“In a Written Statement…”

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As the presidential race gets underway, it is time to focus more closely on how reporters do their jobs and how candidates run their campaigns, especially with regard to the media. It is a dicey subject to be critical of the media because they are often hamstrung by a lack of access to candidates intent on avoiding their questions.

I will get into this more deeply as we trudge forward. But for now – THIS.

Dear Media — Please make every effort to NOT accept “statements” from the people you cover. Robert Kraft has “issued a statement.” So has the NFL. So has Amy Klobuchar, Corey Booker, Trump, the owner of Twitter.

This is a classic PR tactic of avoiding the press by NOT answering questions. Bob Kraft issues a statement and then says he won’t be commenting further because it is a “judicial” situation. You publish the statement without any further followup. Kraft has now bought himself precious time to circle the wagons with his lawyers and PR people with his denial on the record.

Kraft wins. The people, including the young women he victimized, lose. At least in the short term.

As a reader, when you see the words, “in a written statement,” you should chill up a bit and realize that it was written by a PR person with lawyer help and that the statement is designed to minimize media exposure and truth-telling.

Public debate by “written statement” is cheap and lazy. Resist it. Keep demanding in-person question and answer sessions. We will all be better off.