MSNBC reporter Tamron Hall went off on a Washington Examiner reporter and cut off his microphone after the two got into an argument about Mitt Romney's response to a much-discussed Washington Post article about Romney's alleged bullying incidents when he was a young man.
The Washington Examiner reporter, Tim Carney, accused the anchor of playing the old media trick of hyping a story and justifying second-day coverage by claiming that people are still talking about it.
Trying to make an issue out of someone bullying someone nearly 50 years ago is ridiculous, Carney said. It's a big reason why most of America does not like or trust the mainstream media.
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You do not have to answer a single question I ask you, Hall responded. And you didn't have to accept the invitation to come on. You knew what we were going to be discussing.
As Carney tried to talk over her, Hall said, Hang on, you're kind of in my house here. The story is out there. You're right, I'm not saying we should belabor what happened 50 years ago. We're talking about the response by the campaign and by the governor.
The story in question was a big Washington Post feature in which several of Romney's former prep school classmates recalled an incident when Romney picked on a student who was already teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexulality. Romney reportedly held the student, John Lauber, down and cut his hair after the alleged victim returned from spring break with long locks of bleached blonde hair.
Romney said that he did not remember the incident, but he apologized for it nonetheless.
[The story] exposes a bigger problem, Hall said on air. Many voters are still trying to figure out exactly who he is.
Carney said that although he thought it was a good article, the Romney campaign should push it aside and focus on other, more important issues, which he felt would be the appropriate reaction.
You are bringing up a meta story, Carney said. What is Romney's response to this other non-story. I'm trying to go meta meta on you and say -
You're actually irritating me right now, I'm going to be honest with you, Hall said.
I am done, she added, before cutting off his audio and continuing to discuss the issue with MSNBC's other guest, Democratic strategist Jimmy Williams.