Note: Denny Hatch personally replies to all correspondence.
Readers Respond & Debate “How to Deal with the Media,” published June 22, 2006.
“Beware of the taped TV interview. A suck-up reporter will show up with a camera crew and will ask a lot of questions that make you feel very important. The result will be a one-sentence sound bite taken out of context designed to buttress the producer’s biased agenda or be the one dissenting opinion amidst a blizzard of verbiage from the other side. Either way, you’ll look like a jerk. When asked to do a TV interview, I always reply, ‘I don’t do sound bites.’ The TV taped interview is truly the one area where you have zero control.”
About twenty years ago, my father was interviewed by Harry Reasoner on “60 Minutes” because he was a leading expert on political action committees and because he was IN FAVOR of them. Reasoner interviewed Dad in his office for two hours in order to provide “balance” for what was obviously a journalistic hit piece against PACs. My father laid out the case for PACs chapter and verse. During that time, however, he uttered one or two sentences that were critical of how some corporations had abused their PACs. Guess which two sentences made it on to “60 Minutes!”
P.S. The funniest part was this. About two years after their attack piece on PACs featuring my father’s sound bite aired, “60 Minutes” did another piece on an organization called “Emily’s List.” The reporters at “60 Minutes” had never encountered such a wonderful organization! Imagine, a group of public-spirited women getting together to pool their financial resources and using the money to support political candidates in favor of women’s issues. “60 Minutes” blew kisses at Emily’s List for the entire 12-minute segment. well, guess what. Emily’s List is a f*****g PAC!!!!!