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Joe Manchin Grants Interview With Condition He Not Be Asked About Gun Control

Senator Joe Manchin recently sat down with an interview with The Journal, a newspaper published out of Martinsburg, West Virginia, but he placed one condition on the interview:

Editor’s note: This question and answer session was permitted under the condition that The Journal would not ask questions regarding gun control legislation or the Second Amendment, as requested by the senator’s staff.

The interview itself seems like it was rather brief, focusing on the sequestration, issues regarding West Virginia infrastructure,  and energy policy. On the the whole, it was a rather bland interview and Manchin’s answers aren’t particularly noteworthy. Indeed, they seem like the same kind of “safe” talk one normally hears from politicians.

The stipulation, though, strikes me as problematic. The few people who have commented on the article so far seem to be reacting quite negatively to it. I can understand why the Senator would want to avoid questions about gun control, though. He’s a pro-gun Senator from a pro-gun state who is part of a party that is pushing a gun control agenda. He is also rumored to be part of a bipartisan group of Senators talking behind the scenes about a compromise on universal background checks. He doesn’t want to be put on the spot. It’s not very honorable to put a condition like this on an interview, but it is understandable. What I don’t understand is why the newspaper would agree to these terms.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    As if any journalist would want to interview Manchin about anything but Gun Control.

    My first and last question would go something like this:

    al-Ameda: “Senator, speaking hypothetically now, if Republicans and Democrats came to an agreement to lift Sequestration, would there be enough money in the budget to funded extended gun purchase background checks?

    Sen. Manchin: {{{clunk, shuffle … as he gets up from his chair and leaves his desk}}}

    al-Ameda: {{{waving off Manchin’s Aide}}} “Thanks, I know the way out.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  2. CSK says:

    By publishing the stipulation, the newspaper made the point that Manchin doesn’t want to talk about the issue publicly and on the record. That in itself is something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    What I don’t understand is why the newspaper would agree to these terms.

    You’re being sarcastic, aren’t you? If not, well, honestly, wow. Just wow.

    That aside, even more ironic than Democrats and the media (BIRM) having to censor from the voting public their viewpoints on various issues is the fact that regarding the particular hot button item of gun control the left’s sheer lunacy is so pervasive, so all encompassing, it transcends politics and goes into the realm of psychopathology.

    The corpses of gunshot victims in strict gun control cities could pile up six stories and yet the left nevertheless mindlessly would call for those measures to be taken nationwide. And if you offered the left a basic, common sense compromise package on guns — e.g., a limited assault weapons ban and national waiting periods and background checks, in exchange for preempting all state and local gun restrictions along with gun-related tort reforms — they’d fight tooth and nail against it, despite their headline agenda item being on the table. Ah, well, c’est la vie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  4. JKB says:

    Manchin has been flapping in the wind on gun control since this recent episode began. He chose poorly several times. The first earned him a grassroots protest at his office in WV before the NRA even chose to comment on Newtown. So he knows the views of his constituents. He’s hoping they’ll forget his eagerness to embrace gun control. He’s going to discover the error of his ways.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  5. CSK says:

    I agree that Manchin is trying to hide from his constituents his current views on gun control. But most of them will figure out that his refusal to speak to the issue means that they won’t like hearing what he has to say–whenever he’s forced to say it.

    He should have just declined the whole interview.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. legion says:

    Why? Doug, you know as we’ll as anyone here that if the paper hadn’t agreed, there would be no interview. What’s stunning (to me) is that they admitted it & Manchin hasn’t demanded they pull it. Now, if they’d done the interview, asked no gun questions, and not said anything about the conditions, the paper would look incompetent for not asking. They had to put in the disclaimer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Jeremy R says:

    @CSK:

    By publishing the stipulation, the newspaper made the point that Manchin doesn’t want to talk about the issue publicly and on the record. That in itself is something.

    Yup. And it’s worth noting journalists agree to constraints on nearly every major interview they participate in, but what’s interesting here is they made the terms public (which is unusual, and a positive development), and that making them public was what made the whole thing newsworthy, not the actual interview itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. CSK says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Indeed. A list of the stipulations/preconditions/forbidden areas would sometimes make more interesting and revealing reading than the interview itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  9. superdestroyer says:

    Does anyone believe that this will not occur more as the dominance of the Democrat party increases. The CHC and CBC are already capable of giving the back of their hand to the media anytime they want. As the number of automatic Democratic Party voters increase, the media will put in a situation of either agreeing to tougher terms or being excluded. Since Democrats will have to risk of losing at the polls as they disrespect the media, the media will go along with the demand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    he fact that regarding the particular hot button item of gun control the left’s sheer lunacy is so pervasive, so all encompassing, it transcends politics and goes into the realm of psychopathology.

    Tsar, ever had a gun stuck in your face in a mugging? Ever had rival gangs engage in a shoot out in your street? Ever had your front stoop be the sight of a drive-by shooting? Ever been car jacked?

    Yeah, I thought so. No, no, no, and no. The only lunacy I can see, is the delusions you live with in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. Scott O says:

    @superdestroyer: You’re stuck in an endless loop. Try rebooting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. dan'l says:

    W V- why do you keep sending left wingers to DC? I thought that you were “bitter clingers.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  13. superdestroyer says:

    @Scott O:

    Actually I had the thought about the media when I heard Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC Morning Joe talking about how Hillary Clinton does not do the Sunday Morning shows, limits interviews to a few, favorable hosts, and does not bother to worry about getting along with the media.

    Does anyone believe that if Hillary Clinton in inaugurated in 2017 that all of the media will be treating her with kid gloves?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  14. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @JKB: You’re forgetting the incumbency benefit and the “he’s good at getting stuff for our state” combo in calculating your “[h]e’s going to discover the error of his ways” conclusion. but good luck with your dreams. As Thoreau said, “let your reach exceed your grasp; else what’s a life for.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @superdestroyer: Let me see if I get this–disrespecting the media will result in Democratic losses at the polls; therefore the media will consent to being disrespected by limits in what they can question Democrats about.

    Nope, it still doesn’t make sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. superdestroyer says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    The point is that the media is very liberal in their personal political leanings. That means that they will tolerate disrespect from Democrats and will slant the news to make Democrats look better. When was the last time that Jon Stewart went after something that a member of the CBC or CHC said?

    That means the Democrats benefit because the mass media playing field, in politics, is slanted in their favor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  17. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @superdestroyer: Now I get it.

    Since Democrats will have to risk of losing at the polls as they disrespect the media, the media will go along with the demand.

    means something different in Superdestroyerese than it does in English. Thanks., that helped a lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. Scott O says:

    @superdestroyer: If a reboot doesn’t solve the problem then I’m afraid that your operating system has become corrupted. No matter what data is entered the output is always “one party state”. You’ll have to reformat and start over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. DevilsPrinciple says:

    As if people wouldn’t be asking the question regarding why the paper didn’t query Manchin on his position about gun control. Appropriately, they put him on the spot anyway signaling that he’s ducking the issue rather than being forthcoming. Then again, he is a politician.

    Manchin should be dogged by reporters with questions about his views on gun control and what his vote might be on gun control with respect to voting for a gun control law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. superdestroyer says:

    @Scott O:

    I have been pointing out that the U.S. has been on a pathway to a one party state since 2007. What is amazing is that many pundits and large segments of the media are finally beginning to understand the math that has been around for a couple of decades. I believe the Republicans sealed their fate in the 1980′s when they passed the first amnesty bill and basically took California off the board for conservatives.

    I repeatedly ask people who they believe a conservative party will survive in the U.S. and their only answer is some form that the election fairies will make it happen. Given the changing demographic of the U.S. coupled with the dominant culture of the black, Hispanics, and urban communities, it is impossible for any conservative party to survive in the U.S. The only question is the impacts and it seem that one of the impacts is that Democrat politicians now feel comfortable insulting the media and dictating to the media what they have to do to gain access.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  21. superdestroyer says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    That should read ” have no risk losing at the polls.” Just like Jesse Jackson Jr was reelected while being in treatment for mental illness and being investigated for felonies, it should be apparent that if the Democrats get the demographics in a district correct, they face zero chance of losing an election. As more and more districts have the correct demographics for Democratic Party dominance, then Democrats will feel free to disrespect the media and dictate to the media how they will be covered.

    Why is amazing is how happy progressives are to have a political system where elections, campaign, and the media are becoming less relevant but that political insiders like Valerie Jarrett are more important.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1