Brad Watson's Interview with President Obama

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by wfaa

wfaa.com

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 20 at 3:11 PM

 

Q: I watched Brad Watson's interview with President Obama tonight.  I realize since it was 7 minutes, the piece was edited.  I cannot imagine the President of the U.S. telling a reporter how to interview him.  It wouldn't matter who was interviewing the President he should answer the questions.  I appreciate that you showed this portion of your interview.  I realize that you and WFAA will now be targets of the White House.  I would encourage you to share your complete video with Channel 8 viewers and all of the ABC stations.  Other Presidents have had issues, but none the damaging qualities of this President.  Thank you for showing this video. It's important.  You, Brad Watson, are a good professional to show your interview.  I appreciate you.

Q: Next time a reporter from WFAA is lucky enough to gain a one on one interview with the President of the United States please send someone with a little more class.

Q: Thank you for providing the full interview between Brad Watson and President Obama, including Obama's "off-mike" comments to Watson at the end.  Your audience deserves to know the full context of the interview.  It is much appreciated.  I imagine you will get some pushback, but please know you have lots of support as well.

Q: Brad Watson is arrogant and disrespectful. You should all be ashamed.

A: Thank you to those who wrote regarding our recent interview with President Barak Obama. I understand and appreciate your concerns, and encourage you to look at the entire interview, which is posted on our web site, WFAA.com (see URL information below). WFAA senior political reporter Brad Watson was one of just four reporters selected from local television stations to interview Mr. Obama. When we made the initial request to the White House we stated that the interview would focus on issues impacting people in the state of Texas. With the limited time provided to us (7 or 8 minutes) unfortunately, the President did not address the issues involving Texans until the end of the session.


We heard from a variety of viewers: some believed Watson was too soft while others thought he was too harsh and still a few others thought his interview with President Obama was completely appropriate. Watson did interrupt Mr. Obama during one of his answers regarding campaigning in Texas. While no one intended to be disrespectful, I can understand how it may have been interpreted that way. That is regrettable as Watson was trying to get an answer to a question in a limited time window. That said, President Obama did not answer Watson's initial question, nor did he answer it during a follow up question.

Brad Watson has a long track record at WFAA -- 30-plus years -- of tough however fair interviews with politicians. A news interview is not endorsement of a position one way or another, rather a series of questions — which is what he asked the President. In the end we believed Watson's line of questioning to be fair and respectful, albeit direct and straightforward.

President Obama's statement at the end of the interview with Watson has also drawn some attention. Let me be clear: after the interview Mr. Obama pointed out that he does not like an interviewer challenging his comments. "Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?" he said. His comment was in regards to Watson's campaigning question, not to the entire interview.


Brad Watson's video story was posted on April 18 at:

http://www.wfaa.com/news/texas-news/President-Obama-talks-with-News-8--120141169.html


The entire raw video is available at:

http://www.wfaa.com/video?id=120240404&sec=553117


and (and alternative angle) at

http://www.wfaa.com/video?id=120243519&sec=553117

 

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