US lawmaker uses neat flip phone trick to avoid talking to "pesky reporters"

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26 Responses to “US lawmaker uses neat flip phone trick to avoid talking to "pesky reporters"”

  1. BarBarSeven says:

    Is this really any different than someone wearing headphones while listening to nothing to avoid conversation? Wait, I will answer my own question: This guy is an elected official & it’s part of his job to deal with reports & humans. Okay, bye.

  2. How can a grown man fear a few questions?
    The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

  3. allenmcbride says:

    I don’t see this as so one-sided. Legislating and reporting are both noble and necessary professions. Lawmakers need to talk to reporters, and they also need to take care not to say things that sound wrong when taken (accidentally or deliberately) out of context. The latter need can be used as an excuse to shirk the talking-to-reporters duty, just as reporters’ need to convey politicians’ words to the public can be used as an excuse to selectively omit context for various extra-journalistic purposes. Of course, there are better ways to put off complex-answer-needing questions than faking a phone conversation. (Just as there are better ways to form adjectives than stringing words together with hyphens, but we all have our weaknesses.)

  4. Mordicai says:

    I mean, I get annoyed at Schumer but like, until there is a division between journalism & the paparazzi this is always going to be sticky.  & no, I don’t have a pithy answer to how to distinguish that, or differentiate them.

  5. GoatLordMessiah says:

    Mah Boi

  6. Doran says:

    The story isn’t Schumer’s avoiding the media. It’s the media falling for it.

    • peregrinus says:

      Quite right.  If there’s a burning question that the public want publicised and answered, throw it at him, and if he ignores it, throw out loud that he’s publicly refusing to approach an issue.

      Be brave, journalists!  Be brave.

  7. tw1515tw says:

    I could swear that Charlie Brooker did a piece on this a few years ago. 

  8. oasisob1 says:

    I’m not sure I’d like reporters ambushing me in the workplace, but given their role in public society and the running of our Country, I think they should expect it and deal with it appropriately. The ‘Come see me in my office, so I don’t dash off a crappy response that will be taken incorrectly or out of context.’ approach seems to be the best.

  9. hassenpfeffer says:

    It’s considered a violation of protocol to interrupt two members while they’re talking.

    Unless you’re C3PO, eff protocol.

  10. insert says:

    [quote]It’s considered a violation of protocol to interrupt two members while they’re talking.[/quote]
    Any reporter who refuses to interrupt two congresscritters having a conversation but would interrupt two similarly-situated regular people should quit journalism immediately. “Objectivity” demands it.

  11. James Penrose says:

    I mistrust our Congresscritters as much as the next person but that does not give reporters carte blanch to engage them in question and answer sessions anytime, anyplace of their choosing.

    If the person is busy, on his way to an appointment, thinking over something etc, I have no problem with doing whatever he or she deems necessary to get past people demanding “just a moment of your time” to get done what he or she needs to get done.

    “It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please—this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time—and squawk for more!”

    Robert A. Heinlein

  12. Mackay Bell says:

    A technique I find useful is putting my hands over my ears and humming “I can’t hear you!  I can’t hear you!”  It usually works when you don’t want to talk to someone.

    Or, you can say “I forgot I left something on the stove in my kitchen!” and then bolt.  That works too.

    And finally, you can also answer any question with: “I know you are, but what am I?”  After four or five replies they’ll usually give up.

  13. Rhyolite says:

    I think I have seen enough ambush journalism – catch them off-guard and hope they say something unconsidered – to understand why a Senator might want to limit question taking to times and places of their choosing.  There is nothing here that says Schumer avoiding journalist all-together and there is no reason that a Senator owes it to Journalist to be available every minute at a moments notice.

  14. elix says:

    In Canada, we’re too polite to be so rude as to take a fake phonecall to avoid the press. Our senators just flat out run away.

  15. peregrinus says:

    Political journalism has to be obviously worthwhile and avoid irrelevant tittle-tattle to be taken seriously.  I was listening to BBC Radio 2 last Friday (I think) evening, and a spot came up on the news (life of me, can’t remember what about, sorry) where the presenter spoke about some accusation or issue to do with ministers of parliament.  It sounded strong.  But then she went on to say s/t along the lines of ‘ministers have responded …’ and we had a 20 or 30 second slot of delicately worked PR from the mouth of the relevant minister, reasonably and comfortingly reassuring why the government was right.  Nothing, no quote, no spot, no mention of the accusers’ position, then on to the next article.

    It was absurd.  Straight from 1984 (Orwell’s, not Chronos’).

  16. ruadh says:

    Is it just me, or is Sen. Schumer making an almost PERFECT troll face in this photo?

    http://boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Chuck_Schumer.jpg
    http://alltheragefaces.com/face/troll-troll-face

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