Rating the integrity of guests


Posted on: May 23, 2019

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I had an idea watching this clip from MSNBC, where a reporter does something unusual, he stops the person he's interviewing for BS, and then for not answering his question. This is so common in cable news, it's the #1 reason I switch channels.

So here's the idea -- an organization, perhaps sponsored by Knight or Newmark, maintains a database of people who are interviewed on cable news. For each, the number of questions they were asked, the number of times they did and didn't answer the question. A simple way of measuring the integrity of the interviewee. And also the interviewer.

You could publish an index for each of the shows. Do they tend to invite people on who actually answer questions? And then you could have an index for each network. They like horse race journalism. Turn it around, make the quality of their reporting a horse race.

Twist: Penalize the show double if the person has been on before and evaded the questions both times. Fool me once, okay, ask to be fooled again, I'm a fool for listening to you. ?

Another index: Time spent talking vs how many ideas discussed. For a few people the ratio would be infinite, they just speak in a word salad, they say nothing. A great example is the former head of the RNC. The best ratio, most substance to time talked would be interesting too. Michelle Goldberg seems to be the best. She ramps up quickly, says something interesting, doesn't repeat herself unless asked.

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