On the QT

Monday, March 10, 2008

The host of WNYC's On the Media, Brooke Gladstone, joins us to discuss what it means to be "off the record," as well as Samantha Power's recent resignation from the Obama campaign.


Brooke Gladstone

Comments [26]

antonio from gotham slope

I see, hjs. Guess I didn't get your "shh it's a secret.."

Mar. 10 2008 12:19 PM
IGA (imagining global asia) from NYC

“I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.”

Mar. 10 2008 12:10 PM
hjs from 11211

DON'T misrepresent my comments. my point why are we talking about MONSTER but not her iraq comments. Brian also did not speak to that part of the story

Mar. 10 2008 11:46 AM
Matt from Brooklyn

I'm disappointed that Obama would accept Power's resignation over this non-incident. In doing so, he's caving in to the kind of "gotcha" politics that Clinton seems to be so willing to play. He should condemn her comments but acknowledge that brilliant people are allowed to mispeak on occasion as long as they acknowledge their mistakes, which Powers clearly did.

Mar. 10 2008 11:26 AM
antonio from gotham slope

come on hjs, your misrepresenting, what powers was trying to say was they have to take more time to look at the details. The best case scenario – will be able to withdraw one to two combat brigades each month. It's not a secret, it's just common sense that it WILL be more a nuanced.

Mar. 10 2008 11:18 AM
hjs from 11211

i think powers comment about iraq was obama will not be leaving iraq any time soon. but shhh it's a secret

Mar. 10 2008 11:06 AM
Matt W. from Red Hook

Samantha Power made a mistake, at least tactically, and the consequences are regrettable, and are themselves part of the problem. However, not reporting her comment would have amounted to paternalism, the usual way of doing business in the cozy American journalism world (and the "off the record" issue is red herring; there is no after-the-fact "off the record"). In this sense the Scottish reporter "broke" the rules, rather like that Irish TV reporter who interviewed Bush in 2004 and actually subjected him to searching, sustained scrutiny. Glenn Greenwald had an excellent post about this.

Mar. 10 2008 11:04 AM
joy gramolini from Washington Heights

As I recall, Jerry Peeve was interviewing Samantha Power "on the record" about her new book on Sergio de Mello. Within that context, her comment about Hillary--while bone-headed to say the least--was not relevant. On those grounds alone, might the reporter--or at least her editor--disallowed it? Yes, she said it, and yes, the interview was on the record. But the comment itself was clearly an aside.

Mar. 10 2008 11:03 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

It seems that there's been a slew of these "gotcha" moments with reps from virtually every campaign in this race (both in Dem and Republican races) convinces me that apparently in today's sound byte world that the only way to avoid these things is to form a Borg-like collective where the candidate has complete control over the thoughts and actions of his people.

With regards to the actual comment: Stupid move on her part. No doubt. However, "monster" is one of those words that depends on the way it's said. I mean, if I say that my friend's two-year-old is a "monster", I'm not saying she's Josef Stalin. I just mean she causes a lot of trouble and gets into a lot of mischief. But monster, when referring to political figures, I guess is usually meant that they have somehow gone beyond the pale and violated basic human rights, which of course Hilary has not really had the opportunity to do.

Mar. 10 2008 11:02 AM
alm from new york

if the predetermined arrangement was an interview to "plug" power's book, shouldn't the Scottsman have focused on her book instead? seems he only mentioned the title in passing...

Mar. 10 2008 11:00 AM

Power qua "moral giant."

Even if she is one, she can have a fatal flaw (or more than one). Ancient Greeks seem to have some familiarity with that topic.

Mar. 10 2008 10:59 AM
jakes Loverly

Most common reason to respect a change-up like "could you put that off the record?" is to maintain the relationship that benefits both parties.

THEREFORE -- as a consumer of news I only wish that more Scottish reporters could come and interview our presidents and potential presidents!

Imagine if Bush hadn't been surrounded by a flock of kissb*ts in what we now call the "leadup" to the Iraqi war, but rather a bunch of parachute reporters on rotation!!

Mar. 10 2008 10:59 AM
Eric from B'klyn

Not surprising that it's a British reporter and editor... since journalism there is morally bankrupt.

Mar. 10 2008 10:58 AM
RMCT from New York City

I'm a lawyer, and the rough equivalent of a "blurt" on the record would be an inadvertently-produced privileged document. Most adversaries will read the document (although they'll claim that they didn't) and then return it to the other side. It's a courtesy, because everyone makes mistakes. Of course, if the document is a "smoking gun," that's another story -- but "monster" was gossip, not a smoking gun.

Mar. 10 2008 10:57 AM

No backsies?
Reporter are sleazy if they can't allow someone a slip of the tongue.

Mar. 10 2008 10:56 AM
Steve from New York

The "monster" idea about Hillary Clinton might be catching on.
Here is a great article from The New Republic:

Mar. 10 2008 10:55 AM
RMCT from New York City

You know, I think that Power was naive, but she is after all not a professional pol, but rather a college professor who wrote a couple of good books and, rightly, was chosen by Obama to advise her. The story was kind of cheap, and I wouldn't have used it.

Mar. 10 2008 10:55 AM

Can you lift the veil on what I consider a far more curious WNYCism?

"It is not clear..." (as in, "The president was accused of barbary, but his reaction is not clear.") (sorry cant think of a better example)

I assume it means they didn't bother getting a reply from the party in question, but wonder why saying ""it is not clear" isn't against WNYC's style guide.

Mar. 10 2008 10:54 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Yes HJS!

Obama thinks leaving Iraq is as easy as the circus leaving town.

Just pull up the stakes and put the clowns in the car and leave.

Finally someone is taking this guy to task on what he says.


Mar. 10 2008 10:53 AM
Marina Aizen from Argentina

American officials use backround information to convince journalist of their positions. In other words to brainwash them. All the journalist that covered the UN during Madeleine Albright's tenure remember her spokesman's daily brifings, tring to sell us the american stance on any given international political issue at stake.

Mar. 10 2008 10:53 AM
hjs from 11211

I found it interesting the corp media reported Power' s monster comment but skipped (except Gwen Ifill on Meet the press) the bigger story that obama has no Iraq exit plan

Mar. 10 2008 10:47 AM
Daniel from Brooklyn

This is a frustrating example of gotcha-ism. This was an unguarded remark, not some sort of telling slip-up that revealed an inner flaw. Power has a sterling history as a thoughtful and morally serious thinker on foreign policy, and because of this ridiculous incident she has been run out of the campaign.

Mar. 10 2008 10:47 AM

Blah blah blah. Anyone who says something to a reporter who thinks it might not become public is naive, and deserves all the consequences.

Mar. 10 2008 10:46 AM
rick from brooklyn

the comments were made during an on the record interview plugging Power's book. you can't just call something off the record retrospectively and expect it not to be published.

Mar. 10 2008 10:42 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Samantha Power should know you just can't say Clinton is a monster.

Obama did the right thing by firing her.

I don't have the Ivy League Credentials Power has and I know enough not to saying anything like she said to a reporter.

People have to keep in mind "off the record" no longer exists.

Mar. 10 2008 10:04 AM
antonio from gotham slope

Despite this non-story, Ms Power's will probably be secretary of state.

Mar. 10 2008 10:04 AM

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