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I was contacted by the media today

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by kd7nqb, Sep 7, 2007.

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  1. kd7nqb

    kd7nqb Member

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    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"
     
  2. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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  3. exar

    exar Member

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    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.
     
  4. pax

    pax Member

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    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
     
  5. littlegator

    littlegator Member

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    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.
     
  6. News Shooter

    News Shooter Member

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    As your attorney

    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.
     
  7. boredelmo

    boredelmo member

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    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?
     
  8. Thegungal

    Thegungal Member

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    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.
     
  9. News Shooter

    News Shooter Member

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    Guys

    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
     
  10. Glockman17366

    Glockman17366 Member

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    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.
     
  11. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

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    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
     
  12. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

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    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.
     
  13. jungleroy

    jungleroy Member

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    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.
     
  14. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

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    If they like you, they will.
     
  15. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  16. davinci

    davinci Member

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    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.
     
  17. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    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.
     
  18. rkh

    rkh member

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    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.
     
  19. 40SW

    40SW Member

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    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.
     
  20. News Shooter

    News Shooter Member

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    OK this will be my last post on this

    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.
     
  21. jlbraun

    jlbraun Member

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    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.
     
  22. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    No reporter would ever agree to this.
     
  23. 40SW

    40SW Member

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    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.
     
  24. v35

    v35 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  25. Eyesac

    Eyesac Member

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    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.
     
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