NPR reporter: ‘You know you cannot tape my speech’

Darien.Patch.com
The Darien/Norwalk YWCA recently asked public-access station Darien TV79 to cover NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston‘s talk at its “Women of Distinction” luncheon. Volunteer TV79 program director Jim Cameron writes that he “made the mistake of suggesting to organizers that they clear our videotaping with Ms. Temple-Raston, expecting that a fellow journalist would certainly welcome coverage. Boy, was I wrong.” Cameron writes about the NPR reporter’s ban on television coverage:

You cannot promote your private, paid speaking business on the basis of your NPR work and then pretend that your comments are somehow private. Nobody came to pay $85 to hear you as an individual. They came to bask in the glory of your media aura.

If you brand yourself as part of NPR, your remarks should be open to public coverage. I’m guessing that you would tolerate no less in your own journalistic endeavors, would you?

Temple-Raston sent me this emailed response to Cameron’s story:

Together with the organizers, I requested that my remarks not be filmed during this private luncheon. I do take the point made by this reporter, and would just say in this instance, I didn’t want the added distraction of TV cameras.

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  • Anonymous

    I understand the concern for any NPR journalist in this day and age, knowing your every word will be parsed more closely than just about any politician’s. But if you think you’re better off turning away journalists from recording your speech? Now you have guaranteed negative blowback, even from people who think you’re a good, fair reporter.

    If you’re that concerned – then the simple answer is, “Don’t give speeches.” If you want to give speeches, then be ready and willing to stand by your words in a public way. And if there are topics you don’t want to discuss in a public way, like, say, Juan Williams, then respectfully decline to comment.

    Another question – Jim, if she had said, “Feel free to record the speech, but when we get to Q and A, would you mind not recording because I’d rather that be an off the record, more freewheeling discussion,” would you have agreed to that?

  • http://rightnetwork.com Van der Leun

     Shorter Temple-Raston (isn’t a hypenate always the sign of bore?): “I’ve got nothing to say and I am saying it.”

  • http://rightnetwork.com Van der Leun

    “in this instance, I didn’t want the added distraction of TV cameras.

    We’ll just file that chunk of pap under “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.”

    Just one more dufus making the case for defunding NPR.

  • Anonymous

    I believe you’ve nailed it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MT63SIWZWEWWHKN6PV6T7UE4HA Frank Castle

    Yo, Dina — everyone’s got a recorder now. There are now signs in locker-rooms, demanding everyone not record.

    Wake up, please. The year is now 2011. Thanks.

  • http://www.mediatrainer.tv Jim Cameron

    Agreed… the post-Juan Williams paranoia at NPR must be intense.  But why allow scribblers (print reporters) to paraphrase your bombshells, but not allow verbatim electronic recording?

  • http://www.facebook.com/fbondini.bond Frank Bond

    It’s nice to see that after all the exposure and evolution and democratization of television and video coverage, one can cite “the distraction of TV cameras” as a reason to restrict coverage…and still (presumably) keep a straight face!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fbondini.bond Frank Bond

    It’s nice to see that after all the exposure and evolution and democratization of television and video coverage, one can cite “the distraction of TV cameras” as a reason to restrict coverage…and still (presumably) keep a straight face!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537401152 Tom Jackman

    Another journalist embarasses her own profession. Thanks for lowering the public perception of us even further, Dina Temple-Raston.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tpluck tpluck

    I can kind of understand her reasoning, since anything an NPR employee says publicly is now pored over as possible fuel for dismantling the system of centralized American government.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the words of support and for Jim R for picking up on this story…

    As a former radio reporter (NBC’s “The Source” and RKO Nets) I was gobsmacked when told we couldn’t videotape (no, not ‘film’) the speech.  In a room of 200 people with my tripod 40 feet from the dais I was hardly in her face.  As I blogged, I did take extensive notes on the speech… basically a few war stories along with some mis-cued audio clips from her NPR coverage… and wondered what was the big deal.  Had she delivered some bomb-shell of a story, I might have understood her reluctance at being taped.

    As one YWCA officer said after the event:  “I now understand why she didn’t want to be taped.  She didn’t want an audio record of what a weak speech-giver she is.”

    JIM CAMERON

  • Anonymous

    Here is an alternative explanation for her inexplicable action.

    Perhaps she didn’t want her canned remarks floating around the internet, so that she could keep using them with different audiences thinking they were getting something original.

    See:

    http://15-secondsblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/retroactive-off-record.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Levy/1332321421 Marc Levy

    Dina Temple-Raston has embarrassed herself. This is utter hypocrisy — if not the worst kind of hypocrisy, since there was so little at stake here and she was, in fact, *talking about journalism*. (I would be understanding if this were a personal issue, such as a tragedy that has befallen her or her family, as I would try to accord an appropriate amount of privacy to anyone in such circumstances.)

    She’s not the first (or last) to bar press activities while basking in the spotlight for being a member of the exalted press, but I’m always disgusted by this. And I’m a journalist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Levy/1332321421 Marc Levy

    Dina Temple-Raston has embarrassed herself. This is utter hypocrisy — if not the worst kind of hypocrisy, since there was so little at stake here and she was, in fact, *talking about journalism*. (I would be understanding if this were a personal issue, such as a tragedy that has befallen her or her family, as I would try to accord an appropriate amount of privacy to anyone in such circumstances.)

    She’s not the first (or last) to bar press activities while basking in the spotlight for being a member of the exalted press, but I’m always disgusted by this. And I’m a journalist.

  • Anonymous

    BREAKING: “I didn’t want the added distraction of [journalists]” is now an acceptable reason for shutting out the press.

    – MrJM

  • Anonymous

    . . . yet another delicate blossom from NPR’s publicly-funded progressive greenhouse.