The Hazards of Live TV: #25,161

Ok, this incident between Tamron Hall and The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney has been tearing up the internet. Politico’s Dylan Byers writes that Carney emailed Politico about what happened…

I’ve always enjoyed the feisty back-and-forths that MSNBC appearances provide me. I hope and expect to continue these.

The question for the Romney bullying segment was “does the story matter?” I took that to mean “does this incident tell us anything about Romney would be as President.” I answered no. I maintained that position throughout the segment. Tamron thought I was ambushing her, apparently, and so she cut off my mic, I learned later.

It would be easy to take one side or the other in this spat as being right. But I’m not going to do that because it’s not that cut and dried as there are several things at play here.

Most of the blame here lies with Carney. Whether or not he thought he was answering the question regarding the subject he thought he was going to be discussing takes a big back seat to the subject of how he decided to answer the question. He decided to make this confrontational. That’s all on him. This wasn’t like the time MSNBC booked a known bomb thrower and provocateur like John Ziegler on Contessa Brewer’s hour. What ensued with Ziegler was easily predictable…what ensued with Carney was not.

But while I lay most of the blame for this with Carney, because it was his answer that started all this, it takes two to tango and Hall doesn’t get off the hook entirely. While her response to Carney was nowhere near as outrageous or over the line as Thomas Roberts calling out an empty chair, Hall could have and should have handled this better.

I know, I know…Phil Griffin likes his POV even if it’s supposed to be from his un-POV news anchors, but there are ways to react to Carney that are effective and ways to react to Carney that are not so effective. Thrusting yourself into the story is not one of the better ways to react to Carney. I don’t care if you take personal offense to it or not, the moment you “go there” you’ve lost the interview and the segment is unrecoverable and ruined and the storyline is no longer about Carney’s alleged attempt at misdirection but about your response to Carney. In other words a segment that wasn’t about you just became about you. That’s something one should try to avoid because it’s a loser scenario. Just ask Contessa Brewer how the Ziegler segment worked out for her in the court of public opinion. It’s scenes like this that are the reason why Cable News is the butt end of so many jokes.

Unless Hall herself did Carney’s booking, I find it questionable that she knew the exact terms that were used to book Carney and the words chosen to express them. Hall said this to Carney on the air according to Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher

“You don’t want me to go anything on you,” Hall interjected. “You’re actually irritating me right now. I’m going to be honest with you. Yes, you are. You knew the topics we were going to discuss. You knew them. You agreed.”

But did Hall know exactly word for word how Carney was pitched? I’m going to give Carney some wiggle room here and suggest he release the emails of the pitch from MSNBC to prove the following assertion he made to Politico…

The question for the Romney bullying segment was “does the story matter?” I took that to mean “does this incident tell us anything about Romney would be as President.” I answered no.

Proving that Carney was indeed pitched that way would at least let him off the hook in my eyes for his line of response but not for how he chose his words.

That’s still all on him. Ultimately it’s still mostly Carney’s fault. Hall doesn’t get all aggro if Carney doesn’t throw the first punch. Yes, I wish she had not lost it like that and instead responded in a more restrained manner but she never would have responded at all if Carney hadn’t lit a fire under her.

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56 Responses to “The Hazards of Live TV: #25,161”

  1. erich500 Says:

    As the saying goes, how you say something is often as important as what you say. Carney here was deliberately being confrontational and antagonistic even if he had the better argument, or at least a tenable one.

    He could have raised the same points – legitimate ones – without having a chip on his shoulder while making them.

    Hall could have handled it better too using a deft touch, some humor, a little self-mocking. Something light. But that’s certainly not the style that MSNBC wants. They want heat more than they want light.

    I’d go 80% Carney/20% Hall in terms of responsibility.

  2. missy5537 Says:

    Boo hoo. Tamron Hall is a real crybaby, isn’t she? FNC people have guests on all the time who want to change the topic to something else, and I’ve NEVER seen any of them act as childish as this woman did to her guest.

    The guy addressed the topic and wanted to move on, but NO; MSNBC needs to belabor this issue because they sure can’t talk about 0bama’s economy.

    Has anyone seen 0bama’s college transcripts? Nuh uh. So why are we going back to Romney’s prep school days for an ELEVEN PAGE discussion of his antics, many of which seem to be unsubstantiated?

  3. missy5537 Says:

    So get used to this. Distraction upon distraction will be hurled at the electorate until November. The economy continues to tank; jobs are disappearing, our status in the world continues to be diminished, and we’re worried about Romney’s dog and his high school pranks?

  4. mlong5000 Says:

    I think Hall like a lot of LIbs is just mad this latest hit piece on Romney isn’t working like they hope…(first the Wash Post is caught doing it’s own edited version of what one of the “witness” said and the family of the alleged “victim” is upset at the Post for dragging their deceased relative in this smear and taking issue with some of the so called “facts”)…..so she took it out on this guy.

  5. Gee Missy you should be on cable news. You’ve recite all the Republican talking points perfectly. You’d be a star on Fox. ;-)

  6. imnotblue Says:

    Yeah, Missy! How dare you repeat a “talking point,” even if it’s accurate and truthful. That kind of truth has no business in hating Romney.

  7. lonestar77 Says:

    Just watched the clip and Tamron came off looking like an angry fool. I guess you’re only allowed to talk if you’re willing to further a ridiculous story rather than calling out the absurdity of the faux controversy. Lean forward…or else we’ll pout and cut your mic.

  8. lonestar77 Says:

    We should start a pool on what the next faux controversy the media will contrive to attack Romney.

  9. Attacking a gay kid with a pair of scissors is not a “faux controversy”. Mitt Romney is a f***ing heartless bully. He’ll do whatever it takes to get what he wants, and not give a damn who gets hurt.

  10. Attacking a g@y kid with a pair of scissors is not a “faux controversy”. Mitt Romney is a f***ing heartless bully. He’ll do whatever it takes to get what he wants, and not give a damn who gets hurt.

  11. ^^We should start a pool on what the next faux controversy the media will contrive to attack Obama.

    ^^Tit for Tat ;-)

  12. imnotblue Says:

    @ Joe

    Yeah… except it may never have happened.

    Is there a reason you believe every pro-leftwing story that comes out, no matter how poorly sourced, contradicted by other similar evidence, or inconsequential it is?

    Do you like being a sheep? I bet it’s warm.

  13. “Yeah, Missy! How dare you repeat a “talking point,” even if it’s accurate and truthful.”

    ^^ That’s the thing about talking points blue. There is often a thread of truth in the garment. The problem is the rest of the cloth is made up of exaggerations and/or lies. That’s why they work.

  14. Outsider Says:

    This election is like a petty high school election. No talk of real issues, just all personality.

  15. “Is there a reason you believe every pro-right-wing story that comes out, no matter how poorly sourced, contradicted by other similar evidence, or inconsequential it is?”

    Tit for tat! ;-)

  16. The story has been corroborated by 5 witnesses, and Mitt clearly seems to believe it happened, judging from his responses. For one thing, he knew this story was coming, and made no effort to head it off.

    Yes, I believe real journalism, not the BS yellowsheet stuff you work off of.

  17. imnotblue Says:

    @fritz
    It’s cute that you think that, but it’s inaccurate… and you’d have a hard time (impossible) trying to prove it. But don’t let the truth get in the way of your assuptions about me.

    @joe
    Except that’s not true, it’s only what you’ve been fed… so that you’ll feel less guilty about believing such a meaningless story. Have you read any of the contradicting stories? Or only the (alleged) responses to the contradictions… which more often than not, just give you something else shiney to play with.

  18. I believe the reporting, and his actions portray that Romney does, too.

  19. And if you’d been paying attention, you’d know that I’ve been commenting on Romney’s weird meanness for months. He’s missing an important character trait: Empathy.

  20. erich500 Says:

    ^Yep, he’s a real life cookie monster.

    You’re overlooking the documented stories of him both as a young man and later helping lots of people. Disabled, poor, foreign exchange students.

    The stories of his ability to empathize with others, to feel for others, to help others, are there. You just don’t want to consider them.

  21. The man’s sister said it didn’t happen, and at least one guy who was mentioned in the story as having recalled the incident says he doesn’t.

  22. “It’s cute that you think that, but it’s inaccurate… and you’d have a hard time (impossible) trying to prove it. But don’t let the truth get in the way of your assuptions about me”

    ^^ Right back at you blue. ;-)

  23. He picks on people who bake him cookies; he straps a dog to the roof of a car; he tells enemployed poor people he’s unemployed, too, with a bizarre chuckle; he thinks poor people are “taken care of”; he drops phrases like “pink slip” and “firing” without batting an eye. I have all I need. That guy is a jerk. A creepy one.

  24. The sister doesn’t want her brother in the news. The “one guy mentioned in the story” is not one of the witnesses.

  25. erich500 Says:

    What is more, if not cruel then insensitive to gay people?

    As a 15 year old cutting off the hair of a gay student?

    Or as an adult using the hopes and dreams of gay men and women of being married for your own poltical gain?

    Obama has lied repeatedly about his views on gay people and marriage in order to win three elections. He’s played the issue for his own gain. Period.

    That, to me, is far more cruel to gay people than what Romney may or may not have done 40 years ago.

  26. erich500 Says:

    What is more, if not cruel then insensitive to g*y people?

    As a 15 year old cutting off the hair of a g*y student?

    Or as an adult using the hopes and dreams of g*y men and women of being married for your own poltical gain?

    Obama has lied repeatedly about his views on g*y people and marriage in order to win three elections. He’s played the issue for his own gain. Period.

    That, to me, is far more cruel to g*y people than what Romney may or may not have done 40 years ago to one person.

  27. Right, we’re gonna do that thing where we pretend the one guy’s sins are acceptable because of the other’s. It’s a ridiculous debate tactic; I’m not playing.

  28. erich500 Says:

    Didn’t say that one was okay and the other not. I said one was worse than the other.

    It’s called weighing acts.

    Which is worse?

    It’s okay to defend Romney vis-a-vis Obama here. You won’t turn into a pillar of salt.

  29. I think Obama has an empathy gene Romney lacks. I’ll never trust a pure narcissist with power, and Romney is that.

  30. imnotblue Says:

    Forget it folks. Like we have learned over and over again, Joe has no ability to consider anything other than what he already believes to be true or “feels.” It doesn’t matter that the evidence doesn’t add up, he’s made up his mind based on his own fantasy.

    The guy is the definition of a narcissist, but lives so far in that world that he can’t see that. He’ll complain about Romney (because he’s a Republican, and Joe’s been hearded into believing he hates Republicans in power), for things that he’d either dismiss about others, or is himself. It’s a joke to try to reason with him.

    He’s like a car with three wheels… unstable, and not going anywhere.

  31. mlong5000 Says:

    So JOE if what you say about Romney is true how do you explain him saving a family and their dog after a boating accident?

    And the cookie story really? it was just a joke no one but you Libs take that seriously,the Dog storyt?he dog was not harmed and it lived a long life and died of old age,the other stories are half truths are flat out Liberal Lies and the current story the so called witness are all Dems one who said he’s hated Romney for years the other one wasn’t even there and had to be reminded by the Post of the incident plus the family isn’t backing the story and are upset how you Libs are dragging their dead relative into this Romney Bash.

  32. Another thread dead before it’s time…

  33. lonestar77 Says:

    Per usual, Joe is way over the top. The cookie thing? Are you farking serious? Sounds like the guy’s family thinks the story is a political hatchet job but none of that matters to the extreme irrational left.

  34. Spud complains about the degradationof the thread, and you’re still whining about “Joe”. SHUT UP!

  35. Back to the Hall story for a bit. I heard it live and tend to agree with Spud and Erich’s POV. Hall has gone off on pundits before, although maybe not to this extent, and she can have a short fuse at times. It’s not unheard of at MSNBC for hosts (Dylan Ratigan, Chris Matthews, KO, etc.) to chew out a guest. I see a short no-fault apology by Hall as the probable outcome

    It’s one of those events where those on the left will blame Carney and those on the right, like Missy, LS, Blue, and Mlong will blame only Hall. Those, like Spud, Erich and me (on this occasion), who look at it as just a cable news story will find some middle ground to till.

  36. missy5537 Says:

    “Gee Missy you should be on cable news. You’ve recite all the Republican talking points perfectly. You’d be a star on Fox. ”

    Thank you Fritz! I take that as a compliment! Let me call my agent (wait a minute; I don’t have an agent!).

  37. “Thank you Fritz! I take that as a compliment!”

    ^^ Most welcome. I’d just stay off Tamron Hall’s show. She might yell at you. ;-)

  38. imnotblue Says:

    @ fritz
    Actually fritz… I don’t believe I’ve said anything about the Hall situation.

    But you’re right in saying that it will be seen partisanly. It was good TV, and got them both a little buzz. Beyond that, I don’t think it needs to be super dissected.

    @ joe
    Uh-oh. Here come the ALL CAPS. Then come the tears. Come on Joe. Hold it together. Don’t want a tummy ache.

  39. Spud threading the needle like a drunken seamstress on the setup to this “Hazard”: all over the place. God does he bend over backwards to give MSNBC some degree of credibility.

    Cutting off a guest’s mike should be the nuclear option of an interviewer, reserved for racist, profane, or threatening behavior of out of control guests. This was Hall showing a lack of professional skills to do her job, an emotional response driven by her network’s responsibility to never let a Republican gain the upper hand.

    Blaming the guest? “Balls”, said the king.

  40. I’m cutting off your mic…

  41. lonestar77 Says:

    Fair point, Fritz but getting that angry and basically cutting the guy’s mic in that situation is ridiculous. She’s not a down the middle journalist and she works for a network that uses the same slogan as the obama campaign and cuts liberal advocacy ads. She should expect some pushback from time to time. I don’t think you’d see someone like megyn Kelley act that way.

  42. well, I…. . . . . .

  43. “I don’t think you’d see someone like Megyn Kelley act that way.”

    ^^ I believe Megyn kelly and Kirsten Powers got into a spat awhile back over the Black Power Party.

  44. imnotblue Says:

    ^ At best, Kelly threatened to cut off Powers’ mic… but didn’t. Oh, and that action was railed on by the typical left-wing sources, who have no problem (and often applaud) what Hall did.

    So no, it’s not quite the same.

  45. “So no, it’s not quite the same.”

    ^^ It’s exactly the same and you are just confirming what I said. You all on the right will trash Hall and her supporters and praise Kelly and her followers while those on the left will do the opposite. Thanks.

  46. lonestar77 Says:

    There’s a difference between a heated argument and taking your ball and going home. They didn’t have a chance to argue. Tamron pouted, acted tough then ran away.

  47. carolmr Says:

    Hall doesn’t like to have her worldview challenged. Next week in the Washington Post: When Romney was 4 years old, he threw a bottle of milk on the kitchen floor.

  48. missy5537 Says:

    Who is the biggest obfuscator in the world? Debbie W. Schultz, that’s who! And has any conservative ever booted her off the air or cut off her microphone? Of coure not.

  49. ^^The above three comments are yet more proof that my point (right-wing supporters attack left-wing hosts and left-wing supporters do the opposite) was correct.

  50. imnotblue Says:

    @fritz
    I’m starting to think you’re not actually reading the comments, fritz… just assuming they “confirm” your idea.

    Perhaps that should be part of your theory as well: “(1) People on the left will praise Hall, while condemning right wing folks who do the same. (2) Visa versa. (3) People who make that assumption, will imagine others to confirm that view, even when they don’t.”

    What depth this has.

  51. ^^What???

  52. Any non-leftist who goes on MSNBC shouldn’t be surprised by such antics.

  53. I don’t think you’d see someone like megyn Kelley act that way.

    I definitely do.

  54. Tell me again how many microphones has Megyn actually cut off?

  55. [...] feel as strongly about this example as he does. It’s nowhere near as bad as when Hall completely lost it on the air a few months ago. In today’s “incident”…and I’m not sure that word is [...]

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