Are Reporters Pressing Harder During Interviews?

Ben LaBolt, the spokesperson for President Obama’s re-election campaign, made an appearance on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien this morning to address the issue of whether the fee for those who don’t get health insurance is a “penalty” or a “tax.” He says a couple of times that the administration considers it a penalty, but tries to turn the conversation towards inconsistencies in Mitt Romney’s argument on the issue.

The interesting part here is that O’Brien cuts him off to say flat out, “I’m not talking about Mitt Romney.”

Is it just us, or have interviewers gotten a little tougher with political interviewees specifically, and guests in general?

Politicians are notorious for answering whatever question is thrown at them with the talking point they want to give. Perhaps no one is more infamous in this regard than Rep. Michele Bachmann, who, while running for the GOP Presidential nomination, would just spout off on whatever she felt like talking about no matter what the question was. Evidence here.

Nowadays, there seem to be a growing number of instances of reporters circling back on their questions to force interview subjects to answer them. The unwillingness/inability to do so makes that person seem either ignorant of the facts or disingenuous. Anyone planning on doing a media interview has to be even better prepared to actually answer a question they might not want to address. Attempts to deflect are futile.

[h/t Mediaite]