'The best time I got screamed at…' - a journalism tale

In yesterday’s Muck Rack Daily, we wrote about an article in Politico, which states that “F—- off!” is the new “No comment.

Ben Smith at BuzzFeed said of the piece, “On screamy New York style media relations bleeding into relatively collegial DC.” Similarly, Maggie Haberman at Politico tweeted: “Uh yes ‘Confrontations like these have a more familiar ring to veteran reporters and political aides in New York City…’”

While wondering just how common a screaming is in this line of work, we asked our readers: what’s the best time you’ve ever been yelled at professionally?

Here’s what we heard back from some of our journalists…

"Best time I was ever screamed at came right after I had done a story about some problems and ethical concerns regarding a proposed nature preserve. The county official in charge caught me in the courthouse parking lot and screamed and yelled and hollered abuse at me for about 20 minutes about how I didn’t know what I was talking about etc. I stood there and took it until he said, ‘You’ve never even been out there!’ at which point I said, ‘Yes I have.’ He demanded to know when, and I told him all the details about my trip out to the preserve site. It took all the wind out of his sails. He never yelled at me again." - Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times

"I interviewed Shelley Winters (obviously years ago) and early in the interview I asked if she were the inspiration for ‘Same Time Next Year.’ The playwright Bern Slade had told me so. She started hollering, ‘What kind of a question is that? Did you just come here to talk about sex? This is not what I want to talk about and the answer is no.’ Then she told me the interview was over, and to leave. I wrote the whole column about the question, the response, and being asked to leave – proving, I guess, that an interview gone haywire can be a pretty good column.” - Margo Howard, columnist

"I said, ‘I’m even not paid,’ and he said it showed. I said, ‘if I were a real pro, I’d punch him.’ So many ‘sources’ won’t talk to reporters." - Ted Friedman, Berkeley Reporter

Now you tell us: is it ever acceptable to curse out a reporter? Or is it just part of the business? Send your stories to hello at muckrack dot com.

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  1. shakespeareandshoes reblogged this from muckrack and added:
    JOURNALISTS! tell me about being yelled at on the job (delia @ muckrack)…
  2. muckrack posted this