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January 11, 2007
My Evening With NPR

After I left work this evening, I drove to AM 1280 The Patriot to do an interview with Brooke Gladstone of NPR. I received a request to do a short interview on credibility issues in the media and the blogosphere, touching on but not limited to the Jamil Hussein story. NPR wanted to ensure that the sound quality remained high, and the folks at The Patriot -- where we broadcast our Northern Alliance radio shows on Saturday -- kindly agreed to provide the facilities.

NPR really only wanted a five-minute segment, but Brooke and I wound up going for more than thirty minutes, challenging each other from our different perspectives. I have no idea how they will edit that down to five minutes, and we shared a laugh about that when we finally finished our conversation. I hope at some point the entire half-hour gets published, because I found it fascinating and fun, perhaps the most fun I've had in an interview with the mainstream media. Brooke and I see things differently, but she is a worthy debater. Maybe I can convince her to appear on our show sometime in the near future.

When it appears, I will link back to it.

UPDATE and BUMP: I appreciate the concern from CQ readers, but please, give me some credit. I do want to see how the piece is edited, and of course there's plenty of opportunity for mischief. However, I did an earlier interview with Mara Liasson for NPR and they edited it fairly and in a way that captured the context of the conversation. It will be tough for Brooke to do that, given the nature of our chat, but I expect she will make every effort to succeed at it. If it comes out in some other manner, Brooke will expect me to criticize it -- which in fact was very much in keeping with our conversation.

I've been burned before. In an interview with a major news organization about the CNN bloggers' event for the midterm elections, I spoke with an engaging reporter for over 20 minutes about the nature of the event and my decision to attend. I talked about what I thought the event meant for both bloggers and the mainstream media, why I thought CNN would treat us fairly, and how my attendance sat with CQ readers. We discussed the relationship between bloggers and the media and how the lines kept getting blurrier and blurrier.

At one point, I made a joke. She asked me why I decided to attend, and I flippantly said, "I want to see myself on television," laughing and then giving a much more detailed explanation.

A couple of days later, this newspaper published a four-paragraph blurb on the event. Guess which line they chose to use as their sole quote about my decision to attend. Was it accurate? I said it. It certainly didn't reflect the lengthy conversation I had with the reporter, and it reminded me that accuracy is not the same as truth. (Here's the link. I didn't link it at the time because I didn't want to give it any more publicity than it deserved. I'll never agree to another interview with Ashley Parker again.)

Believe me, I will be checking to see how Brooke and her team edits it. However, I'm also here to tell you that it will be a difficult job no matter what. My only regret is that I didn't use the anecdote above in making one of my points ...

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 11, 2007 10:58 PM

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