Feb 17 2015
I criticize bad, biased, and or just lazy science journalism frequently, and so it’s a pleasure to occasionally have the opportunity to praise good journalism. This recent interview of Dan Burton by Anderson Cooper could be a template for how to conduct an interview over a scientific issue.
Dan Burton is a former Republican Congressman who has a long history of being anti-vaccine. He likes to repeat anti-vaccine tropes, and does so with the clueless persistence of a seasoned politician with an agenda.
Anderson Cooper is one of the few American journalists who has demonstrated his ability to do a tough and probing interview – you know, actual journalism. He demonstrated his chops again here. Specifically:
He was clearly prepped for the interview. He did his research, understood the issues, and was able to challenge Burton on specific points. You can’t go into an interview like this cold, or with only a superficial understanding of the issue. You have to know what the other person is going to say and how to respond.