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Tucker Carlson in spat with 'Clinton a monster' reporter
David Edwards and Chris Tackett
Published: Friday March 7, 2008

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MSNBC's Tucker Carlson spoke to Gerri Peev of 'The Scotsman' newspaper who reported on former Obama adviser Samantha Power's off-the-cuff remark that Hillary Clinton was "a monster."

Power, who has since resigned, initially asked Peev to keep the comment off-the-record. Carlson asked Peev why she did not allow the comment to be off-the-record, stating that "typically the arrangement is if someone you're interviewing wants a quote off-the-record, you give it to them off-the-record," to which Peev countered by asking Carlson if reporters are "really that acquiescent in the United States."

Peev added, "In the United Kingdom, journalists believe that on- or off-the-record is a principle that's decided ahead of the interview. If a figure of public life, someone whose ostensibly the adviser to the man who could be the most powerful politician in the world, if she makes a comment and decides it's a bit too controversial and wants to withdraw it immediately after, unfortunately if the interview is on the record, it has to go ahead."

The conversation then took a contentious turn when Carlson took a shot at the journalistic ethics of Great Britain, saying, "since journalistic standards in Great Britain are so much dramatically lower than they are here, it's a little much being lectured in journalistic ethics by a reporter from 'The Scotsman.'"

Peev replied, "If this is the first time that candid remarks have been published about what one campaign team thinks of another candidate, then I would argue that your journalists aren't doing a very good job of getting to the truth."



Transcript via closed captions

:: the shake-up in the obama campaign and the word that caused that trouble," monster." i spoke with the reporter who did that interview from the scottsman. gary, thanks for joining us. i wonder if you will give us context for the fund-raise that wound up ending the relationship with the obama campaign. she is a monster, too. that is off the record. she is stooping to anything. what was she talking about exactly? it's not precisely clear from the quote?

:: hi there. samantha power just come back from having a phone conversation with one of her other advisors about -- allegedly about something said about nafta. she was talking about, i had asked her what's wrong? she said we screwed up in the campaign in ohio. i said why? what happened? she didn't use that same word, by the way. i understand i can't swear on here. i said why? what happened? she basically said that her friend had made some off the record comments and that -- i said, well, will anyone really be that worried about what was said. she said in ohio they are obsessed. it's the only state hillary thinks she can win. they are obsessed. she's a monster. that's off the record. she was referring to that particular quote about hillary allegedly being a monster as being off the record.

:: she wanted it off the record. typically if the arrangement is someone you're interviewing wants a quote off the record, you give them a quote off the record? why didn't you do that?

:: are you really that acquiescent. on or off the record is a principle decided before the interview. a figure in public life, ostensibly the adviser to the man who could be the most powerful politician in the world, if she makes a comment and decides it's a bit too controversial and wants to withdraw it immediately thereafter, unfortunately if the interview is on the record, it has to go ahead.

:: journalists in great britain standards are dramatically lower, it's, getting -- the fact on the relationship between the press and the powerful. people don't talk to you when you go out of your way to hurt them as you did in this piece. don't you think that hurts the rest of us in our effort to get to the truth of the principles in this campaigns?

:: if this is the first time candid remarks have been published about what one team thinks of the other, i would argue that your journalists aren't doing their job. i didn't go out of my way to hurt her. she's an intelligent and affable woman. she is incredibly intelligent. she may have known what she was doing. she regretted it. probably acted with integrity, not for me to decide one way or the other whether she did the right thing. i did not go out and try to end her career. in the uk when people make off the cuff remarks and get published after weeks or months and the fuss dies down, they are rehabilitated and given posts.

:: i'm wondering if you're justifying printing something she wanted off the record, i wondered why you didn't make the effort to determine what she was talking about. when she said hillary is a monster it's not clear what she was talking about. did you ask a follow-up question to determine that?

:: i didn't ask her too much more about she's a monster. i discussed whether or not she thought people around the campaign team liked her. i said to her over here in the press she's come across looking a little desperate. she said she's coming across here in the united kingdom, we hope she's coming across desperate as well. what i was trying to do was underscore the tensions in the campaign.

:: when i interview people, i attempt to understand what they are talking about. that's part of what it is to interview someone not simply to get someone using vulgarity on the record, to understand what they are saying. that's part of the journalism in the united states.

:: the interview was on the record. someone made a controversial comment and decided to withdraw it.

:: i appreciate it. thanks for coming on.

:: you're welcome. thanks very much.



 
 


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