Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan got a little cheeky with Flint, Michigan's ABC 12 on Monday. Despite what you might've read in The Huffington Post or BuzzFeed, however, he did not walk out on his probably seemingly well intentioned interviewer. He just insulted him a little bit.
By all counts, Ryan's brush with ABC 12, "your trusted source," was a little bit shaky towards the end. The off-camera reporter asks Ryan, "Does this country have a gun problem?" and Ryan does a great job dodging the question. He even comes close to not looking annoyed when he says, "We have good strong gun laws. We have to enforce our laws."
Then they sort of talk over each other before the reporter jumps to a silly conclusion, "And you can do all that by cutting taxes?" Well, that doesn't make much sense, but evidently the reporter had already exceeded the allotted time, so Ryan's answered bluntly. "Those are your words, not mine," he said as someone off camera says "Thank you very much sir," and the interview comes to a close. As Ryan gets up, he chirps, "That was kind of strange, you trying to stuff words in people's mouths."
This is not how BuzzFeed would've liked the story to go. The meme factory's politics reporter Andrew Kaczynski clipped the interview and tossed it up on his site with the very clickable headline, "Paul Ryan Gets Testy and Walks Out of Interview." Well, that's not exactly true. If anything, it ought to be "Paul Ryan Becomes Slightly Critical As Interview Comes to a Natural Close." After a wave of angry tweeters went after Kaczynski, the blogger agreed to change the headline, and the world started to spin again. Ryan's campaign later issued a fun statement that says, "When you do nearly 200 interviews in a couple months, eventually you're going to see a local reporter embarrass himself."
The election does not hinge on Paul Ryan's interview etiquette, but the Internet media can always use a gut check. If you're going to slap a clickable headline onto a story, at least follow through with a good snap-inducing video. People walking out on interviews is awesome. Like the time Christine O'Donnell left CNN's Piers Morgan hanging on a question about gay marriage. Or the time that Julian Assange yanked off his microphone after a CNN reporter asked him about the rape allegations he's facing. Ron Paul did the same thing last year, when CNN asked him about those racist newsletters. Anybody else seeing a CNN trend here?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.