Christine O’Donnell Refuses To Talk About Her Book During Interview About Her Book

It was a bizarre night on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight last night:

Christine O’Donnell, former Delaware GOP Senate candidate, walked off the set of CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” Wednesday when asked about her views on sexual abstinence and gay marriage.

“I’m not talking about policies. I’m not running for office,” O’Donnell said. “Ask Michele Bachmann what she thinks.”

When Morgan asked her why she was being “weird” about answering questions on her own statements, as well as issues she addresses in her new book, “Troublemaker,” O’Donnell fired back, saying she only wanted to talk about tea party principles outlined in her book.

“That’s why I agreed to come on your show. That’s what I want to talk about,” O’Donnell said. “I’m not being weird. You’re being a little rude.”

(…)

hen asked about issues from her book and her campaign Wednesday, O’Donnell walked away from the interview, upset that Morgan wasn’t not talking about the things she wished to address.

“Don’t you think as a host, if I say this is what I want to talk about, that’s what we should address?” she asked Morgan.

When Morgan said “no,” O’Donnell began to take off her microphone and said she had turned down another interview for this appearance.

“I was supposed to be speaking at the Republican Women’s Club at 6, and I chose to be a little late for that,” she said. “Not to endure a rude talk show host, but to talk to you about my book and the issues I address in my book.”

Earlier in the interview, O’Donnell answered questions about her Senate campaign, saying she had made mistakes and caused “self-inflicted wounds.”

I think we saw last night just how bad those self-inflicted wounds were.

Video:

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hey Norm says:

    So cute…so dumb. Living proof that Tea Parties are for little girls.

  2. Mr. Grouchypants says:

    On the other hand, a lot more people are aware that she has a book on the market.

  3. Bleev K says:

    Who wrote that book?

  4. Franklin says:

    On the one hand, yes, I think the media in the States should be far less deferential than they are. On the other hand, yes, she’s not currently holding public office. But she’s speaking at a Republican conference in a few minutes, she’s promoting policies, she wants to talk about a book about those policies. In what way is it “rude” to ask about one of those policies? I’m just not following her logic. Is it her opinion that it’s not actually an interview, but rather just a free speaking venue for her?

    But yeah, she’s cute.

  5. Davebo says:

    I’m just amazed anyone watched Piers Morgan’s show to notice.

  6. john personna says:

    “Piers Morgan, is a British journalist and television presenter.”

  7. OzarkHibilly says:

    Book? What book?

  8. Jay Tea says:

    I’m no Bill O’Reilly fan, but I remember hearing about the blowhard going on NPR’s “Fresh Air” for one of his books. After Terry Gross asking him to address about six critics of his book, O’Reilly asked her if she only had critical things to mention about his book. She said yes. He then asked her if she’d ever treated any author like that before — asking them only to respond to detractors, not once bringing up anything favorable about the book. She said no. O’Reilly then (rightfully) walked off.

    Sounds a little like the same case here…

    J.

  9. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: “I’m not a Bill O’Reilly fan, but I happen to have memorized this incident which incidentally I’ve only heard of. But I know every syllable of it. Because I’m not spouting right wing talking points — I’m really an independent thinker who, after much deep and intense thought, has managed to replicate every spin point recited by every Republican blogger on the internet. Kind of like with all those monkeys and Hamlet.”

  10. anjin-san says:

    Sounds a little like the same case here…

    You mean conservatives tend to be whiny twits with a victim complex? Yes. Pretty funny that a legendary on the air bully like O’Reilly would punk out like that.

  11. @Franklin:

    Is it her opinion that it’s not actually an interview, but rather just a free speaking venue for her?

    So it would seem.

  12. narciso says:

    Since this site, took every point from Think Progress and CREW at face value, as well as that of the REpublican establishment, all debunked, it’s not surprised you would take this tack. Of course, Piers Morgan is more likely to face the docket, for his part in the data mining scandal, or does it only matter if NewsCorp is involved.

  13. Neil Hudelson says:

    Narciso,

    “Took every point from Think Progress” means…posting a summary from CNN, the actual video of the event, and then talking about it?

    I don’t believe “point” (I assume you mean talking point) means what you think it means.

  14. @Neil Hudelson: As I have learned, to a lot of people facts don’t matter, all that matter is where the fact came from.

    Blogger: “Paul Krugman said today that 2+2=4 and that the sky is blue.”

    Commenter: “You are such a hack quoting a hack like Krugman!”

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    *sigh*

  15. Hey Norm says:

    @ Franklin/SLT…
    Let’s give credit where credit is due…this is right out of the Palin playbook…why answer a difficult question when you can ignore it.
    Now plenty of politicians have side-stepped questions. But Palin raised it to a new level in the debate with Biden. And Bachmann has done the same.

  16. Hey Norm says:

    @ SLT…
    I understand your point, but sources do matter.
    When somone quotes the WSJ editorial pages I know there is absolutely no basis in reality for the information. WSJ news pages – a different level of credibility.
    Say what you will about Krugman – and I realize those are not your quotes – but he has been more consistently right about this economic morass than anyone else.

  17. WR says:

    @narciso: I love the thinking here: Piers Morgan is on the TeeVee, therefore he’s a liberal, therefore all the liberals will hypocritically rally around him when he’s accused of taking part in Murdoch’s crimes.

    For the record, speaking as a liberal, I have no idea what Morgan’s politics are like, I think he’s a poisonous, pompous little toad, and I’d be thrilled to see him caught up in the phone hacking scandal, since I have no doubt that he would sell out everyone around him to save himself.

  18. @Hey Norm: Yes, sources can matter. But when a source is reporting facts, then the source is largely irrelevant.

    If Think Progress (or Media Matters), for example, posts an audio or video clip of someone saying ridiculous, the fact that TP or MM posted it doesn’t change the content of the clip.

    However, commenters often say things (like the above): how can you trust X site? When the issues is even what X site, but rather some factual bit of information that was passed along by that site.

  19. EddieInCA says:

    Palin – Don’t question me on what I’ve said on the record and of which there is video evidence.

    Newt – Quite asking me “gotcha questions” that are strictly questions based on what I’ve said numerous times on the record.

    Bachmann – Ignore what I’ve said, and instead focus on what I mean, rather than what I’ve said on the record many times and for which there is video evidence.

    Perry – Ignore that whole “secession” remark. That’s just the way we talk down in Texas, and, besides, I was only kidding.

    Pawlenty – Ignore that I supported Cap and Trade, and Obama’s stimulus package and focus on my current position opposing both.

    Romney – Ignore my major achievement, Romneycare in Massachussetts, and please don’t ask me about it because I’m completely against Obamacare, even though it’s eerily similar to Romneycare.

    Romney – Ignore that I raised taxes in Mass to balance our budget. Tax increases should NEVER be on the table.

    Cain – Ignore all my bigoted comments about Muslims. You all just need to learn to take a joke.

    Is there any wonder why O’Donnell acted the way she did. Her behavior isn’t an anomaly in the current GOP. It’s a feature. It’s in the DNA.

  20. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: You worthless git, I’ve spent far more time listening to NPR than I have O’Reilly. And I happened to catch Terri Gross’ O’Reilly interview on NHPR, then decided to tune in to O’Reilly’s radio show the next day precisely to hear his take on it.

    I wasn’t the only one who had a problem with Gross’ asshattery:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Gross#Clashes_with_guests

    Now back to your kennel, lickspittle.

    J.

  21. Steve Verdon says:

    @Hey Norm:

    Say what you will about Krugman – and I realize those are not your quotes – but he has been more consistently right about this economic morass than anyone else.

    In your opinion.

  22. MBunge says:

    @Jay Tea: After Terry Gross asking him to address about six critics of his book, O’Reilly asked her if she only had critical things to mention about his book. She said yes. He then asked her if she’d ever treated any author like that before — asking them only to respond to detractors, not once bringing up anything favorable about the book. She said no.

    Just to be clear, no one actually believes that’s how the incident went down, right?

    Mike

  23. Jay Tea says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Let’s finish that off, shall we?

    Obama: Forget everything I ever said, did, or didn’t do, unless I say it’s OK. And even then, you’re probably racist.

    J.

  24. @Jay Tea:
    Sounds a little like the same case here…

    Actually, not at all. In the clip Morgan asks her about her opinion on a policy topic. And not just a random one, but one she has spoken about (quite a bit, in fact) and that Morgan said was in the book (a claim I cannot verify). He was not asking her to respond to critics.

    On the O’Reilly thing: if you can’t respond to critics about your book, don’t write a book. And, especially, don’t go on TV and radio to plug the book if you aren’t willing to deal with what people have to say about your book.

  25. MBunge says:

    @Hey Norm: Say what you will about Krugman – and I realize those are not your quotes – but he has been more consistently right about this economic morass than anyone else.

    It should be noted, however, that a great deal of this economic morass flows out of an economic status quo and an economic mindset with which Krugman is almost entirely in agreement. Yes, if Krugman were the Sun King he would probably do a few things differently. Over the last 20 years, howver, the U.S. and global economies have been organized very much around Krugman-championed principles and operated very much in Krugman-approved ways.

    Mike

  26. Dustin says:

    Having never heard of this O’Reily interview, I just went and actually listened to it. It doesn’t go down as described here, or likely by O’Reily. In fact, before O’Reily went off and claimed he’d been attacked for 50 minutes, they had spent probably 20 minutes asking O’Reily about his childhood, and excerpts from the book. Gross brought up a particular critic and O’Reily got pretty furious, in what seemed like manufactured rage really, with the manner in which he turned the whole interview.

  27. James Joyner says:

    While tangential to the post, here’s NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin on the O’Reilly-Gross dustup from way back in October 2003:

    I agree with the listeners who complained about the tone of the interview: Her questions were pointed from the beginning. She went after O’Reilly using critical quotes from the Franken book and a New York Times book review. That put O’Reilly at his most prickly and defensive mode, and Gross was never able to get him back into the interview in an effective way. This was surprising because Terry Gross is, in my opinion, one of the best interviewers anywhere in American journalism.

    Although O’Reilly frequently resorts to bluster and bullying on his own show, he seemed unable to take her tough questions. He became angrier as the interview went along. But by coming across as a pro-Franken partisan rather than a neutral and curious journalist, Gross did almost nothing that might have allowed the interview to develop.

    By the time the interview was about halfway through, it felt as though Terry Gross was indeed “carrying Al Franken’s water,” as some listeners say. It was not about O’Reilly’s ideas, or his attitudes or even about his book. It was about O’Reilly as political media phenomenon. That’s a legitimate subject for discussion, but in this case, it was an interview that was, in the end, unfair to O’Reilly.

    The “Empty Chair” Interview

    Finally, an aspect of the interview that I found particularly disturbing: It happened when Terry Gross was about to read a criticism of Bill O’Reilly’s book from People magazine. Before Gross could read it to him for his reaction, O’Reilly ended the interview and walked out of the studio. She read the quote anyway.

    That was wrong. O’Reilly was not there to respond. It’s known in broadcasting as the “empty chair” interview, and it is considered an unethical technique and should not be used on NPR.

    I believe the listeners were not well served by this interview. It may have illustrated the “cultural wars” that seem to be flaring in the country. Unfortunately, the interview only served to confirm the belief, held by some, in NPR’s liberal media bias.

    It left the impression that there was something not quite right about the reasons behind this program: Bill O’Reilly often loves to use NPR as his own personal political piñata; and NPR keeps helping him by inviting him to appear.

  28. OzarkHibilly says:

    @Dustin: Thanx Dustin, for taking the time to actually research a claim made by someone here before commenting.

    Refreshing.

  29. OzarkHibilly says:

    @James Joyner: Same to you James. Guess I’ll have to listen to it myself.

  30. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: Gosh, Jay, that seems to directly contradict what you just said about this. If only there was a way to find out what you said a couple of hours ago.

    Oh, wait, I can scroll up through the comments to where you said this:

    “I’m no Bill O’Reilly fan, but I remember hearing about the blowhard going on NPR’s “Fresh Air” for one of his books.”

    Two hours ago this was something you had heard about somewhere. Now you heard it for yourself because you always listen to Terry Gross.

    I may be worthless in your eyes, but I can generally stick to one story for minutes at a time. The same can’t be said of you… Really, if you’re going to lie this badly maybe you should try sticking to the truth.

  31. Hey Norm says:

    @SLT…
    Well…facts are a funny thing. Hannity reports that Obama inherited a 5.6% unemployment rate. That’s a “fact” reported by Hannity. Only it’s not factually correct; it’s actually off by some 27%. Now, I know based on history that anything Hannity says is likely to be wrong. But many posters here disagree with me on that. Thus Obama inheriting a 5.6% unemployment rate, in their eyes becomes, “fact”. In the Teavangelical post-modern epistimically closed world – the fact is Obama inherited a 5.6% unemployment rate. Good luck changing that.

  32. @Hey Norm: Yes, but in your example the thing that makes the “fact” in question wrong is because it is factually incorrect, not because Hannity said it.

    This is the point that I am making: too many people want to evaluate the conveyor of information and not the information.

    Ultimately the argument needs to be about what was said, not who said it.

  33. EddieInCA says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I’m confused as to your point, Dr. Taylor.

    Are you saying that we cannot criticize Hannity for a mistaken “fact” for which he chooses to not apologize, nor retract? If it was someone else, you could say it was an innocent mistake, but Hannity says falsehoods like this on an almost nightly basis, so he doesn’t get the benefit of any doubt.

    Much of the “facts” in the current right-wing lexicon are flat out fabrications, such as Hannity’s mistaken “fact” listed above. Those become hardened in the minds of partisans without any care to the actual truth.

    So I’m puzzled by your comment that we cannot evaluate the conveyer of blatantly false “facts”, and that we have to evaluate only the information.

    Or am I misreading your comment?

  34. @EddieInCA: What I am trying to say (and I guess saying poorly) is that the issue should not be who said something, but what is said.

    If we are going to have serious discussions, they have to be about what is said. Too many people will accept whatever Hannity says (because Hannity said it) and likewise many will reject anything that Hannity says because Hannity said it.

    The issue should not be if Think Progress, Paul Krugman, or Sean Hannity says X, it should be whether X is right or not.

  35. mantis says:

    The larger point should be that no matter where you hear something, it’s always a good idea to double-check the facts as presented. Doubly so for Hannity.

  36. mattb says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Keeping with facts that can be proven demonstratively true or false… (shades of gray only complicate things)

    The thing about sources/commentators and facts is that the two become somewhat interrelated. In @Hey Norm‘s example you have Hannity citing/claiming a “fact.” The question becomes how much can we trust the person who has just spoken (or given an account) to have made an accurate claim?

    Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true or false, but will alter a given individual’s inclination to trust or fact check that information. In theory we should fact check everything anyone says, but we can’t operate that way. Likewise we shouldn’t necessarily dismiss any fact because of which individual shared it.

    But, all that said, we have to develop these sorts of heuristics to effectively operate within the world. The problem, as with the discussion of Krugman (or O’Rielly for that matter) is to immediately discount one person’s claiming of fact based on partisan or ideological grounds.

  37. @mattb:

    The problem, as with the discussion of Krugman (or O’Rielly for that matter) is to immediately discount one person’s claiming of fact based on partisan or ideological grounds.

    This is pretty much my point. I can write a 500 word post on a subject, but if I got the video clip from ThinkProgress or quote Krugman, people will say “What! How can you trust ThinkProgess?” (and ignore everything else) when all ThinkProgress did was provide a clip. The truth of the clip is in the clip, not in the website from whence it came.

  38. EddieInCA says:

    @mattb:

    The thing about sources/commentators and facts is that the two become somewhat interrelated. In @Hey Norm‘s example you have Hannity citing/claiming a “fact.” The question becomes how much can we trust the person who has just spoken (or given an account) to have made an accurate claim?

    Herein lies the rub. We have an entire group of people who feed off of each other’s false facts. Already (or previously), Rush Limbaugh has stated that Obama inherited a 5.7% unemployment rate. A demonstrably false “fact”.

    So now you have two of the most prominent voices of the right-wing media stating that Obama inherited an unemployment rate of 5.6 or 5.7 percent. Furthermore, you have National Review stating that Rush didn’t lie. http://www.nationalreview.com/media-blog/274137/media-matters-falsely-calls-rush-limbaugh-liar-greg-pollowitz#

    How long before this meme becomes accepted “fact” in the right-wing media?

    And how does one combat this when people knowingly and willingly lie so brazenly?

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/ed-schultz-dares-mediaite-to-demand-correction-from-rush-limbaugh-and-sean-hannity/

  39. MM says:

    Jay Tea says that O’Reilly asked if Gross had ever treated any author like that. Jay’s citation goes to Wikipedia claiming that O’Reilly asked if she had treated Al Franken like that. Once again Jay Tea posts something….let’s be charitable and say inaccurate, followed up by a now standard “But Obama” red herring.

  40. MM says:

    @EddieInCA:

    From National Review’s “debunking”:

    But, no, Rush didn’t lie. The figure he’s using is an average for 2008.

    OK, so if I have a million dollars in the bank, blow it all on drugs over 10 months, then add my brother to the account, am I allowed to blame him for our newfound poverty? After all he inherited a bank account that had an average of 6 figures in it for the past year.

  41. MBunge says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “What I am trying to say (and I guess saying poorly) is that the issue should not be who said something, but what is said.”

    That would be true if this were a Socratic Universe where we had an infinite amount of time to discuss and research every issue up for debate. Since it’s not, a certain amount of intelligent discrimination is required.

    Mike

  42. @MBunge: Well, no.

    If X says Y the truth of Y is in Y regardless of who X is.

    Y is either right or wrong (or perhaps some mix) on its own merits regardless of who said it.

  43. And lest anyone be confused: yes, some people are more trustworthy than others.

    However, if a trustworthy person is wrong, their trustworthiness does not transform their wrongness into rightness. This is the point.

  44. mattb says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Trust me… I agree with what you’re saying. It’s the anthropologist in me that wanted to try to work through why that fails for certain people… To that point, I’m sure that if I had quoted Hannity actually getting a fact correct, most people would question the fact simply because of the source.

    @EddieInCA: I know there’s the fear of the entire “echo chamber” — but to some degree its overblown (especially looking at the commentary section of that posting and the coverage at Mediaite).

  45. mattb says:

    @MM: Here’s how to take the Rush/Hannity point apart even faster:

    A friend asks me to watch his goldfish for a week while he’s on vacation. The night before he returns, the fish dies. Thankfully, I still back a fish that was, by their standards, alive.*

    * – based on averaging amount of time the fish was living and dead for the week I watched it

  46. EddieInCA says:

    @mattb:

    Death Panels

    Birtherism

    Tax Cuts Lead to Job Creation

    Global Warming is a Hoax

    There is no such thing as Evolution

    Need I say more?

  47. mattb says:

    @EddieInCA: entirely different issues that (at least in the case of the “black and white” issues — “Death Panels,” “Birtherism,” Global Warming, and Evolution) have far more to do with the way that “objectivity” has been implemented in modern journalism.

    This is something that we already see changing. In part due to some of the recent problems caused by this matter.

    For the people who exist within the “echo chamber” — i.e. let’s say a Fox watcher and talk radio junkie — then there’s not much that’s going to reach that person and chances are that they will disbelieve anything that fails to fit their partisan outlook.

    But. in terms of the broader media space, things are changing. Perhaps not fast enough, but they are changing.

  48. mattb says:

    Even faster version of the fish thing… for those who care:

    Rush asks me to watch his cat for a week while he’s on vacation. The night before he returns, the cat dies. I happily return a cat that was, by his standards, alive.

    Now it’s not only correct, but its speaking directly to something Rush cares about (and his listeners are familiar with).

  49. anjin-san says:

    why answer a difficult question when you can ignore it.

    Or a simple one, for that matter…

  50. mike says:

    besides losing election after election and not being able to pay her taxes or mortgage, what is this lady qualified or capable of doing? why is she relevant in any way?

  51. @mike:

    why is she relevant in any way?

    I think she is relevant in the sense that she is emblematic of a political movement within the GOP during the 2010 electoral cycle.

    She is not, in and of herself, especially interesting in and of herself.

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