By: Jeff Heisner
A station I worked for in Flint, Michigan is in the news for what took place during the final moments of an interview involving Mitt Romney’s running mate.
Paul Ryan and his people took exception to a question in this video.
They stopped the interview and Ryan told the reporter, “that was kinda strange, trying to stuff words in people’s mouths.”
Ryan is right, the question and reporter’s leap from gun laws and public safety to tax cuts was not done well.
Here are three things we can learn from Paul Ryan on how to handle a situation like this…
- 1. Not every question is going to be wrapped up with a nice little bow and is easy to answer. You are going to get questions that might make assumptions or they may be coming from way out in left field. What you consider, a bad question can easily turn the focus on you, if you don’t handle it the right way. Ryan did a nice job deflecting the assumption back to the reporter calmly, which was a smart way to handle this exchange.
- 2. Ryan has been outspoken about what he believes is a biased media. That is not a myth. Reporters are biased. Whether it’s right or left leaning, or for or against a specific cause, often a reporter will come into the interview with preconceived notions and loaded questions, so be prepared and know how to handle these situations.
- 3. Ryan did a nice job keeping his cool during interview, but was caught on camera being combative when the interview was “finished.” What Ryan did was not terrible, but it could have been worse. The interview may have been over, but the camera was still rolling. Had Ryan gone a little farther, it could’ve been a PR nightmare. It is disaster for anyone caught lecturing, scolding, or yelling at any reporter.