Just got done watching this video clip of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney smacking down a member of the MSM who claimed that as a member of the MSM, he was a “representative of the people.” The smackdown occured when the reporter took almost 40 seconds to ask a question that should have probably taken max 15 seconds.
As someone who has studied the media (no formal training, I should note for the record) for several years now, I’ve come to recognize when a reporter is at a press conference to ask questions as part of their jobs as news reporters and when he or she is there to badger the politician into answering a question specifically the way the reporter wants them to in order to get the desired answer and headline. It’s almost like a push poll – but this can be called “push questioning.” This happens often, for example, at the daily press briefings at the WH. A hypothetical example would be the stem cell issue. The reporter will start off by quoting officials, groups, polls, etc that say “stem cell research saves lives” and go on about it for about 30 seconds, and then ask the politician in a condescending fashion “why are you still against this in light of the fact that all these groups are for it?” It immediately puts the politician answering the question on the defensive because the question is phrased in a manner that makes the politician look evil and heartless, so the politician ends up having to come up with an answer that doesn’t make him look like the lowest form of life there is for opposing stem cell research.
In this video segment, we don’t see/hear Romney’s answer to the reporter’s lengthy question itself – but we do get to see Romney’s reaction to how long the reporter went on with the question, and Romney’s snappy comeback to what the reporter said in response to that reaction. Priceless.