It’s Friday night on ABC’s World News Tonight. The senior political correspondent, Jonathan Karl, interviewing Romney. And Jonathan Karl says, “The Obama campaign suggested that you may have committed a felony.” Now, I know he’s gotta ask this. Karl’s not a bad guy, at least when he was at CNN he wasn’t a bad guy. He may have been totally turned now by ABC. I don’t know. Romney, a felon? I learned this early on in my career. Some nameless, faceless journalist would claim that I said something or that I think something that was totally bogus or off-the-wall, irresponsible. Then came requests for interviews. “What do you say to your critics who say that you are X?” And for a while, I made the mistake because nobody told me, nobody taught me, I had to learn this stuff on my own, how to answer it.

I tried to change the journalist’s mind, thinking it was possible. Thinking that’s why the journalist was asking me. Well, how little I knew. There was no changing the journalist’s mind. The journalist didn’t want his mind changed. The whole thing was about putting me on the spot and making me look defensive. “Limbaugh responded vigorously to the claim that he hates one-eyed mules in Alabama. Must be something to it. Limbaugh visibly upset at the charge, obviously upset that somebody has discovered it.” It was obscene. So finally I stopped doing interviews, and I stopped responding to these claims and stopped responding to the premise.

Now, Romney’s in a different situation running for president. After three days of this stuff the Romney campaign decided they needed to do television network media blitzes to deal with it. I saw they were gonna do it, and I said, “Well, okay, maybe he’ll have some success with some viewers, but he’s not gonna change these journalists’ mind, and he’s not gonna get them off the story. This is not gonna end the story.” Well, no, even if he hadn’t done the interviews, that wouldn’t have ended it, either. They woulda just said Romney refuses to talk, must be something there, whatever. This whole technique is never employed against the left. You know, during the Swift boat stuff, do you know the media never interviewed the Swift boat guys? (interruption) What do you mean they couldn’t?

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