CNN’s Brian Stelter refused to conduct a live interview with me after his producer originally reached out to get me onto his show “Reliable Sources” for a live interview about my scoop on Ralph Northam’s blackface yearbook photo.
Even though Stelter’s producer repeatedly told me the interview would be live, Team Stelter tried to switch to a taped interview, which can be easily manipulated to take my statements out of context. Stelter’s producer took responsibility for the supposed misunderstanding.
I gave Stelter a chance to be a man and face me, live, one-on-one, to discuss journalism ethics, on his own turf no less. Stelter chose not to take that opportunity.
Here is my email exchange with Shanta Covington of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
CNN: Hello Patrick, I’m writing to see if you are available for an interview with Brian Stelter re: the uncovering of the Northam yearbook photo as well as the coverage that’s come out of that when it comes to your site? This would be live in the 11am EST hour on Sunday. If you need to pre-tape for some reason we can also see about that. Thanks,
Howley: Yes, sounds good. I can be reached at (Redacted).
CNN: Great, let me tell them you’re available. And before I do, you’d be available for a live interview on Sunday correct? Would you be doing any other interviews before ours? Sorry, these are all of the questions I’ll be asked.
Howley: I am available for Sunday I’ve done CBSN and I’m doing newsmax tv today but I’m looking forward to Sunday
CNN: Got it. I’m waiting on an answer about Sunday. The original request is actually for a bytes interview for a package today – I misread the initial email – would you be available for that today given your NewsMax interview? Thank you.
Howley: I would love to go on live Sunday, and I can be in studio as well.
CNN: I’m checking on Sunday but again that’s my bad because the initial request is for a bytes interview today. What time would you be available today? I can get you a car to/from our DC bureau.
Howley: What is a bytes interview?
CNN: Good question. Sorry I shouldn’t have assumed you knew what that meant. Someone will interview you by phone or in person and you’ll be on camera and your sound bytes will be included in a package that will air later today’s
Howley: No thanks, I would love to go on live however.
CNN: Hey Patrick, How about this? Brian is actually in D.C. today. What if we get you two together at the CNN Bureau today for a one-on-one interview? In person is always better. They’d love to have you on with him and use some of those bytes in a package that will be running in prime time tonight? Let me know.
Howley: Live or nothing
CNN: Got it. I’ll let them know and see what they’d like to do. Thank you for bearing with my emails.
CNN: Patrick, My apologies for the confusion as this was a bytes interview request from the start and not for the live show on Sunday. That was my bad. I’ve made it clear to them that you’re only interested in a live interview. They’re going to pass on that at this time. If that changes I will be in touch. Thank you for wading through all of my emails today. Best Regards,
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