RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
- Send me an email if there is activity in this thread.
Great disappointment in the Think Out Loud mailbox last week — disappointment specifically with my interview with John Kitzhaber the last week before the election. Leigh Lewis had many criticisms, including too many interruptions and too much time wasted discussing Kitzhaber's personality. She also said:
It also seemed naive of her [Emily] to expect he as governor would be a guest on the show on a monthly basis. Personally I would think he'd have much more important things to do and it would have been unrealistic for him to make such a commitment.
It may well be; indeed, he didn't commit to that. I chose a specific time period because in my experience it's better to ask politicians specific questions, and I figure it's better to shoot high. But here's a bit of what drove that question (which I also asked to Republican candidate Chris Dudley.)
First, both candidates were very difficult to book for interviews during the campaign. Their reluctance to debate more than once is well known. Here's one example of the challenges we faced getting them on for individual interviews: At one point a campaign staffer told an OPB colleague that we had not made an interview request to the campaign. In fact we had put a request in writing and that staffer had had several conversations trying to arrange an interview with both Think Out Loud's executive producer and me.
Second, Oregon's current governor, Ted Kulongoski, refused every single interview request Think Out Loud made during the nearly three years we've been on the air during his term. Even on projects he champions!
Third, I don't believe elected officials should necessarily accept all interview requests or favor one news program over others. However, I do think they should make themselves available frequently in a wide number of ways for people to talk with them. I only do the ask for this show.
Fourth, John Kitzhaber provided an excellent lead in to that question by saying he would use the bully pulpit differently and communicate more if he were elected governor again.
And now he has been. We'll certainly be following up on our request to have him on regularly.