Aug 18, 2011
Christine O'Donnell Doesn't Understand How An Interview Works
One-time abstinent witch and Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has a new book out called Troublemaker and last night she was on CNN being interviewed by Piers Morgan. When Morgan steered the conversation toward O'Donnell's stance on gay marriage, she called him rude and walked off the set.
I think the whole incident boils down to O'Donnell's question, "Don't you think, as a host, if I say 'This is what I want to talk about,' that's what we should address?", followed by her incredulous look off-camera to her publicist, as if to say, "Can you believe this jerkoff?". Morgan's response, "Not really, no. You're a politician," is politely spot-on. The blunter version would be, "Of course not you twit, it's my fucking show. I'll ask whatever goddamn questions I want, thank you very much."
O'Donnell's attitude really speaks to a larger issue about the relationship between reporters and celebrities/politicians, namely that the latter has come to expect the former to simply do their bidding and be happy about it. The line between journalist and publicist has become incredibly blurred over the years, with both subjects and audiences expecting less and less from the fourth estate. It's absolutely within Morgan's purview to ask O'Donnell about any subject he feels is relevant. As a former political candidate who garnered national press attention, it's perfectly reasonable to ask O'Donnell about her stance on the political issues which are currently driving the fledgling GOP presidential race, especially given her outspoken public statements on some of these issues.
It's not as if Morgan was trying to blindside her with surprise questions, accuse her of some infidelity or trap her in a lie. Yes, she's got a book to promote, but that doesn't mean the conversation is limited only to her words on the page. Even if it was, Morgan asserts (and O'Donnell agrees) that his questions were, in fact, based in sections of her own book, just not the sections she wanted to discuss. That makes her claims of Morgan's rudeness even more insane. If O'Donnell wants to control both the answers AND the questions, then she might as well interview herself.
More than one person has theorized that O'Donnell's walk-off was actually a planned stunt to get her a little extra publicity post-interview. If so, it certainly paid off. Moreover, kudos to Morgan for not folding like a card table and changing the subject to whatever insane Tea Party bullshit she was actually trying to promote.