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April 11, 2008
How Channel 13 got around Kevin Johnson's pesky interview 'rules'


So, I was hanging out at the Channel 13/31 mothership on Thursday, when morning anchor Chris Burrous wanted to show me a news clip of which he was especially proud.

Now, the clip in question hints at something somewhat publicity stunt-esque but, I've got to admit, it's one a fellow media drone can appreciate.

The deal: Mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson agreed to sit down with Channel 13 for a March 31 interview - under a few conditions, Burrous says: No Heather Fargo, no questions about those sexual abuse allegations, and absolutely no live calls from viewers.

Well, OK. Now, normally, most media outlets (newspapers, included) balk at such pre-interview rules. Generally to ask such as thing is considered rather - take your pick - diva-like, rude or naive.

In any case, Channel 13 really wanted that interview and, to their credit, deftly found a way to get around Johnson's stipulations, all the while maintaining a tiny shred of integrity: They posted the rules for all their viewers to see and explained just why the upcoming interview "might look a little different than what we usually do."

By far, the best moment of this whole set-up is what happens when Channel 13 cuts away from said "rules" back to Johnson's face. The mayoral candidate's slightly horrified, slightly confused expression is, well, priceless.

Watch the clip here - Johnson's reaction is at at the 39-second mark.

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