Make us your home page

The Feed

What you're talking about today

Obama vs Kanye: The diss heard round the world may be a journalism teaching moment



00obama First, let's just admit that the president was right on this one.

But the very fact that we know President Obama called rapper Kanye West a jackass during an off-the-record portion of an interview with CNBC is an interesting journalistic turn.

ABC reporter Terry Moran tweeted :""Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a "jackass" for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT'S presidential."

But it was, in fact, a statement made when the president thought he was not being quoted. According to USA Today, it was a remark the president made during small talk as his microphone was being adjusted for the interview -- a portion of the interview traditionally treated as off the record by journalists.

But in today's media environment, there seems to be no such thing as off the record -- especially for a president whose every word has seismic political, pop culture and racial overtones.

Even though Moran likely knew he wasn't supposed to quote the president, he probably also knew the audio would find its way to someone who would.

Moran eventually deleted the Twitter post and ABC released this statement (h/t to Politico):

"In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview. This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again."

Kanye-west-2008-09-12-300x300 So, the easy availability of Twitter and the rush to get out a tidbit of news on something "everyone's talking about" bites another journalist.

Of course, since none of us who received the tweet agreed to keep his conversation off the record, we can talk about it as much as we like.

Wonder if West really knew what he was stepping into when he jumped up on that stage.

Watch the rapper struggle through a semi-coherent apology on The Jay Leno Show below:

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:01pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours