There’s a bit of a media frenzy bubbling this afternoon about Rand Paul apparently walking out in the middle of an interview. Paul was speaking with a reporter from The Guardian for a Periscope interview when, at one point, he gestures to someone off-camera, walks off, and then someone else turns the lights off.
The reporter, Paul Lewis, said, “We got our interview cut off. Maybe it was because I was about to push him on the specifics.”
The media jumped all over this today, talking about how Paul walked out of an interview, and, well, technically he did. Paul “walked out” in the sense he put one foot in front of the other and set off away from the camera, but he didn’t exactly “cut off” the interview.
This is what actually happened, as Paul and CNN’s Dana Bash tweeted:
We didn't turn the lights off and neither did my staff. CNN producers did. It was time for my interview with @DanaBashCNN – Team Rand
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 10, 2015
. @ZekeJMiller he did get annoyed w the guy but actually we turned lights off when he finished bc our intv was right after in same room
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) April 10, 2015
So, basically, he just had another interview to get to. And, if you watch the Periscope video, the interviewer clearly says he has “one more question” — he asks it, and then the senator has to move along.
Now, as the media took hold of this, Talking Points Memo framed it as Paul “reportedly storms out” of the interview:
Rand Paul reportedly storms out of interview with newspaper http://t.co/J1KIoAbvBh
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) April 10, 2015
Needless to say, lots of reporters weren’t on board with this burgeoning narrative:
The gist is that “Paul staff turned off lights to end Guardian interview” is false. But: Narrative!
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) April 10, 2015
Just watched the supposed "Rand Paul stormed out of an interview" video. Seriously? Anyone think that's accurate? http://t.co/R1ff3RmkmW
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 10, 2015
@ggreenwald had the same reaction in our editorial meeting
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) April 10, 2015
Hardly accurate to say Rand Paul "stormed out" of an interview — video begins with Paul and the interviewer agreeing to "1 more question."
— Alex Pappas (@AlexPappas) April 10, 2015
Update- 4:12 pm EST: A Paul spokesperson provided this statement to Politico:
Senator Paul had multiple interviews and the reporter knew we had limited time, that’s why he told the reporter that he had time for one more question. When that question ended, he had to move to his next interview. We did not turn the lights off, that was CNN producers who were taping an interview right after and need a different look for the room.
Watch the video in question below, via The Guardian:
[image via screengrab]
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