the Post is willing to use sources that insist on anonymity, but not sources that demand transparency.
There is no story with a Goldstein byline in this morning’s paper, though her first message employed the standard “I’m on deadline” technique that many reporters use to get a source to return a call quickly. The harmless bit of ruse is that the deadline ccould be, and in this instance probably was, for Sunday’s paper. So it isn’t a lie, just another bit of subterfuge that is part of MSM’s DNA.
RogerLSimon has more. (HT: Instapundit.) So do Powerline and Ed Driscoll.