I was contacted by the media today


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kd7nqb
September 7, 2007, 12:54 PM
As some of you may know I am the president of the Portland State University 2nd Amendment Club.

Today I was contacted by the Portland Mercury Oregons most left wing newspaper and they want to interview me about the club, its mission and goals.

Within the club there seems to be some debate over weather I should sit down with them or not.

I plan to bring a recorder with me so WHEN they twist my words and misquote me I will have a fair method of rebuttal. Also I know how to be calm cool and collected without sacrificing my beliefs.

So any advice? Anybody think its a bad idea for a reason I am not thinking of"

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RockyMtnTactical
September 7, 2007, 12:58 PM
Good luck!

exar
September 7, 2007, 12:59 PM
Do what you think is best. Bring a video recorder and let them know that if they twist your words to look negative you'll just post the whole unedited clip on Youtube.

pax
September 7, 2007, 01:02 PM
If the reporter knows anything at all, he won't misquote you. Instead, he will use your words, exactly as you said them, to make you sound like a fool.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that a tape recording of the interview will help much. At best, it will keep the reporter marginally honest. However, if he misquotes you, all he has to do is print a retraction (a tiny, small-font blurb buried somewhere deep inside the rag) and he's home free. And unless you have access to a newspaper with a similar sized circulation, there's no such thing as being able to issue a rebuttal of your own. You are utterly at their (possibly non-existent) mercy.

Does that mean I think you shouldn't do it? Nope. Go for it. Just don't kid yourself about what you are doing and what the likely outcome will be. You might get a fair shake, but if the reporter wants to do the dirty all over you, he can and he will. That's the risk you're taking. Understand that going in, and you'll be a lot happier with the final product.

pax

Treat the media as you would any other watchdog. Stay calm, be friendly, let them sniff your hand, and never turn your back. -- Amy Sprinkles

littlegator
September 7, 2007, 01:08 PM
pax +1

I depose people all of the time in my line of work - it sounds one way verbally, but when it's on paper, it looks a whole lot different. On paper, you can miss the inflections, pauses, emphasis, etc. that make the tenor the dialogue. The same words are there, but the way it reads it different. Believe me, the reporter won't need to misqoute you. I would have it videotaped if I were you. I would also have the reporter give you a copy of the questions in advance.

News Shooter
September 7, 2007, 01:09 PM
and a thirty year veteran journalist, I advise you not to do it. Never, ever get into an argument with someone who buys their ink by the barrel.

boredelmo
September 7, 2007, 01:11 PM
Maybe you should agree to an interview only if they allow you to interview the paper. What are there goals? What is their stance on 2A, etc?

Thegungal
September 7, 2007, 01:13 PM
You wont have a "fair" method of rebutal...because where will be your forum to do it?

I deal with the media from time to time. I am lucky in some ways because this is Texas and a conservative town. So I do get a positive point out every now and than. However, I have had enough things twisted in print and Tv to want to be very leary.

News Shooter
September 7, 2007, 01:13 PM
No reporter is going to give you questions in advance and if they have a hidden agenda they're not going to tell you the truth about the nature of the story.

That's the way they operate. You need to decide if it is worth having to drag a recording around with you to play for all the members who are going to piss off at you when they see the story

Glockman17366
September 7, 2007, 01:17 PM
I'd ask for a chance to review and correct (if necessary) the final article prior to publication.
I'm sure this will be an interesting article, but it's not news, so there's no pressure to publish it...thus, giving you time to review it.

This is a good opportunity...chose your words wisely and LISTEN to the questions before you answer!!!

BTW, I would agree with recording the interview, as others have suggested.

CountGlockula
September 7, 2007, 01:17 PM
Good luck Mr. President. Let us know how it went.

Also, I think you meant whether...rather than "weather", college boy. I think there's a reason why you're there.:D

Fosbery
September 7, 2007, 01:20 PM
Since it's not being filmed, don't feel the need to answer things straight away. Take your time and think about what you're going to say before saying it and consider how you might be selectively quoted etc.

jungleroy
September 7, 2007, 01:26 PM
Please avoid them, you are not going to win anything tangible from them.
Their an unfriendly form of media, highly unlikely that they will allow anything into their paper that does not bash us.
I would think it fair to ask for a list of the questions a week before the interview if you are dead set on having it.

buzz_knox
September 7, 2007, 01:28 PM
No reporter is going to give you questions in advance

If they like you, they will.

geekWithA.45
September 7, 2007, 01:32 PM
they want to interview me about the club, its mission and goals.

Your club, is of course, the result of an antiquated and mistaken view of the constitution, whose mission and goals are to perpetuate such errors and encourage simplicity of thought, violent solutions to any given problem, misanthropy, misogyny, and, of course, to perpetuate the the daily holocaust of innocent children and nuns.

:neener:

That about sum it up?


I dunno. Dealing with a hostile press is such a gamble.

davinci
September 7, 2007, 01:35 PM
IT'S A NEWSPAPER!
did you forget that? I dont' see any reason why you have to sit down with them at all....

Tell them it fits your schedule better if they email you questions and you respond. YOU CAN THEN EVEN POST YOUR RESPONSES ON HERE, or PRINT THEM OUT FOR YOUR CLUB before you even give them to the journalist. you ALSO HAVE HARD PROOF of what you said.

And, just so you know, libel and defamation are only valid if it harms you in some way. If you were, say a member of the NRA, the court may look in your favor when you sue them for libel. Ever see the tabloids? that's how they get by with it, they aren't causing any sort of flaw to the Celebrity's career or well being...that's why you see so many articles like "Actress Jane Doe leaves husband for Alien!" but they never say "actress Jane Doe lives at 123 Oak Street" or "Actress Jane Doe is pregnant!" (a pregnancy takes most actresses out of the working world for a while) unless, of course she is pregnant, in which case it goes right to the newpaper.

As a university club leader, you don't stand to lose any money...so you can't really sue if they twist your words...that's just part of the 1st amendment. So, expect them to twist your words a bit, and remember the most important thing...this newspaper has absolutely no interest in your beliefs, they're just trying to prove their point. Do you think they're actually going to do an article that points out the pluses of Concealed carry on campus? You need to realize that if you don't give them anything that they can use to prove the point of the editor, they will not use you as a source.

my 3 cents.

Bubbles
September 7, 2007, 01:47 PM
I spent several years as the SAS Press Coordinator and also have been on tv as a GOA spokeswoman, so I do have a little insight here.

This interview is a double-edged sword. How often have we read articles in the paper where there is quote after quote after quote from representatives from anti-gun groups, and nothing from a pro-gun group - and then complained about the lack of "balance" in the article? On the flip side, how often have pro-gunners been made out to look like kooks, extremists, and whackos by leftist journalists when we do get interviewed? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Personally I'd do the interview BUT if you have any female members have one of them be your spokeswoman. (Sexist comment: it's easier to attack a man in the press than a woman.) Make sure your spokeswoman sticks to just discussions about the club and its mission.

Do not get involved in debates on issues that are outside of your club's purview. You do not have to answer questions that make you uncomfortable or that you feel are setting you up. Don't even say "No Comment". Just keep silent and shake your head. Obviously that tactic doesn't work on live tv, but the nice thing about live tv is that you can't be edited so you don't even have to answer the question.

Did you watch the Rep or Dem Presidential debates? Did the candidates truly answer the questions, or did they just spit out their canned and partly-relevant sound bites on the issues? You can do the same.

rkh
September 7, 2007, 01:53 PM
I encourage you conduct the interview, but do it over email rather than face-to-face.

You'll have time to carefully consider your answers and review what your statements look like in print.

Ask for a list of questions, and let the journalist know that he or she is free to send follow-ups.

40SW
September 7, 2007, 01:53 PM
Here is what I think. I have also been contacted by the media numerous times and have given interviews.

1. One interview deserves another. Prescreen and interview them, especially the individual who is going to interview you. Get a feel for what they believe in. Ask probing questions. Get a level of civility and or propensity toward slant/beligerence and any other good/bad proclivity and they may have.

2. Also use fact and be civilized. Don't let them lead you emotionally.
Site actual FBI and law enforcement crime statisitics. Its much harder for them to argue with data. ,although not impossible. Anything else you might site, check it out yourself. Come prepared with a ledger and folder of facts. Bring the Constitution, bring relevant state statutes, bring FBI data, bring CWP crime data, bring data that supports CWP legitimacy and the lowering of crime in said jurisdiction.

3. Bring plenty of water, you will speak more than you normally do and will feel some anxiety no matter how good you are. you want to speak clearly and with good inflection.

4. Take a break if you need to, even if its just an excuse to go to the bathroom, it will give you time to reflect and compose yourself.

5. Be in control, be civilized, you are the expert, NOT them. ,but don't be arrogant, knowledge is power in RKBA, emotion is automatically your loss before the battle even starts. Kill them with kindness and logic. It works.

6. update us on the results.

News Shooter
September 7, 2007, 01:59 PM
I promise;)

You will rue the day you ever gave an interview to those people. I promise you this is nothing but a set up orchestrated by some left wing tipster trying to stir up trouble.

Even if you are quoted correctly, which is doubtful, you will be taken out of context and every comment you make will be soundly refuted by some self-proclaimed anti-gun type to make you look stupid and dangerous.

They will portray you as a mouth-breathing, Nazi schizo and imply that you are the type to pull a Cho on their pretty little campus.

jlbraun
September 7, 2007, 02:01 PM
How about this?

Go into that interview like this:

"We are a club dedicated to empowering ethnic minorities, women, and gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered people and informing them against the conservative, classist, discriminatory, anti-progressive, sexist, patriarchal view that only the police and/or government can be trusted to defend them. All of these groups have a history of repression and persecution, so our aim is to inform them, because the conservative media won't do its job."

:evil:

Through personal experience, I have found that using lefty jargon works quite well when discussing RKBA with lefties.

DO NOT sit down and talk statistics, and DO NOT talk about the 2nd Amendment's meaning at all. Besides making the interviewers' eyes glaze over, statistics and the Constitution can be twisted by the other side. Focus on "empowerment", "safety", "fun", and "the right of minorities and women to defend themselves."

If they try to take you off message or into statistics-land, don't take the bait.

If they reference Cho, simply work "gun free zone" into your response as many times as possible. Suzanna Hupp did this in a debate against Paul Helmke and absolutely schooled him.

Justin
September 7, 2007, 02:01 PM
I'd ask for a chance to review and correct (if necessary) the final article prior to publication.

No reporter would ever agree to this.

40SW
September 7, 2007, 02:03 PM
News Shooter :
I agree in part with what you are saying, but what are we suppose to do?
not communicate with the media.
We need to educate the mainstream press about the fundamental legitimacy of the 2nd ammendment and RKBA. We need to do it with facts and data. We need to do it by promoting the shooting sports, if they misquote us, we need to go after them legally and fight back. ,but either way, we need to communicate.

v35
September 7, 2007, 02:03 PM
Forget about the tape recorder. No one will care what you "really" said after your words are printed. If you're misquoted, no one will care if an erratum is printed the next day. You won't have an opportunity to amplify or elaborate, so don't permit yourself to be cornered into having to.

Considering this is a "left wing" publication, you might be asked questions designed elicit an emotional response. Your challenge will be to consistently respond calmly and rationally. If the reporter seems to be seeking a particular answer to support their left-wing agenda, don't be surprised if the same question is asked repeatedly, in an effort to wear you down. Your challenge will be to respond identically, over and over if necessary, calmly and rationally, ad nauseum, no matter how absurd this may seem to you. The reporter will ultimately decide what to report and what to leave out. You will be quoted "out of context". Accept it.

Think about your answers before answering. Take as much time as you want. Take five or ten minutes or longer if necessary. Bring a glass of water to drink while you cogitate over your beautifully constructed Churchillian work of art responses. Remember your answers will be printed for the world to read over and over again.

Most people don't take nearly enough time to think about questions before answering, a fact attorneys take full advantage of when taking depositions. Come to think of it, that might be the right way to approach this - a deposition - the reporter is your opposition's attorney, and your attorney isn't there.

If this weren't a left-wing publication as you describe it I wouldn't be as guarded... to them you are a gun nut, a neo-Nazi-like menace to society, and they will do their damndest to portray you as such.

I applaud you for accepting the challenge, and the opportunity (however remote) for some good press.

Eyesac
September 7, 2007, 02:20 PM
Your club, is of course, the result of an antiquated and mistaken view of the constitution, whose mission and goals are to perpetuate such errors and encourage simplicity of thought, violent solutions to any given problem, misanthropy, misogyny, and, of course, to perpetuate the the daily holocaust of innocent children and nuns.
haha!
Yeah, I would avoid it if you could. I have to admit, if it were me, I would feel some responsibility to interview (as the president of your club), but I think it's a bad idea.

ilcylic
September 7, 2007, 02:29 PM
jlbraun: I like the way you think. :D

What's better is: it's true!

Blackbeard
September 7, 2007, 02:29 PM
"We are a club dedicated to empowering ethnic minorities, women, and gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered people and informing them against the conservative, classist, discriminatory, anti-progressive, sexist, patriarchal view that only the police and/or government can be trusted to defend them. All of these groups have a history of repression and persecution, so our aim is to inform them, because the conservative media won't do its job."

Here's how it will look in print:

"We are ... conservative, classist, discriminatory, anti-progressive, sexist ... have a history of repression and persecution, ... because the ... media won't do its job."

MIL-DOT
September 7, 2007, 02:41 PM
geek with a .45 wrote : "Your club, is of course, the result of an antiquated and mistaken view of the constitution, whose mission and goals are to perpetuate such errors and encourage simplicity of thought, violent solutions to any given problem, misanthropy, misogyny, and, of course, to perpetuate the the daily holocaust of innocent children and nuns."
i think you should make that your opening statement !! kind of starting with a touch of levity, while taking a mild shot at, and putting in perpective,their views towards us.

cnorman18
September 7, 2007, 02:47 PM
Don't forget that you have the right to point out hidden, or not-so-hidden, assumptions in the reporter's questions: "That question assumes (x), and I don't think that's true. The fact is, (y)."

If you can answer a question with a relevant fact or statistic without further comment, that's pretty hard to twist: "Don't you think allowing guns on campus is dangerous?" "Every jurisdiction that has instituted concealed carry has seen a sharp drop in violent crime." If they want to print your answer, they have to print a fact that they don't want people to know.

Expect to be baited and provoked. He will want to make you angry, because angry people say stupid things. Stay cool and quote provable facts and numbers.

Use as many of those facts and numbers as you can get away with. The insignificantly tiny number of CHL holders arrested for violent crimes; the equally tiny number of holders who have their licenses revoked; the ENORMOUS number of crimes stopped or prevented by armed citizens; and so on. The FACTS are on our side; use them liberally, you should pardon the expression.

Do your homework. If you are handed some phony statistic, e.g. On the number of "children" killed by handguns, ask the source; if it's Handgun Control, Inc., you can point out that those numbers include "children" up to the age of 25 and criminals shot by each other and the police. Say it in a matter-of-fact tone, without showing anger at the deception.

Above all, don't argue. Say nothing without backing it up.

Don't just sit there and be manipulated; do some manipulating of your own.

If you do it right, they may not use your interview at all. In that case, post a transcript of it and ask why not.

Good luck and stay cool.

Cosmoline
September 7, 2007, 02:53 PM
To quote Patrick O'Brian, "Question and answer is not a civilized form of conversation." You generally have to go to a depo, but you don't have to do this. Unless there is something to be gained by doing it, DO NOT AGREE TO IT.

kirkcdl
September 7, 2007, 03:00 PM
First,I'd find out who is doing the interview,then search the papers archives and read EVERYTHING ever written by this person.Then,and only then,agree or decline to do the interview..."Know your enemy"...

cnorman18
September 7, 2007, 03:06 PM
"...the daily holocaust of innocent children and nuns." i think you should make that your opening statement !! kind of starting with a touch of levity, while taking a mild shot at, and putting in perpective,their views towards us."

That's a TERRIBLE idea. They will selectively quote you as if you were serious, and do it without blinking an eye at the deception.

You must remember three things here: (1) The left has no sense of humor about issues they regard as important and "serious"; (2) They think anyone who does is contemptible, and will present them in that light; and (3) They have no compunctions at all about distorting facts, smearing their opponents, or straight-up lying if it serves their Cause.

Do they believe that the end justifies the means? You betcha. Any means at all, fair, foul, or whatever. They regard their opponents as Pure Evil, and ANYTHING goes to defeat them.

When you talk with a real hardcore leftist, you're not talking to someone with a normal political point of view; you're talking to the equivalent of an extreme religious fanatic who sees himself doing battle with the Devil.

Clyde Nocar
September 7, 2007, 03:10 PM
I wouldn't do it. You have much to lose, they have nothing to lose.

Muzzy_B
September 7, 2007, 03:11 PM
When you talk with a real hardcore leftist, you're not talking to someone with a normal political point of view; you're talking to the equivalent of an extreme religious fanatic who sees himself doing battle with the Devil.

Very true.

Don't do it.

Robert Hairless
September 7, 2007, 03:15 PM
You have reason to believe that the newspaper is slanted and that the reporter has an agenda. Both have been doing what they do for a long time and are professionals at it.

You, on the other hand, are not skilled in dealing with the media but have justice and virtue on your side and wonder whether you will do your cause any good.

If you are available for a poker game and know that luck is on your side, you should have no trouble finding large numbers of professional poker players to schedule a high stakes game at your convenience.

The odds of your winning--or breaking even--are a lot greater in the poker game I think. As for strategies to outwit the professionals and triumph over them ... ROFL! If anyone here could do that the media would be filled with pro-gun and pro-Second Amendment articles to the point at which we would be tired of reading them.

Dr. Peter Venkman
September 7, 2007, 03:21 PM
The same logic people are applying here as to why you should *not* grant an interview is the exact same reason why we keep having the same ****ty people win the primaries and run for president. Set the record straight with an interview.

ilbob
September 7, 2007, 03:22 PM
There is virtually zero chance any reporter will agree to you vetting his article before it is printed. Sometimes they will give you a copy before publication but after it is too late to correct the many mistakes and deliberate deceptions there will be in the article.

I would bet 90% of the article is already written , and the interview is just so they can claim some level of fairness to the article that is 99% anti-liberty.

Unless the specific individual has a track record for honest reporting, and very few do, your safest bet is to pass. You might want to just politely decline and if he asks you why, just tell him there is zero chance of getting a fair shake from his paper. Be aware that it is likely there is already an article planned and your refusal to comment will probably be reported in the most negative way possible.

Today I was contacted by the Portland Mercury Oregons most left wing newspaper and they want to interview me about the club, its mission and goals.
Chances are this is a bald faced lie. Most likely they have an article already written and are looking for someone that they can villify and misquote to comment from the other side of the way they framed the issue That is the way liberals operate.

Kentak
September 7, 2007, 03:27 PM
Be prepared. Be prepared. Have your group role play and think of every negative spin question that might be asked--and have an answer prepared.

Don't expect fair play is rule number one.

Beware of "Have you stopped beating your wife yet" kinds of questions, in which a faulty premise is included in the question. Your response should start with, "I reject the premise of your question..." or, "Let's define our terms..." or, "That's the wrong question...". You get the idea.

But, first, given the slant of the newspaper, do you have more to gain for RKBA, or to lose? Is there any way they *won't* spin it to be negative or make you look kookie, or foolish, or extremist? If not, maybe discretion is the better part of valor.

Good luck. Let us know what happens.

K

Rumble
September 7, 2007, 03:32 PM
You could handle the interview with a typically "politician" method: decide what questions you would like them to ask, and prepare answers to those questions. Make the answers as reasonable and difficult to spin as possible, knowing that nothing is unspinnable. Then, regardless of what they ask, only give the answers you've already prepared.

If you decide to go through with it, there's no rule about actually answering the questions they ask. If you aren't prepared to answer a question, just don't answer it. But expect them to say (if they have room) "He refused to answer..."

Robert Hairless
September 7, 2007, 03:41 PM
Dr. Peter:

The same logic people are applying here as to why you should *not* grant an interview is the exact same reason why we keep having the same ****ty people win the primaries and run for president. Set the record straight with an interview.

Nope. There's no such parallel. A decision about whether or not to participate in an interview is not the same as voting in an election, working for a candidate, or any such thing. The same logic does not apply in the two situations because they are completely different situations.

People who understand self-defense at least fairly well would recognize that a far better parallel to this situation is whether to walk into a situation where one has reason to believe that an attack will take place. Most of us, I expect, would avoid such situations even if we believed that we would emerge the victor. Those who make another decision are sure to lose, either in the situation or during its aftermath.

Here is a selection from Hairless' Rules of How to Live Long Enough to Become a Cranky Old Man:


If any fight is avoidable, avoid it.

If the odds aren't close to 100% in your favor, play a different game.

If the payoff isn't greater than the risk, find another way to spend your time.

If you meet a beautiful young woman in a bar who promises you the delights of a lifetime compressed into one wonderful evening, look in the mirror before you make a decision that might have you spending the rest of your life seeing a physician.

If you are sure you're better than any successful professional in his or her own field of practice, grant some responsible person complete control over your affairs.

Day trading is not a way to avoid bankruptcy.

Suicide is an occupation without a future because the better you are at it the less opportunity you will have to repeat your success.


All of the above rules are directly relevant to the issue at hand.

woof
September 7, 2007, 03:50 PM
I would tell them if they want to know about the club give you their questions in writing and you will provide them with written answers. Then post the questions and answers on your own website (if you don't have one you should). If they won't agree to that, tell them no and tell them why - you see no need for an interview to answer their questions and if they insist on one that in itself suggests they are planning a negative spin. If you want, you could tell them if you feel you were treated fairly in this Q&A, you might agree to an interview later.

SomeKid
September 7, 2007, 04:00 PM
I have given two media interviews. One was neutral-negative, the other time they simply decided not to quote me.

Did any good come out of it? No.

If you have to learn by putting your hand on the hot iron, go do that interview.

If you decide to touch the hot iron, limit your losses. Try to do e-mail Q&A. Saves you time/gas after all.

Oleg Volk
September 7, 2007, 04:06 PM
Another idea: find a friendlier publication and offer them a chance to steal a march on the other guys. Have them, the friendlies, do your interview and print it ahead of the bad guys.

deanodog
September 7, 2007, 04:07 PM
a wise man once told me" never get into a pissing contest with a skunk" I have always remembered that.

SaMx
September 7, 2007, 04:08 PM
one argument you might want to make is to compare gun control to drog prohibition, in that it doesn't work and actually causes violent crime.

another thing is when talking about concealed carry on campus, talk about concealed carry licenses, and the fact that places that allow concealed carry have experienced a drop in crime.

I also second the idea to conduct the interview by email. that will allow you to take your time answering questions, see the questions ahead of time, and see how your answers will look in print. The danger is that you'll say something by accident that looks bad in print. Taking the interview by email should eliminate that danger. Just say you are busy with class and don't have time to schedule a meeting with them, so you have to answer their questions by email.

Kalashnikov
September 7, 2007, 04:10 PM
I say do it. He who dares wins afterall.

AndyC
September 7, 2007, 04:19 PM
I'm just musing here, but it would be interesting if everyone started to refuse interviews with the press because of their (deservedly, IMO) tainted reputation for having their own axe to grind. Perhaps they'd then clean their act up - but I doubt it.

Werewolf
September 7, 2007, 04:21 PM
If you aren't prepared to answer a question, just don't answer it.I can see it now: Following the above advice the interviewer writes: The interviewee sat there in silence, confused and unable to articulate or even form the most base response to my question - thus perpetuating the stereotype held by many liberals that gun owners are illiterate, inarticulate, knuckle dragging morons.

The OP has absolutel nothing to gain by participating in the interview. The readers of a rag like that have already made up their minds.

But, just for the sake of argument assume the interviewer did write an article that honestly represented the views of both the left and the right; how long do you think that journalist would continue in the employ of the left wing rag? Chances are better than excellent that the article will be neither fair nor balanced.

Don't fight battles you cannot win and don't agree to the interview. You can't help the cause and may inadvertantly give the anti-gunners more ammo in their battle against us.

Danus ex
September 7, 2007, 04:32 PM
Why would they interview you? They know you're young and inexperienced with the media, and you're also part of a university they feel responsible for reporting on. This paper has a specific, "anti" audience and an assumed track record for opposing firearms rights. You're fodder for an experienced journalist with that kind of support and agenda. All you'll get out of this is your own misquoted words etched in searchable stone and maybe a somewhat tarnished reputation at an undoubtedly "anti" institution.

I started that America's Great Gun Game thread and there's no way in hell I'd do this.

Cosmoline
September 7, 2007, 04:41 PM
Set the record straight with an interview.

That assumes you can set the record straight with an interview. Anyone who's seen Bowling for Columbine knows this is never going to happen. You keep quiet.

Waitone
September 7, 2007, 04:48 PM
At the very best your comments will be used to "balance" the story's premise which no doubt will be anti-gun or anti-self defense. Is it worth the risk to your public image? Only you can say. Do not waste your time and energy hoping for a fair shake. The recorder will help you feel better but will do nothing improve the slant on your words.

Good luck and keep us posted.

jlbraun
September 7, 2007, 04:50 PM
Quote:
"We are a club dedicated to empowering ethnic minorities, women, and gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered people and informing them against the conservative, classist, discriminatory, anti-progressive, sexist, patriarchal view that only the police and/or government can be trusted to defend them. All of these groups have a history of repression and persecution, so our aim is to inform them, because the conservative media won't do its job."
Here's how it will look in print:

Quote:
"We are ... conservative, classist, discriminatory, anti-progressive, sexist ... have a history of repression and persecution, ... because the ... media won't do its job."

Blackbeard, do you work for a newspaper? :neener: That was masterful.

However, how does the OP know that the interviewer is not a lefty person with a favorable view of the RKBA? My existence proves that at least one such person exists. :)

Dr. Peter Venkman
September 7, 2007, 04:54 PM
Nope. There's no such parallel. A decision about whether or not to participate in an interview is not the same as voting in an election, working for a candidate, or any such thing. The same logic does not apply in the two situations because they are completely different situations.

Actually, there is a parallel. It's the same logic as "don't vote for the guy you really want, because he won't win anyways." "Don't bother giving an interview, because it won't make a difference anyways". It's the same thing in a different form.

skinnyguy
September 7, 2007, 05:01 PM
I can't remember the ladies name right off hand, but wasn't there an anti reporter recently who conducted an interview with somebody, and as a result her anti views seemed empty and misguided?

Do be very careful with what you say, the way you phrase things, and the tone with which you answer the questions. Be friendly, be honest, and study up on facts with Oregon sources. Being able to use local events and examples are much more effective than using national or worldwide examples since it brings things closer to home for the reporter and the reader.

Feanaro
September 7, 2007, 05:08 PM
No reporter would ever agree to this.

I'm not a doctor of journalism but I have done this before. Not for everyone, mind you, but it does happen.

ilbob
September 7, 2007, 05:34 PM
But, just for the sake of argument assume the interviewer did write an article that honestly represented the views of both the left and the right; how long do you think that journalist would continue in the employ of the left wing rag? Chances are better than excellent that the article will be neither fair nor balanced.
You may recall the story of Sean Kranish here in Northern Illinois. he got interviewed by the local rag, and they published a multi-page article on him that was astoundingly fair for such a far left paper.

I am guessing that the publisher did not know the article was being written or did not realize it would not vilify gun ownership and the day after it came out they published an editorial that all but disowned their own story.

I emailed the reporter afterwards. He was very careful about what he said, but did state that the article had been in the works for weeks and that his editor had approved the entire story. I don't know if he or the editor are still employed there.

skinewmexico
September 7, 2007, 05:40 PM
Give them a written statement, and tell them if they can't figure that out, they're on their own.

kd7nqb
September 7, 2007, 05:45 PM
I am very surprised how fast the thread exploded and I like it. Good ideas my main focus is going to be explaining that we are all about education from safety to personal defense. I will mention that CCW on campus is an ultimate goal but I will also explain that we strongly advocate working to change laws rather than break them.

Also, we already have a working relationship with one of the founders of the portland Pink Pistols, so I will make sure to mention that.

Werewolf
September 7, 2007, 06:03 PM
Also, we already have a working relationship with one of the founders of the portland Pink Pistols, so I will make sure to mention that.
Bring that person along to the interview. Be pretty hard for a lefty to bash, twist the words of or say bad things about a homosexual in this PC day and age.

charon
September 7, 2007, 06:35 PM
I work as a journalist today and have worked in PR for years in the past.

The best thing to do would be to take part in the interview IF you have media training and have ALL of your facts down cold. It could be OK even lacking media training if you have to have the answers to the factual arguments down cold and some understanding of what to expect.

What will he ask? Given your organization (2nd Amendment and College) the following jumps to mind:

"Need for hunting"
Collective right
Couldn't have imagined today's weapons back then/2nd outdated
The standard VT stuff comes to mind.
The standard guns in the home misinformation
Police will protect you
Is a tyrant likely today? (2nd helps make sure it's unlikely.)


You have to have a factual understanding on the pro positions on these issues at the top of your head, with additional support at your fingertips in case you forget. Some of my personal debate counters to the broader "common good" arguments:


If the ban on drugs doesn't work at all, why should any ban on X be any more effective?
Alcohol is far deadlier, but we treat it's misuse as a personal responsibility. Do you advocate further restriction on Alcohol as well? Why don't we don't ban whiskey and limit ourselves to near beer.
If guns are the source of firearm violence, why is it there are no drive by shootings in my neighborhood or through the vast majority of neighborhoods in America?
The recent gun ban failure studies and English experience
The fact that even though VT incidents are exceedingly rare, they get a media circus. About 200 people are killed by lighting each year. How many by a VT each year
Number one mass killer weapon of choice is Arson (Google Happy Land social club and Dupont Plaza Hotel). Arson can kill a family of five and it barely makes the paper, if they are shot it's a week long affair with calls for new bans and restrictions.
If the second is outdated, what about the first. The Web can easily be used to recruit hate, pedophiles find victims, The Turner Diaries has killed more people than my gun... etc.
FBI statistics on rifles used in homicide (AWB) and average number of shots used in a firearm homicide (check NRA/ILA)


Don't wing it. If you don't know the answer say: I know of some information on that but I want to be accurate. Let me look it up and e-mail it to you this afternoon.

Rehearse you messages and talking points. Stay on message and don't be swayed (as noted in previous posts). Be comfortable. You are right and just on this issue. Don't let the reported put words in your mouth, etc. Keep the messages short, direct and simple.

Take the reporter shooting to a reputable range with a diverse group of shooters. Probably the best way to sway the interview. Have a reasonable and fun selection of guns to shoot to make it a pleasant experience. Good photo op too.

Good Luck

Rumble
September 7, 2007, 06:41 PM
can see it now: Following the above advice the interviewer writes: The interviewee sat there in silence, confused and unable to articulate or even form the most base response to my question - thus perpetuating the stereotype held by many liberals that gun owners are illiterate, inarticulate, knuckle dragging morons.


Fair enough (note that I pointed out the reporter was bound to write "He refused to answer..."). My implication (or intended implication) was that in such a position, answer some other question. Politicians and other talking heads do it all the time.

Frankly, I'd either do it with written statements, or not do it at all.

Blackbeard
September 7, 2007, 06:47 PM
Have a fact sheet handy that you can reference during the interview. You can give her a copy afterwards, too.

News Shooter
September 7, 2007, 06:53 PM
I just broke my promise:D

This is a no-win for you

vynx
September 7, 2007, 06:55 PM
Don't answer any question if you don't like the way it is phrased (you know the kind that however you answer it comes out wrong or like you're the badguy).

Instead, take a cue form the politicians, smile nod and then give out your prepared in advance statement.

Mention gun saftey - how Eddie Eagle saves childrens lifes and "its all about saving the children - if even only one childs life is saved by our 2nd amendment club then by golly its worth it".

My point is you are not there to answer the reporters questions - you are there to get your point across - remember your audience and choose your words accordingly.

Another trick is to get the reporter out of psync (sounds like sink?) - slow her down - speed it up - you can always pause, then slowly repeat the question, then take a drink of water, then hmmmmm, etc.

kd7nqb
September 7, 2007, 08:35 PM
He got back to me tonight and said that he does not have enough time for an interview and would instead like me to just type out an email with some basics of my group so that will be much easier.

bumm
September 7, 2007, 08:36 PM
I myself probably wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to go in and say my piece, choosing my words very carefully, and doing my best to anticipate my answers to the most slanted questions I can imagine. After all, if we don't push our cause, who will?
Unfortunately though, if they can't make you look like a knuckle dragging idiot, the article will never see print. They won't print it if it doesn't go their way.
Marty

Boomerang
September 7, 2007, 09:19 PM
You must do it in writing. They will catch you off guard with questions that you cannot counter effectively without provable research.
The best outcome would be for you to have the questions beforehand and post them here for group answers. Then write the answers that cannot be refuted.

The Unknown User
September 7, 2007, 09:32 PM
1. Nothing good can come of this. Really. They're preying on the fact that anyone who is open about being the president of a club for a controversial issue probably wants to spread their ideals. Don't fall for it.

2. Statistics used to defend or support controversial issues are almost always inherently confounded, and thus are statistically insignificant.

3. The topic of the Constitution WILL come up, and you WILL lose that fight. The Constitution is out of date, and the rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment have nothing to do with CCW rights, self-defense, etc. You WILL NOT win that argument.

4. People are SHEEP and will believe what they read; they will NOT believe what you say, despite how educated, logical, or confident you are.

Conclusion: do not do this. :(

M249MachineGun
September 7, 2007, 09:39 PM
Only do the interview if the reporter agrees to go shooting with you and your club. Every time he makes a 3" or smaller grouping he gets to ask a question.

yhtomit
September 7, 2007, 09:44 PM
Depending on how "left wing" is "left wing," it could be the people behind this paper aren't as predictably anti as you think.

Lots of leftists are not anti-gun per se; some of them are in favor of arming The People, even if their idea of The People might differ somewhat from your own :)

For instance: were the Black Panthers right wingers? :)

(Though he was himself not a Black Panther, see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Williams)

timothy

Gunnerpalace
September 7, 2007, 09:47 PM
Saw the email thing I was just about to say that if you do a sit down REMEMBER this as soon as you walk in the interview starts nothing is even off the record even if the interview is over and you are chatting with him on the way out, to your car ect, the interview ends when he is in his car and 5 miles down the highway with you in the opposite direction. My .02 1/5 cents.

rbernie
September 7, 2007, 09:50 PM
I wouldn't do it under any circumstances.

Trebor
September 7, 2007, 10:12 PM
He got back to me tonight and said that he does not have enough time for an interview and would instead like me to just type out an email with some basics of my group so that will be much easier.

This gives you an opportunity. When you write about your club make sure you are clear and concise and hit the high points that you really want to stress.

Is your club 100% student run? If so, say so. Things like membership numbers, when you were formed, etc, are always nice to know when writing a story.

If you have a diverse membership, mention it. If it's all a bunch of guys from the campus Young Republican's club, then leave that out.

Talk about the activities you do. If you only run informational meetings, say that. If you regularly meet at the range, mention that.

Something like this sounds good: "Our club works to educate members of the Univeristy about issues relating to the Second Amendment and firearms ownership. We also strive to provide a safe, friendly environment where any member of the campus community can come to learn more about firearms and shooting. At the range, we provide experienced shooters to work with the new shooters and we have a 100% accident free safety record."

"We always follow all laws and campus regulations regarding firearms and ammunition and pride ourselves on the character and conduct of our members."

Of course, only say what is really true and applies to your club.

When you write your response you could post it here before sending it to get some freedback.

EDIT: I forgot to mention. After the article runs, if it was at all neutral or positive, contact the reporter and mention that you saw it. Say that you were dissapointed that you never got to meet in person and offer to take him to the range. Set a date to go and follow up. Don't talk about the politics of gun control. Just focus on gun safety and show him the basics of shooting. He may or may not got a story out of it, but it'll go a long way towards establishing a good relationship.

JKimball
September 7, 2007, 10:56 PM
Only do the interview if the reporter agrees to go shooting with you and your club.

Seriously,that is exactly what I was thinking. Unfortunately, if he doesn't have time for an interview he probably would be even less inclined to go to the range. Still, I'd say give it a shot. I really think that is the best way to get through to anti's.

I'm a little surprised how many people are telling you not to do it. I kind of think we need to jump at every chance we get to improve the image of gun ownership. That doesn't mean winning the debate, but reaching out to people and trying to understand their concerns and help them see us as reasonable, rational, and good people. How could the president of a 2nd Amendment club refuse that opportunity? Even if he is going to be unethical about how he uses your words, you've got to do your part.

My advice would be to stay away from the guns cause gun crime debate and focus on the civil rights issue. Make it clear that you are on the side of the founding fathers by using their classic quotes. Americans have a hard time bashing Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Ben Franklin, etc.

I like the ideas that have been shared about painting your position in terms that leftists identify with. Another good parrallel is the wiretapping issue. Is it worth giving up our civil rights so the government can keep us safe?

I'm looking forward to seeing your response.

ranger335v
September 7, 2007, 11:10 PM
BT, DT. The reporter may well be a "nice guy", after all obvious jerks can't be a success in that business. And that's the trap! Believe me, the story is already written and their slant will be the centeral thrust of the story they tell. All you will be able to do is give them a few quotes that the reporter will use to give a sense of objectivity to their efforts to "expose" you as a danger to society. As mentioned above, they only need to edit your responses in such a way as to make you appear a dangerous dunce.

If you do it, and I wouldn't again (different subject, same methods), answer directly but with the fewest possible words. The more you expand your comments the more fodder you will give them to stick a knife in you and twist it. Again, the story is already written, all they want you for is to give it a false cloak of objectivity. No recorder will stop it or correct them later.

Want proof? Watch what happens on the floor in congress on C-Span in the morning and listen to how it's protrayed in the evening! You will likely think they are "reporting" on a different event from what you saw.

Robert Hairless
September 8, 2007, 12:13 AM
Dr. Peter:

Actually, there is a parallel. It's the same logic as "don't vote for the guy you really want, because he won't win anyways." "Don't bother giving an interview, because it won't make a difference anyways". It's the same thing in a different form.

Nope. Actually, there is no such parallel whatsoever. It is not the same logic at all, not in any way, no matter how often you say so.

Voting requires no expertise. Anyone who meets the statutory requirements can vote. No skill is involved. Someone without even the ability to read or reason logically can vote. The vote cast by such a person will have just as much effect as the vote cast by someone who has evaluted the issues and came to a rational decision. Even dead men have been known to vote.

Voting, at least in this country, is also anonymous. No one knows when you vote stupidly or against the tide of other voters.

The machinery of voting in this country also is supposed to be unbiassed. I suppose you could accuse a voting machine of being biased against firearms but that accusation would get you strange looks even from other gun owners.

It rarely makes sense to refrain from voting if one has any reasonable basis for making a choice of options but it makes darned good sense to refrain from speaking when what one says is likely to create or increase damage to oneself or to whatever one cherishes. Mark Twain understood that it is "better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." He did not say that it is better not to vote. That is one reason why a good lawyer tells his client to keep his mouth shut in front of reporters.

Look at the snippets of videos on YouTube and in other places of people being made to seem ludicrous simply by taking moments out of context. Those people include candidates who are skilled and drilled in handling interviews. Someone who has no such skill is raw meat to a reporter for a newspaper biased against him or the cause he attempts to advocate. That's a reason why good lawyers tell their clients to keep their mouths shut when questioned by reporters. Smart clients are humble and follow that advice. Other clients know that they can outwit the reporters and wind up trying to figure out, as they try to stave off the romantic advances of Mongo their cellmate, what went wrong.

rbernie
September 8, 2007, 12:26 AM
I'm a little surprised how many people are telling you not to do it. I kind of think we need to jump at every chance we get to improve the image of gun ownership. That doesn't mean winning the debate, but reaching out to people and trying to understand their concerns and help them see us as reasonable, rational, and good people.But it's not a debate. It's a means by which the author collects data points to be used in writing an editorial. By participating, the data chosen to make us seem foolish (usually by taking a comment and placing so far out of context that it seems nonsensical) looks like it's coming from the gun community itself.

Make no mistake - there is no good that can come of this. It's been tried many many times and the net result is always the same - the article spouts mistruths for paragraph after paragraph and then there's one sentence from the gunnie community that, when placed into the article in just the proper place, makes us all look like boobs.

There is no give and take. There is no intent to engage in public debate. There is no desire to learn. You're doing their research for them - that's all.

Gary Frost
September 8, 2007, 01:01 AM
As president of our local USPSA club I was asked to do an interview with the hometown paper. The reporter wanted to know just what you malitia boys were up to out there. I declined because I knew it was going to be a hack job.

I know that trying to get the truth in print can be overpowering, however when you loose before you start the damage could be huge. I am assuming here your friends, family, workmates, ect. would have access to what this reporter is going to say you said. In my case I smelled a rat, maybe you should give this the smell test also.

ShooterMcGavin
September 8, 2007, 01:35 AM
Do any of you guys actually read through a thread before spouting off your answer to the question in the first post?? He already said he is NOT doing the interview about 15 posts ago:

He got back to me tonight and said that he does not have enough time for an interview and would instead like me to just type out an email with some basics of my group so that will be much easier.


A wise man once said "Seek first to understand, and then to be understood".

kd7nqb, I think a written response is a much better solution than an interview.

coelacanth
September 8, 2007, 01:54 AM
e-mail him the link to the London Times article of Sept. 8th by Robert Munday and tell him if he wants an interview he can have one with the discussion of that article as it's theme.

Ieyasu
September 8, 2007, 02:10 AM
Do any of you guys actually read through a thread before spouting off your answer to the question in the first post??
That affliction seems all to common around here. Very frustrating.

Trebor
September 8, 2007, 02:31 AM
I used to work as a reporter so I have a little different perspective. I just wrote a response that is so long I thought it deserved it's onw thread.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=3700834#post3700834

kd7nqb
September 8, 2007, 05:30 PM
The editor has now asked for simply a written statement and I will take care of that later today.

Dr. Peter Venkman
September 9, 2007, 06:02 PM
It rarely makes sense to refrain from voting if one has any reasonable basis for making a choice of options but it makes darned good sense to refrain from speaking when what one says is likely to create or increase damage to oneself or to whatever one cherishes. Mark Twain understood that it is "better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." He did not say that it is better not to vote. That is one reason why a good lawyer tells his client to keep his mouth shut in front of reporters.

Look at the snippets of videos on YouTube and in other places of people being made to seem ludicrous simply by taking moments out of context. Those people include candidates who are skilled and drilled in handling interviews. Someone who has no such skill is raw meat to a reporter for a newspaper biased against him or the cause he attempts to advocate. That's a reason why good lawyers tell their clients to keep their mouths shut when questioned by reporters. Smart clients are humble and follow that advice. Other clients know that they can outwit the reporters and wind up trying to figure out, as they try to stave off the romantic advances of Mongo their cellmate, what went wrong.

If you wish to argue that having an interview with a 'hackjob' would only damage one's reputation as a result of others taking and editing clips out of context, I then argue that any action involving partisan hacks will invariably end up doing no good whatsoever since the people who believe in such crap are registered voters, which after a thorough examination leaves the intelligents with nothing as long as the hacks are continue with their editing and the people believing their garbage with no chance of seeing refuting arguments and gaining knowledge.

MinnMooney
September 9, 2007, 06:22 PM
Tell them it fits your schedule better if they email you questions and you respond. YOU CAN THEN EVEN POST YOUR RESPONSES ON HERE, or PRINT THEM OUT FOR YOUR CLUB before you even give them to the journalist.

from : davinci


I whole-heartedly agree with davinci. Many politicians do the same thing due to the fact that they get misquoted so often by reporters.
You'd have all of THR purusing the questions and making suggestions on the replies. The end result would still be yours, of course, but think of the vast background that you'd be tapping into!

javacodeman
September 18, 2007, 10:06 AM
Any follow up here? Did you do the interview? If so, how did it go? If you have a copy of the article, post it here.

java

LaVere
September 18, 2007, 04:18 PM
Do like congress does. Add at the end of your speech well in this case interview.
" I choose to extend and or revise my remarks for the record before publication"

So the next day congressmen can change their remarks and add what ever they want to the record.


Does any one besides me think this is wrong at best for them to be able to do this?

Mr. Designer
September 18, 2007, 04:40 PM
The people that read a left-wing paper will not be swayed by your fact based argument. Personally I wouldn't waste my time, but hey do what you think is best.

WayneConrad
September 18, 2007, 04:46 PM
The people that read a left-wing paper will not be swayed by your fact based argument.
None of them? Not one?

Nicky Santoro
September 18, 2007, 05:20 PM
I was contacted by the media today

BTDT. I informed the reporter that if I was quoted incorrectly or out of context I would come after him personally. It was, of course, a hit piece on 2A but at least I was quoted correctly. Expect no more. Demand no less.

fantacmet
October 20, 2007, 06:10 AM
Considering the history of the newpaper, most of it's reporters, as well as PSU's head of security, who threataned to fire one of his employees just for bringing up ORS 166.170, not doing the interview is probably a good thing. He probably would have had you arrested the enxt timehe saw you as a threat to the safety and security of the students. I wrote to him inquiring asking if they abided by Oregon Law, or if they had a different policy as Iw as considering being a student. His response was Oregon Law means nothing, there are no guns on campus but his, and gun or not if I step foot on campus I will be placed under arrest, and since he's charged with protecting a university good luck fighting him in court since he has the school attorneys on his side and since I'm a potential student I can't afford a lawyer let alone a decent one so the arrest would probably hold upw ith whatever he wanted it to say. The guy is a jerk, and an anti- and well yeah y'all can figure the rest. Smart move not doing that interview.

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