Former Boston Globe national political correspondent Susan Milligan has a real insider’s take on the mystifying phenomenon of retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) reducing reporters to tears. Her view? Suck it up. She says it sounds like Washington reporters are complaining about someone more like Saddam Hussein — not Frank. And in an ironic twist, she also believes the media has grown increasingly “mean.”
Milligan, a political and foreign affairs reporter for U.S. News & World Report and a regular around the Speaker’s Lobby for years, writes about her own experiences covering Frank in a piece published today.
As one reporter who had many conversations and interviews with Frank (and he was direct about it when he didn’t like my question), I still have to wonder: how sensitive are some members of the press corps?
Frank made a reporter cry? Seriously? Unless he threw a punch or made an intensely personal and hurtful statement (and no one’s accusing him of that), that journalist needs to rethink his or her career path. If you are a grown reporter and a congressman can make you cry, get out. Don’t look back. It’s professional Darwinism at work. Choose another line of work, because your job as a journalist is to be tough while you’re writing about other people and issues. If a congressman makes a constituent or a child cry, well, that’s newsworthy. If you’re a reporter and he speaks unkindly to you? Suck it up.
Read the whole story here.