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November 20. 2011 7:16PM

Recording Cain: What’s he afraid of?

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain does loads of media events. His entire campaign is based upon media coverage. Yet last week he decided to eliminate one type of coverage from the rest of his campaign. He would no longer allow video cameras to roll during long-form newspaper interviews. How strange.

Cain continues to do television and radio. He’s not afraid of being recorded. He just doesn’t want to be recorded while newspaper journalists are interviewing him. We are hardly offended by that decision, as some might think. On the contrary, we’ll take it as a compliment.

Cain’s decision was made after a video showed him fumbling an answer about Libya during a newspaper editorial board interview in Milwaukee — and right before he was to do an interview with this newspaper, which we wanted C-SPAN to record and broadcast. That wasn’t going to happen, a Cain campaign spokesman said, because “videos are typically used for television and it’s a newspaper. We decided we didn’t want to do the video.”

Videos these days are used by everyone, even random people on the street who record candidates with their cell phones. The difference between television and newspaper interviews is not that cameras are present, but that newspaper interviews tend to be longer and more in depth. The Cain campaign knows this. It seems that Cain is fine with everyone seeing him give short, prepared answers, but not with everyone seeing him try to answer questions in which he has more than 30 or 60 seconds to respond. He would do well to rethink that decision, for it gives the impression that he’s got something to hide.


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