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  • 15Sep

    Obama and the 'jackass' comment

    I usually don’t like covering stories that everyone else is doing but this has an interesting media angle. From the LA Times. Check it out

    The perils of dashing off observations on the microblogging site were brought into sharp relief Monday when several overeager ABC News employees – including “Nightline” anchor Terry Moran — rushed to Tweet that President Obama had called Kanye West a “jackass” for interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday.

    The problem: Obama made the comment during off-the-record chatter as he was being miked for an interview with CNBC anchor John Harwood.

    How exactly did ABC News get wind of it? The broadcast network’s Washington bureau shares a network fiber line with CNBC, and so ABC staffers in DC watching CNBC’s feed heard the exchange. What they didn’t hear, apparently, was the explicit agreement CNBC made with the White House that Obama’s chitchat was off the record.

    The president weighing in on the biggest pop culture story of the day was too delicious to ignore. Soon, e-mails about Obama’s comment began circulating internally at ABC. Before news executives had determined whether the material was publishable, Moran and a handful of other ABC News staffers posted the remark on Twitter.

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