Mediaite’s Colby Hall On Ethics of Nunberg Interviews: Turning Down ‘Would be Derelict in Duty’


Mediaite’s Colby Hall appeared on S.E. Cupp: Unfiltered Tuesday to weigh in on how the media handled the very public implosion of former Trump aide Sam Nunberg.

Nunberg, who after announcing he intended to defy a subpoena he received in the Russia investigation, proceeded to embark on a manic media blitz, appearing on countless cable news shows, delivering a series of insane soundbites.

His interviews were so wild and unhinged that CNN’s Erin Burnett even asked him if he had been drinking — and said she smelled alcohol on his breath — which prompted questions as to whether the media was exploiting a man who had gone off the deep end.

HLN host S.E. Cupp asked Hall “what kind of ethical obligations journalists have” when interviewing someone who may not be “sound of mind.”

Hall pushed back on the notion that interviewing Nunberg was unethical, arguing it was “a newsworthy interview.”

“I never really felt like he was ever out of control,” Hall continued. “In fact I felt like it was a deliberate thing he was doing.”

Hall added that blaming the media for the Nunberg saga is akin to “somebody who doesn’t like their appearance in the mirror and then they blame the mirror for their appearance.”

“If you were an EP, or an anchor or a host, and Sam Nunberg called you and said ‘I’m doing a media hit, I’d love to talk to you about this subpoena’ — if you said no to that, you would be derelict in duty.”

Hall did note that “some of these interviews that went on for 20 to 25 minutes seemed ridiculously belabored” — ostensibly referring to Burnett and Ari Melber’s extensive (and weird) sit downs with Nunberg.

“He had said his point, and they were talking in circles,” Hall said. “And then it turned into a sort of car wreck where you stopped, turned around and went back and forth.”

Watch above, via HLN.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin