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Romney, Reporter Spar in a Staples Store

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Posted on Jan 17, 2008
Romney in SC

Sure, it’s easy to criticize candidates in situations like this, but then again, we’re not the ones trying to make meaningful speeches about the future of America in front of an aisle of Trapper Keepers.

Following presidential candidates from state to state as they shake hands, kiss babies (and backsides, some might say, in the figurative sense) and promise to be the Best Prez Ever! must get tiresome for reporters on the campaign trail. In this clip, it’s hard to say if the grind got to AP scribe Glen Johnson or whether Mitt Romney’s claims about eschewing lobbyists made him snap, but things get tense in a Columbia, S.C., Staples store when Johnson challenges Romney over his assertion that he doesn’t include lobbyists in his senior strategy team. 

This video, posted by CBS, also includes footage of a revealing interaction between Johnson and Romney’s press aide, showing the perpetual power struggle between reporters and publicists in which interview access and positive media coverage represent the currency of the realm.

Follow this link to watch the clip:


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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, January 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

But really, Romney looks the least plastic as I’ve ever seen him….don’t ya think?  It is true then, those fluorescent lights can be soooo unforgiving….my, my, my.  Personally, I’m still not convinced that Romney is NOT an android.

Hats off to Glen Johnson!  and well….also a request…..could you please UP the ante and be MORE “unprofessional” and “argumentative”.  Some of us, like you, truth be told….call that journalism.

For god’s sake Glen, don’t you realize TRUTH is just a “over-emphasized” ideology in journalism…?  If you make the “poor” man sweat he just might short-circuit.

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By ChaxC, January 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
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He doesn’t put the time and money into the campaign, just to do favors for lobbyist, he does it so the companies the lobbyists lobby for will give him kick backs, like they do for Romney’s old buddy George.
A man like Mitt doesn’t make an investment unless it pays back.

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By Rhea, January 18, 2008 at 9:16 am Link to this comment
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Johnson should be an example to all students of journalism. Journalists are MEANT to challenge sources, not kiss up to them and live in fear of alienating them with ‘tough’ questions.

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By RS Janes, January 18, 2008 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After the encounter with Romney, Johnson had a little tete-a-tete with one of Mitt’s handlers, who told the reporter to be ‘professional.’ That’s apparently a code word for not challenging candidates when they blow large plumes of smoke.

Funny, I remember when the job of a journalist was to ask just such questions as Johnson was asking, and to challenge politicians when they tried to deceive the public.

But that was back in the days when Habeas Corpus was the law of the land.

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By Expat, January 18, 2008 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

This is one tricky guy.  He just oozes multi-faces.

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By P. T., January 18, 2008 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

If he is so down on lobbyists, he shouldn’t be using one as an advisor.

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