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CNN, John McCain's camp at odds following confrontational Campbell Brown interview

In one of those moments a network executive would excitingly term "great TV," CNN's Campbell Brown and John McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds clashed on air Monday over vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials.

Tensions -- and voices -- rose after the anchorwoman told Bounds that she was just "trying to get someone from the campaign to explain what foreign policy experience [Palin] has." Bounds repeatedly skirted the question, choosing instead to criticize Barack Obama's lack of executive experience.

"All right, Tucker," Brown said as she ended the segment with a broad, sarcastic smile. "I'm just going to give it to ya, baby."

The clip was much in demand today -- and, CNN revealed, the McCain camp made clear it was not pleased.

This afternoon, anchorman Wolf Blitzer announced on air that McCain's planned interview with Larry King tonight had been canceled by the campaign. Blitzer said McCain aides complained that Brown had gone "over the line" in her grilling of Bounds.

McCain campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella later explained the cancellation with this sharply worded statement:

"After a relentless refusal by certain on-air reporters to come to terms with John McCain’s selection of Alaska’s sitting governor as our party’s nominee for vice president, we decided John McCain’s time would be better served elsewhere."

Meanwhile, ABC News announced that it would be broadcasting "the only interview" with McCain during the week's Republican National Convention. Charles Gibson will handle the questioning, and the network will dole it out -- parts will air Wednesday on "World News Tonight" and "Nightline" and Thursday on "Good Morning America."

UPDATE: Jon Klein, president of CNN, has issued a statement in support of Brown's interview. "Campbell Brown did what journalists do," Klein said Tuesday evening. "She asked fair and important questions in a respectful way and was simply trying to get a straight answer to a straightforward question."

-- Kate Linthicum

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Poor Tucker. That mean lady beat the poor boy up.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has been in hiding for the last 48 hours. If Sarah would just come out of hiding and answer some of these questions herself, the reporters wouldn't have to be for rough on poor little Tucker.

so if sarah palin were a man she would not be getting grilled this way? is barack obama a man? is he getting grilled this way? about crap that has no bearing on him or who he is? thought so. in actuality, if sarah palin were a man, there is no way in hell she would have been picked for this ticket.

I applauded Campbell Brown's persistence in asking the questions and was quite frankly astonished at Tucker's inability to answer a question directly.

This interview epitomizes the evasiveness and "point in another direction" tactics that the current Republican regime has played and continues to play on Americans. If someone can't look us in the eye and answer simples questions... it's a sign of more to come.
Please, America, see the facts! We need Obama in office desperately.

I would walk away too.

The media is absolutely disgusting in its relentless attacks on Palin and particularly on her young daughter.

Consider the deafening silence from the media like a thief's code of honor surrounding such matters as Edwards' affair (even when it was known in advance by the media), the Rev. Wright (whom Obama faithfully sat his children before every Sunday), Bill Ayres and the fruitful Annenburg papers (giving lie to the 'just neighbors') story, ACORN, his position on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, his long ties with Tony Rezko, and the list just goes on and on.

But no, we must'nt write one word against The Precious.

Instead, we must attack -- over and over again--the VP-elect's teenaged daughter.

You people truly make me sick. What an excuse for journalism. I've seen better bloggers.

I would expect no less from Campbell Brown. I have noted time and again what a biased "journalist" she has portrayed herself to be in this election season. She clearly doesn't understand the term unbiased journalism. If you are a Democrat supporter, you'll have an easy interview with plenty of softballs. If you're a Republican, expect a tough time with plenty of sneering and sarcasm. When she comes on, I turn the channel

The fact of the matter is that Campbell Brown was once a very distinguished and honorable journalist for NBC However, after her interview with Tucker Bounds, any credibility that she once had was shattered. Journalists are obligated to report the news objectively and, granted, her initial question was a good one. But there was no need to show the hostility that she did. To describe it in one word, it was simply unprofessional.

During the interview, Ms. Brown repeatedly insisted that governors do not have executive authority over their State's National Guard: "That's the White House, that's Washington, D.C.". Why is no one calling her on that?

As a Mom, you tell your kids to play fair. Sounds like McCain made up the rules of the game, then didn't want to play by them. Maybe Mama McCain should put him in his timeout chair.

I was shocked at the vicious attacks on Sarah Polin's daughter and also the issue of Sarah Polin down syndrome son.

I lost a precious down syndrome son at 10 months. I greatly admire the Polin's for giving birth to their son with joy. Also I was a young mom of 18 who had my oldest son. I was shocked at Campbell Browns obnoxious way of treating the subject of Polin's daughter. She was very vicious in her questioning and wrong in her assumptions. I use to watch her I will no longer.

I approve that Senator McCain pulled meeting with Larry King. You are giving unbelievable bias coverage for OBAMA! I use to look at your opinions along with the rest of the stations. NO LONGER!

Cambpell Brown is so anti McCain/Palin and it is so obvious on the camera whether she admits it or not. Enough is enough and good for McCain's camp for standing up to her. CNN needs to do the right thing and replace her with somebody who is less biased period. I actually turned off the TV on her before I knew any of this because I felt CNN was pro democrat because of letting her dawn her agenda. Let's face it she is threatened by Palin. Let those 2 go at it.. Bet Palin would back her down. Shame on you Campbell.

Campbell Brown really displayed a lack of knowledge and common sense in her interview with Tucker. She displayed a complete lack of professionalism. She is really just a mouth with a microphone.

Campbell Brown and cnn are botrh liberal democrats I am and independent voter who think you guys should not be baised reporters....get real suck

Watch the tape and the young republican kid stays calm. Campbell Brown is over reacted and losing it. Very unprofessional. The saddest part is she wasn't like that during CNN's coverage of the democrats. There is a pretty obvious bias here.

CNN dem coverage was a love-fest compared to what I am seeing coming out of Minn.

Little miss campbell brown allows guest and guest to spin their word webs about her but this was a personal attack on her part (baby). Watch her expressions, her anger, her vested aggression. Sorry to see her show her colors so strongly and become personally invested instead of being the anchor reporter we thought her to be. She will never be viewed the same by our office. Sorry Campbell.

BTW, I think that most of the comments on this post are by cronies, because most is just the same old liberal rhetoric that has little to do with the clip.

Well, I watched the clip and think that the interviewer should have been more respectful even if she disagrees with the answer. HE ANSWERED THE QUESTION (even as she interupted him over and over).

Common Sense doesn't understand the concept of Sexism. That is when women are NOT treated the same as men are. Palin is being treated the same as a man would be, and you don't like it. You are not a Democrat; stop lying about it. Our complaint in the Hillary campaign was that the media thought the sign that said, "Iron my shirt" was humorous, but said, "Shine my shoes," was not the same thing. It is to us. That is Sexism. Women got the vote 50 years after black men.
I don't care if she has no foreign policy experience, if she had studied foreign policy, had been really interested in foreign policy, and kept up with it. But she had not. She thinks God sent us to Iraq. She believes in Creationism and rejects Evolution and wants Creationism taught in school. She believes all abortion should be illegal, even for rape and incest. She doesn't know the oil companies already have tied up most of the off shore drilling sites, but refuse to drill there. They want to tie up all of them. She is ignorant.
Hillary Clinton has 32 years of experience as an attorney in the Senate and in a law firm, as the First Lady lobbying for legislation, as a Senator, and running for President for 18 months. Sarah Palin was mayor of a town of 6,500 for 2 years, and Governor of a state with less people than San Francisco for less than 2 years. There is no comparison.

Democrats refused to participate in the debate put on by FOX earlier this year. What goes around comes around.

It is pretty obvious that CNN favors the democrats.

If the dems avoid FOX and the repubs avoid CNN it is no big deal.

What is big is seeing Campbell Brown make weird faces and lose her cool.

I saw the interview on CNN, I thought Campbell Brown came across aggressively and hostile in her interview with Tucker Bounds. It is quite apparent that she favors the Democratic candidate, this is nothing new. Additionally, I think her saying "I'm just going to give it to you baby." was a statement that a male newperson could not get away with--what a double standard CNN is defending. I am a Democrat, a Hillary Clinton supporter, who will be voting for the McCain Palin ticket.

Campbell Brown would make a great Press Secretary for Barack Obama should he be elected President. Both at NBC and CNN Campbell Brown's well established democratic leanings have kept her in good stead with the Keith Olbermans and Jack Caffertys of the world.

Also, watching the interview the Tucker Bounds it was abundantly apparent that the ever smug Ms. Brown had no early idea that state governors have command authority over the National Guard. It's not surprising that Ms. Brown;'s network roles have become increasingy more inconsequential.

Right on Campbell! I thought you did a great job of asking a real question and not letting Tucker slide by with non-answers. Hopefully you will not be punished by the right-wing corporate censors that own the media and refuse to allow fair and unbaised reporting. Thank you for seeking some truth.

Please...even Saturday Night Live has made a parody over the absurd actions of Campbell Brown during this entire election season. She might as well wear an Obama/Biden pin on her jacket. That might actually make her smile for real - not just sarcastically. And please...if this had happened to one of Obama's people, he would pull an interview too. It is a disgrace to Sarah Palin and to the state of Alaska that people are belittling her so much. This is a Presidential Race! Not a Vice-Presidential Race! Move on!!!!


Campbell ended up being pretty aggressive, but that's because he was not answering her question. For once, a TV talking head actually became a real journalist.

And is Tucker related to Dana Carvey?

Campbell Brown was fully justified in her frustration with Tucker Bounds' obvious attempts to ignore her inquiries and give the stock talking points only. Certainly he was not given the option by the McCain campaign of thinking on his feet. We are sick of this"stonewalling" approach to media and delighted in her calling it like it is! This approach reeks of Karl Rove and the selling of another unprepared and uninformed candidate.

Here is a proposed change in approach for the media. Instead of asking about her experience, concede the point: she has experience. This issues is the scope and depth of her experience. Hence, here is some useful data:

Population of Alaska: 670,053

Population of US: 299,398,484

Votes Sarah Palin garnered to become Governor of Alaska: 114,697

US Cities with population comparable to Alaska

Memphis, Tennessee: 674,028
Charlotte, North Carolina: 671,588

Number of troops in the Alaska National Guard: 1850 soldiers

Number of troops in the US Military:
Active personnel: 1,426,713
Reserve personnel: 1,458,500

Change is going from McCain's record of voting 90% with President Bush to Palin's of voting with President Bush 100%.

Is this the change we need?

No governor makes any military decisions about how the National Guard acts while deployed in Iraq. Mr. Bounds kept conflating Governor Palin's command over the Alaska National Guard while at home with their deployment in Iraq; he repeatedly mentioned her command of the deployed troops. She had no such command and Campbell Brown had every right to express her frustration at being spun. She was not disprespectful. If Senator McCain now ducks out on CNN to punish the network, then he's not worthy of our confidence. I want a President who can stand up to the fire.

In regards to the interview with the McCain Aide, I believe the way Brown posed her questions was, in fact, extremely UNprofessional. I am an independent, not a Republican, not a Democrat, and would like to form my own opinion without Ms. Brown exhibiting hers . I'm sorry, "Baby," but it shows. She needs to clean up your act...calling the gentleman, "Baby, sweetie, etc," was extremely condescending - NOT journalism as some of you mistakenly believe. Do me and others a favor Campbell...just report the news and keep your political prejudices to yourself.

How come Campbell Brown never asked Barack Obama the same questions. What decisions has Obama made regarding the National Guard. Oh, none, he's never had to make ANY executive decisions. Just an articulate empty suit. When I see CNN grill Obama and their people on his experience I'll be satisfied but they are the worst example of journalism in America today. Anderson Cooper was the host of "The Mole", oh yea real serious news gig.

It's clear that Campbell Soup Brown is CNN's female attack dog and she is firmly in the tank for Obama. Her stupid question asking Tucker to name one item of foreign policy experience is exactly like that infamous teacher we all mock who asks her students to remember the fourth word of the third line on the twentieth page of the book.

What a stupid, moronic way to conduct journalism. It's a hit piece at its finest, and PROFESSIONAL journalists don't do stuff like that.

Look at all the liberal lib-tard lemming left piling on right on top of CNN and their liberal media bias. You people have no shame and you care NOTHING about truth and fairness in your debate.

That is why this election WILL NOT go to the Democrats.

Why hasn't the network grilled any Obama supporters in this fashion? Have they asked him WHY he took so long to leave Wright's church? Surely in 20 years he might have had some clue as to the content of Wright's sermons. Why did he associate with William Ayers, A non-repentant terrorist? Why hasn't any newperson asked exactly what he did in congress that made any difference? He's spent most of his time as a senator campaigning for President. Hell I like Bob Bar. I just wanna see some fairness, that's all.

If you watched the Democrats
uou saw more then twenty generals & admirals, who ran the Pantagon , most with combat experience,aand war plamming, almost all
;ife long republicans say their choice to be the Comander & Chief was Obama Which destsroys the myth that Mc
Cains experience makes him
more qualified.

Very traditional politics in play here for a "maverick" campaign. They march out the muppets to make broad assertions about a candidate's qualifications and then turn & run from the valid questioning of those assertions. I love this idea that the governor of a state with a population smaller than Bakersfield is as qualified if not more than Obama. The man taught courses on the constitution at one of the best law schools in the country, could she do that? Good job to Campbell Brown, more of that please.

Don't send a ltitle boy to do a man's (or woman's) job. I guess little Tucker Bounds ought to get helped back to the shallow end of the pool - he's in way over his head.

My father always said that if you are that defensive about something then you obviously either have something to hide or don't have any facts to back their Jack.

Common Sense wrote: "If Sarah were a man, she would not be getting grilled this way. Absoloutely disgusting!"

Uh, have you missed the grilling Obama has received from the Right for the past two years? "He has no experience"; "He's a Muslim!"; "He's associated himself with a hateful Christian preacher"; etc., etc., etc.

It's not sexism, it's an election. Every candidate for Prez and for VP is grilled in this way these days.

I saw the interview and while I think Campbell Brown is usually unbiased in her questioning, this time I thought she was confrontational as a journalist. I don't think a journalist's job is to be contentious with interview subjects. Just watch the interview and it's obvious that she seemed ticked off since she was not satisfied with Tucker's responses.

I wish news journalists would act more like journalists and report news and keep their opinions to themselves. We are smart enough and can think for ourselves, thanks.

I find it annoying that sexism is being brought up. She is being grilled just like any 'political stranger' would be. In no way did Campbell cross the line as she was asking a simple question. All that had to be said was "yes.. as Commander she did this..." or "Even though she doesnt have much foreign policy experience she can offer this..."

By pulling out of the interview McCain lost a shot for free media attention and publicity... if he feels so strongly about Palin he should be defending her not backing down!

Honey, and yes I'm talking to M. Common Sense - the men get grilled a plenty. Wake up. This is the big show and she knows it. If she weren't roughed up, then it would be sexist.

Tucker feels like I do, why answer someone who asks a question they know the answer to? She spent all her time trying to get what she wanted from him and failed. She could have asked 20 more questions in the same time and actually created real information and insight. He was right to stonewall her, she obviously was not smart enough or witty enough to get around the wall. She has no experience as president, noone does, duh. Neither did Cheney, Gore, ,Quail,Bush,

Shame on McCain. Cambell was correct. Asking normal questions. Palin did not send the guard to Iraq. So she could send them to alaska in crisis. Her advisors can. So...Cambell could. We all can figure out a crisis. I no longer respect McCain. He simply knows these same normal questions will be asked.

Tucker was right. Palin deployed troops in Alaska. She said that the pentagon/white house controls the national gaurd of Alaska? Huh? Brown was looking to make some headlines and she did. It is really sad when "journalists" make the news instead of just report it.

It's an obvious question. Why wasn't he prepared to address it with some specifics??? Very poor preparation on his part, but made exponentially worse by McCain's decision to cancel his CNN appearance. Reinforces the argument about McCain's temperament and guarantees that millions of people will watch and forward Tucker bumbling through an effort to avoid a fair question. Obama had a similarly embarassing experience where a supporter, but not a surrogate or spokesperson, couldn't name a single accomplishment of Obama's as Senator. Looked bad for Obama when it happened, but he didn't give the network the silent treatment and pick up his ball and go home. Grow up McCain. If you pick a candidate who clearly lacks obvious relevant experience, you will get asked the obvious question over and over again. Obama has been addressing the experience question for the past 18 months. Why do you expect Palin, who clearly has much less experience than Obama, to convince everyone of her qualifications in a matter of days?

After likening S. Palin's treatment to that of HRC, Common Sense said: "If Sarah were a man, she would not be getting grilled this way. Absoloutely disgusting! For the first time in my life, I will do a protest vote against my own party and pull the lever for Palin."

1. If Sarah were a man, she would not have been nominated (Mike Huckabee would have been). She's getting grilled for all the problems well chronicled in the press.

2. Give me a break. You won't be doing a protest vote. You are a dyed in the wool Republican, who wants to add the only credibility possible to your inane statement; namely, that you are some suddenly enlightened Democrat. You are neither enlightened nor Democrat. Hoping to fool us won't work.

this woman never shuts up her partisan angry liberal bias is showing. what happen to cnn insane campbell brown i believe she needs some pms pills.

Tucker is a PR professional and should have been able to deal with her line of questioning, he writes message points and arguments in his sleep. The Palin pick doesn't give him enough talking points to have a leg to stand on. Go get em CampbelL!!

Bush said "If the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain's resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the angry left never will."

But after Campbell's interview, he walks out on CNN and Larry King???

Tucker did do a terrible job, but cnn also has done a terrible job of being fair to both sides. There are some serious questions about Joe Biden that were not asked of Obama's campaign, including from C Brown. I know there are allot of people uncomfortable with the lead up to the Iraq war and the questions asked by the media to republicans, I wish those same people would be as uncomfortable with the lack of questions asked of Obama's campaign. Sure Fox news is totally biased, but so is MSNBC and CNN (to a lesser degree). I personally try to get a little news from all (Fox, MSNBC, CNN and NPR).

Have to agree with McCain camp. Campbell Brown was out of line here. And what's up with the "BABY" comment at the end? Was she so fustrated by the end of the interview with the answers that she had recived that she had to address the spokesman as Baby?? Can you say lack of class and professionalism !


Campbell Brown, the biased witch, how can she call this journalism? she grills Bounds about Palin, but does she EVER ask Obama the exact same questions? Why does she not insist that the Obama campaign tell her HIS foreign policy credentials?

What's wrong with you CNN??? Fire CAMPBELL BROWN, it is unforgivable that you allow freaks like her and others on your network and try to pass it off as "news"!

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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