How not to conduct an interview

One of the first rules of journalism is to know about your subject before interviewing them. No journalist wants to appear ignorant of the basic facts about a person, particularly when that information is easily acquired.

Another important rule is to respect the subject. Obviously this will not apply to everyone. Sometimes a journalist may need to be confrontational. In most cases, however, there is no need to badger the subject. Respect garners better interviews than disrespect.

Those two basic rules escaped the hosts of an Australian morning talk show:

On Australian morning news show Weekend Sunrise, Andrew O’Keefe and Monique Wright “interview” filmmaker Cassie Jaye about her movie The Red Pill.

The Sunrise producers were emailed the link to the full film ONE MONTH in advance. Then, the day before this interview, Sunrise emailed at 1:45pm saying they needed the link again and Cassie Jaye emailed them the link at 4pm. Although, they could have also found it on iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo, Youtube, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and many other links online.

Instead of looking up the film on the various platforms or watching the link, the hosts conducted the interview without ever viewing the film. They proceeded to ask questions that were answered within the first twenty minutes of the film. It appears that the most either host had done was watch clips from online. They may not have even watched the trailer.

The result was an embarrassing interview in which the hosts tried to tell Jaye what was in her film, asking her repeatedly about Paul Elam, who was one of a dozen people featured in the film, and attempting to smear her film as men’s rights propaganda. Again, they did this without bothering to watch the film.

When Jaye pointed out that the answers were in the film, the hosts cut her off, demanding that she essentially tell them what happened in the film:

This is not how one conducts an interview. It is not just that the method is bad. It is also that they effectively attack Jaye on behalf of feminists.

Therein lies the irony. Feminists despise the film because it is not a hit piece against men’s rights activists. As a result, they create hit pieces against the film and its creator, demonizing her for doing precisely what feminists claim they want people to do: listen to men’s right activists say about society and women.

While plenty of people may not agree with the movement, it seems bizarre to silence them rather than let them bury themselves with their own opinions, should said opinions prove biased. However, it turns out that in many cases the men’s rights activists are not the villains they are portrayed as. It more often turns out that the bad guy is the same gal screaming “misogynist” every time someone mentions the movement.

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8 thoughts on “How not to conduct an interview

  1. Fiasco with a capitol “F”. Luckily, the hosts, program and station are receiving tremendous blowback from the public. It’s so hilarious watching them scramble to delete the full video from the internet, forgetting that everything on-line is eternal so long as people have copies stored in their individual hard drives.

  2. It’s not exactly Australian journalism’s finest moment, but it does a great job at telling the public at large worldwide how good are philosophical opponents are. They have managed to cover themselves in raw fertilizer.

  3. Toy Soldier,
    It has been reported that they have and they had facebook remove it from Cassie Jaye’s page for good measure. Meanwhile, response videos are all over YouTube. They picked the wrong week to play games. It seems that Cassie Jaye has made a lot of friends.

  4. I read Jaye’s post on Facebook. I must say I am rather stunned. I cannot think of another instance of a media outlet pulling an interview just to avoid criticism. How incredibly dishonest.

  5. Pingback: Why the left became ban happy | Toy Soldiers

  6. @TS…

    I wouldn’t normally bother but this does alter context drastically…

    “The result was an embarrassing interview in which the hosts tried to tell Jaye what was in her film, asking her repeatedly about Paul Elam, who was one of a dozen people featured in the film, and attempting to smear his film as men’s rights propaganda”

    “this film” rather than “his”?

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