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Ask A Damn Question (Continued)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Your Huckleberry, May 28, 2007.

  1. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    "I'm tired of all these stupid-ass questions."

    *watch out for the phone*

  2. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    This one is my issue, I take the blame for bringing it up on the other thread.

    To me, adult reporters shouldn't refer to the coach as 'Coach.' He's not my coach. He's not a priest or a doctor or a senator. Exception (for me) is the coach whose coachness puts him a the level that demands the title and just cannot be called anything else, ie, Coach Wooden. Otherwise, he is not my coach. I have never seen a coach walk away from an interview or a press conference because a reporter failed to call him Coach.

    MLB managers aren't called 'Coach,' so what do we call them? We call them Joe or Tom or whatever.

    Do not, however, call Bob Knight 'Bobby' unless you are over 90 years old, and even then you might be in for a rough night.

    Someone here made the solid observation that age plays a role in this, agreed. If you're 24 and talking to a 60 year old, I get that. You do what works for you personally....not trying to make policy here, just observing.
  3. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Here's a classic. The question was: 'What is your opinion of Kingman's performance.' God help us if the reporter had actually asked Lasorda to 'talk about it':

    "What's my opinion of Kingman's performance?! What the fuck do you think is my opinion of it? I think it was FUCKING HORSESHIT. Put that in, I don't fucking care. Opinion of his performance!!? Jesus Christ, he beat us with three fucking home runs! What the fuck do you mean, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' How could you ask me a question like that, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' Shit, he hit three home runs! Fuck. I'm fucking pissed off to lose the fucking game. And you ask me my opinion of his performance! Shit. That's a tough question to ask me, isn't it? 'What is my opinion of his performance?'"

    [Can't find the complete transcript with the (sound of garbage can being kicked), Terry Johnson asking 'How do you spell (sound of garbage can being kicked)' or about getting a limo for 'Kurt Fucking Bevacqua.']
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    The Lasorda rant actually started with the question, "What's your opinion of Dave Kingman's performance?" A non-question might have worked better in that situation.

    Anyone know what the question that set off Lee Elia was?
  5. audreyld

    audreyld Guest

    Fair enough. I appreciate the explanation.
  6. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Here's one way "talk about" works in the hands of a skilled reporter.

    The "talk about" gets the interviewee talking in a way that seems open-ended to them. It makes them comfortable in the notion that they are setting the agenda. However, the "talk about" question in the hands of the right reporter with the right interview subject is often the opposite.

    Interviewing isn't all about asking questions, it's listening to the responses and having a quick and intelligent counter-question that is going to get the interviewee to open up even more.

    And if an interviewee opens the door to a certain topic he/she wouldn't be open to during "regular" questioning but opened themselves on a "talk about" (or some variation of it), they can hardly complain when you counter with a question on a point they brought up.

    I've seen it happen a million times and I've done it myself. I'm of the school of thought that the counter-question is as important as the initial question.

    But to make that work, it's entirely in the hands of the reporter. The reporter has to be flexible enough to adopt that strategy on the fly if it suits them, or just as importantly, DROP that strategy if they're not getting responses via that method.

    Flexibility is the key. Which is why I recoil when reporters believe there is a one-size-fits-all method of interviewing that we should all adhere to or be chastised for using a method that is beneath some another method used by others.

    None of that matters as long as you produce a quality final product.
  7. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    Well aren't you just the cutest lil thing SportsJournalists.com's ever seen?
  8. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Superbly stated, Bubbs.
  9. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    I think someone asked, "Lee, talk about the fans....'

  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    See? Talk about works.

    Anyone hear the song they did about that, working in his "my fucking ass" along with the lyrics? Classic stuff.
  11. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    A couple of things about that incident.

    1. the reporter was Paul Van Olden, who was very young at the time and was substituting for somebody at a radio station. He asked the question, and "talk about" or "comment about" might well have worked better. Lasorda went off because in the old days, like the 50s, somebody like Casey Stengel might answer like that knowing they couldn't use the answer on radio because it would never be played and because the language would be changed to bleep.

    2. the proper question would have been to ask Lasorda why they pitched to Kingman a third time and what did you do to try to change things up on Kingman.
  12. I like to think so ;) I bet you're a cutie pie too ;)
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