The Washington Post

Denver news director: Mitt Romney didn’t want to talk about abortion

Dems and many media outlets are pouncing on the news that a reporter at a Denver TV station revealed on the air today that she’d gotten an interview with Mitt Romney on the condition that she not ask him about the Todd Akin mess.

“The one stipulation for the interview was that I not ask him about abortion or Todd Akin,” the KCNC-TV reporter, Shaun Boyd, said on the air today. Here’s the video.

I just got some more detail from the TV station’s news director. And the key takeaway is that the Romney campaign reached out to the station and offered them an interview with Romney — but stipulated up front that Romney didn’t want to talk about anything relating to abortion anymore. Akin only came up later in their discussions.

“Yesterday morning we were contacted by the campaign, KCNC-TV news director Tim Wieland told me. “We were told that we were being offered an opportuinty to inteview Mitt Romney during a five minute sattelite today.”

“We said we’d be very interested,” Wieland told me. “At the time, they said, `well, we have to tell you that he doesn’t want to talk about abortion.’”

Wieland said the conversation was with a Romney campaign staffer. He added that the station told the Ronmney camp that the segment would have to be transparent about that, and the Romney staffer understood that.

Akin only came up later in the talks. “We called back and said, `We are going to talk about the Akin controversy,’” Wieland said. “They said, `No, no, that’s the same thing, he’s made his statement on that and he’s not going to discuss it further.’”

Wieland said the station decided to take the deal because there were many other topics to ask Romney about, and because the station could be clear about the ground rules on the air.

It’s understandable that the Romney campaign would not want to talk about Akin anymore. But if this account is right, they would only make Romney available on the condition that the entire topic of abortion would be considered off limits. What does that say about the politics of this issue?


UPDATE: Evan McMorris Santoro talked to the reporter herself and got a similar story.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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