Remember that national puff piece that S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley received earlier this month from Bloomberg wire service? You know, the story that referred to her as “Ronald Reagan in a skirt?” That said she was “shaking up South Carolina’s established order?”
In case you missed it, here it is …
Well, according to an investigation by The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper into the ongoing Darla Moore fiasco, Haley got the questions for this exceedingly friendly interview in advance (in writing, no less) – which the paper correctly describes as a “journalistic no-no.”
Seriously … what sort of mainstream media outlet does that?
“David Mildenberg is profiling the governor for Bloomberg News,” Haley press secretary Rob Godfrey writes in an email to the governor, her chief of staff Tim Pearson and Trey Walker, one of three deputy chiefs of staff she employs. “I have been talking to him over the last few days and actually got him to submit his questions in writing ahead of time.”
“Nice,” responds Pearson.
Not only did Bloomberg feed Haley a bunch of softball questions that would make most middle school reporters blush (“Along with recorded votes, how have you changed the tone of government in Columbia?”) … they let her see these softballs ahead of time.
In an effort to determine if this sort of courtesy is provided to all of Bloomberg’s interview subjects, we reached out to the network in an attempt to ascertain its policy.
“Is it standard operating procedure at your news outlet to provide subjects with questions ahead of time?” we asked, adding that if it wasn’t, “what criteria (are) used by your news outlet to determine whether questions should be provided in advance?”
An editor at Bloomberg said that the wire service has “no immediate comment.”