Denver CBS affiliate KCNC-TV 4 reporter Shaun Boyd told viewers when airing her interview with Mitt Romney that Romney put restrictions on the interview preventing her from asking “him about abortion or Todd Akin — he’s the Missouri Republican who created a firestorm after saying that women’s bodies shut down in a legitimate rape to prevent pregnancy,” the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple reported.
The station’s report, published on its website, “Romney speaks with CBS4, but not about Akin,” noted that Boyd was told Romney wouldn’t talk about Akin and quoted the state’s Democratic Party chairman’s reaction to Romney’s not discussing Akin.
KCNC’s news director Tim Wieland told Wemple that “we didn’t like” the restrictions on the interview “so we were as transparent as we could be.” Wemple added that KCNC “showed impeccable adherence to journalistic standards” by informing its viewers of “the ground rules.” As the New York Times explained, “Outright restrictions on an interview … are rarely heard of,” but interviews may be focused on “a specific topic.”
According to the Huffington Post, the Romney campaign said that the interview terms “is not how we operate. The matter is being addressed.” The Huffington Post added that “At least two other news outlets that interviewed Romney today said the campaign placed no restrictions on the types of questions they could ask.” Wemple noted in a separate report that Boyd said the interview conditions were “not something that came from the national campaign staff.”
We’ve written to KCNC’s Boyd and the Romney campaign for more information and will update with any response.
We’ve previously written about the Romney campaign’s complaints over reporting on Romney, including articles by The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. Two reporters this year have gotten into trouble for their tweets about Romney, including Joe Williams, who was suspended and later left Politico over his tweets about Romney, and the New York Times’ Charles Blow, who apologized for his tweet critical of Romney.
Check out all our stories on media ethics in reporting on the U.S. presidential election.