More “Gotcha!” journalism produces storm of outrage

December 15, 2013

I just listened to the tape of Conservative cabinet minister James Moore’s scrum interview last Friday with Sara Norman of News1130 in Vancouver. Moore has a point when he claims that his comments were taken out of context. The ensuing headline: “Federal Minister says child poverty not Ottawa’s problem” is not strictly inaccurate, but it certainly didn’t reflect what Moore would have chosen to say on the topic.

On Twitter Norman devoutly maintains that the headline is legitimate: “.@saradnorman responds: It’s on tape and taken directly in context. I asked the questions about child poverty, those were the answers.”

I believe that Norman overstates her case. Moore did wheel out standard Tory talking points to avoid the reporter’s question, and he did come off as unfeeling as a result, but to selectively edit Moore’s words as Norman did is not fair, and Moore doesn’t deserve the Twitter storm currently under way.


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