Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA visited the White House this week and met with current president George W. Bush.

Afterward, Obama flew back to Chicago, with a pack of media folks on the plane.

At one point, Obama was on a cell phone and reporters could hear him talking.

"I am not going to be spending too much time in Washington over the next several weeks," said Obama according to the Washington Post, adding that he did not want to "go lurching so far in one direction" and wanted to come up with "some good, solid, sensible options."

Should the Washington Post and other reporters have used that information?

It was not a private moment that was declared off the record. And the man is going to be president of the country in two months. Isn't just about everything he does newsworthy?

Or should he expect some level of privacy?

Would you have used the quotes?

13 comments:

laura meminger said...

I would not use the comment. You can not hear the other end of the conversation so anything you say about it would be pure speculation even if it was obvious or not. I do think he deserves some privacy with his phone conversations..if he were talking to his daughter on the phone, would you report what he is saying? that is private for his daughter as well as him.

J K Hirst said...

I think it was most likely taken out of context. However, everything he says and does will be scrutinized until January of 2012 and beyond. He's attained enormous status in the media, and has become the center of attention.

I would not use the comment myself, but many things will be said out of context. So we better come to expect it.

bethany barton said...

What a great shot.

Also, I don't think that the quoted words are of great importance. Perhaps if he was talking about something scandalous, there'd be reason to create a story about them. There's just not a solid story behind his cell phone conversation, much less a full story. Like the first comment explains, we only have half the story here.

Courtney said...

I would not use the comment either because I agree with the fact that we do not know what was going on at the other end of the phone for him to state that quote. I don't think he should be saying certain things around reporters though, because some of them are just looking for a chance to bring him down and make him look bad. I know that phone call was private, but in someways.. he does not have a private life anymore and this is a good example of that.

summergirl said...

Agreed. The journalists had no real foundation on which to base these comments. Journalism is a discipline of verification and not being able to verify the context of his words, they shouldn't have used them.

Leighanne Heron said...

I think someone should have asked him if he was willing to allow the comments to be published. If he was speaking openly on the phone around people who he KNEW were media folks and made no attempt to remove himself for privacy he probably wasn't too worried about it. Asking for permission would have been a respectable action for a journalist to take, but it doesn't mean they had to.

jessica lista said...

I believe he should have been warned that people were going to publish what he said in the media. As the newest president elect, he knows that everything he says and does is important to the people of this country, which makes it important to report.

Lauren Grant said...

It wasn't right for that to be published because we don't know what the quote was in regards to, nor do we really need to be updated on everything that comes out of his mouth. I don;t understand why they felt a small phone conversations was so importantant that it needed to be published.

Niajee Ervin said...

I would not have used the comment because it would not be balanced. If a reporter used what Obama said over the phone he could only hear one end, therefore the journalist had to interpret on some level what the conversation was about. He could not have been completely accurate. On the other hand, that was not a private moment.

Megan McCue Journalism said...

Obama knew he was on a plane with the media, if it was something he did not want published he shouldn't have said it.

Cara Trabucco said...

My question is, how could you effectively use a conversation like that when it's only one side of the whole thing? You can literally manipulate those words and make it sound or mean whatever you want. I think it wasn't smart for the Washington Post to even mention the phone convo. I think this was a sad attempt at getting news that other newspapers didn't have and attracting more people to their paper. I agree, that most of everything that Obama is doing is newsworthy, however, is there is a line.

Genevia said...

I would not have published that information because it's not my business. I don't care if I am a reporter. What does that information even mean to me as a reporter? What's the topic he's discussing? I can't go speculating, so in reality that information really wouldn't do me any good; it's useless. Plus, I have enough respect for the man to not do dumn shit like that. I'm on the plane with him. Secondly, who cares if he wants to have "sensible options." That doesn't have anything to do with me until the time comes and it won't until January 20. He should have some privacy, but then again he's about to be the hottest man in the land and no one coerced him into be el presidente! I love him though...

Irene Kip said...

It seems to be a reporter's sad attempt at giving the reader a closer look into Obama during something as private as a phone call. Sadly, the quote could mean a number of different things and doesn't necessarily contribute to the reader's knowledge of Obama in any way. Attempt failed.