Accuracy in Media

During his opening Media Monitor segment, CNN’s Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz criticized MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall for cutting off the microphone of conservative guest Tim Carney last week.

Hall and Carney were having a heated discussion of a Washington Post story about the bullying charges leveled against Mitt Romney from when he was in high school. Carney accused Hall of using an old media trick, to which Hall took umbrage and cut off Carney’s microphone.

Carney: But what you’re doing here is a typical media trick: You hype up a story, and then you justify the second-day coverage of the story by saying, “Oh, well, people are talking about it. Here’s how Romney responded to it—“

Hall: You don’t have to answer a single question I ask you. You do not. And you did not have to accept the invitation to come on. You knew what we were going to be discussing…You’re not going to come on and insult the network when you knew what you were going to come on and talk about. Done.

Kurtz said that it was Hall who was being insulting by silencing Carney when she cut off his microphone. Kurtz defended Carney’s right to say that the bullying story was being hyped, and he wondered if Hall only wants guests who agree with her opinion on every story.

Not only was Hall insulting, but she was totally unprofessional in the way she handled the interview. She acted more like a child since, as she admitted, Carney was irritating her. Her response was to cut off his microphone for expressing a viewpoint that differed from her own.

And what did Hall think when she booked Carney for the show? After all he is a noted conservative in Washington, D.C. and works for a conservative newspaper. Did she actually think that Carney was just going to roll over and play dead when presented with Hall’s overhyping of the Romney story?

Hall would do well to realize that it’s probably not a good thing to throw a temper tantrum on national television and she should apologize to Carney for her behavior. But that would mean that she would have to admit that the only bully on the show that day was herself.

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