I read the article (linked below) in the Baltimore Sun. There is a part – quoted below – in the article that I think needs clarification and I will provide that here and now. I don’t want to get swept up in generalizations.
First, at ON THE RECORD at 10pm, we want guests from both parties. Routinely we ask guests from both parties in races but of course we can’t force anyone to show up — we only offer the equal time. We also make it easy for guests when we can. If you know me, I am also more than willing to go out of my way – jump on a plane – to make it easy.
Some politicians (and from BOTH parties) accept our invitation, some do not.
Second, no candidate from either party has ever suggested I have been unfair to him or her. I am polite – even when I ask pointed questions.
Last night, was a good example of OTR at 10pm covering an important election. Our guests included RNC Chair Reince Priebus (R) and the highest ranking Dem in the Wisconsin Government – Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D). Both enjoyed the interviews and neither felt ambushed.
[As an aside, both Barca and Priebus were particularly good guests because both grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin and know Wisconsin politics inside and out. Coincidentally, in the picture slideshow I just posted, there is a pic of both men enjoying a conversation with each other off camera.]
It is true that Mayor Barrett (D) did not appear on our show — but I doubt it is because of me or because of ON THE RECORD at 10pm. I have never heard that Mayor Barrett holds any grudge against OTR at 1opm or against me and certainly his staff would have mentioned it to us.
To explain to the Baltimore Sun here….I told viewers that the Mayor was invited and declined our invitation so that viewers did not think we at OTR at 10pm failed to invite him (we have invited him multiple times and we had his opponent on OTR at 10pm the night before the recall election.)
My mention that the Mayor turned us down was not meant to provoke the Mayor into appearing or to in anyway diminish him – it was merely to let the viewers know that we offer the time equally and we are trying to do our best job possible. It is important to note that Minority Leader Peter Barca, who was our guest, is a very strong surrogate for the Mayor.
Unlike the Baltimore Sun, I don’t “blame” the Mayor for not appearing on OTR at 10pm when we have asked him. It is totally up to him and like every candidate, he is swamped with requests and limited free time – especially as the election day approaches. And, if you know local or state politics, when some candidates make their media plans, some decide to do only local media thinking that is the best way to get the local voters’ attention and that is who will be voting.
This is not to say that some candidates don’t avoid some anchors, or some networks for whatever reason — I just don’t think it happened here and with us.
One last note…Mayor Barrett has recently spoken on camera to FNC’s Griff Jenkins for OTR and the Mayor has no reason to have a grudge against OTR at 10pm or me.
PS – I don’t think David Zurawik was taking a swipe at me. I just wanted to ‘fill in the blanks’ in his article.
“….I have to say I was dismayed to hear [MS/NBC] say [Gov] Walker was invited but would not come on his show — just as I was later dismayed to hear Greta Van Susteren tell her Fox News listeners that [Mayor] Barrett was invited, but he declined to come on her show.
In the case of these two channels, I blame them as much as I do the politicians. Both of them have behaved in such a partisan manner that there is little reason for any politician to trust that they will be treated fairly by them….“