The shoe being on the other foot, Tim Russert of NBC took the opportunity of being interviewed by Brian Lamb on Washington Journal this morning to complain about an interview of him that the Times Magazine ran on Mother’s Day. Russert said that reporter Deborah Solomon merged answers to different questions so as to make it appear that they were answers to one question. He said that the Times embarrassed him by titling it an interview about his father, when it was about his mother. He said that he had written a long letter to the Times, after complaining to Solomon, and that the Times hadn’t run it yet. “What else are you going to do?” Brian Lamb said. “I don’t know what else I can do,” Russert lamented (beside bitch about it on national television).
In the mandala of press abuses, this one doesn’t rate. Most authors—the Times interview coincided with a new book by Russert—would happily accept Russert’s treatment. A lot of what Solomon evidently did goes with the territory of magazine writing, making things easier for people to read. Russert never said that Solomon misquoted him or misrepresented his words or ideas. Oh, he doesn’t like the headline. Russert needs to absorb the lesson of Big Russ, his father, and take it like a man.