Ask two questions, you won't: We haven't seen Donald J. Trump's full press conference yet.
That said, upon returning to our campus from a mission of national import, we found a complaint from Josh Marshall about Trump's refusal to answer:
MARSHALL (1/11/17): There's such an avalanche of stuff coming out of this press conference, this may have been missed. When asked to state categorically that no one tied to his campaign was in contact with the Russian government during the campaign, Trump ignored the question.Headline: "Trump Dodged Key Russia Question; Ended Presser"
Indeed, he ended the press conference after he ended his response to the question.
Why didn't Donald J. Trump answer so basic a question? Marshall went on to provide the transcript of the question Trump had "dodged." Can you spot the journalistic problem here?
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President-elect. Can you stand here today once and for all and say that no one connected to you or your campaign had any contact with Russia leading up to or during the presidential campaign and if you indeed do believe that Russia was behind the hacking, what is your message to Vladimir Putin right now?That's right! Donald J. Trump was asked two questions there, not one. And when a pol is handed a multi-part question, you're pretty much inviting him to answer the part he prefers.
Technically, this is terrible journalistic practice. We may understand why a reporter may want to ask all his or her questions at once. But this "dodge" illustrates the obvious problem with asking a question like that.
(We saw reporters asking three-part questions earlier in the press conference.)
Marshall got semi-hot and bothered about Donald J. Trump's refusal to answer. Later, he added an update:
MARSHALL: Late Update: CNN's Jim Acosta is now reporting that reporters followed Trump to the elevator in Trump Tower and, noting his non-answer, repeated the question as he walked toward the elevator. Acosta's quote: "As he was going to the elevators, we all were asking him again to answer that question, and he said, no, that nobody associated with him or his campaign was in contact with the Russians during the context of that campaign."We don't know if Trump's answer was truthful. But dearest darlings, where is technique? Josh was getting us all worked up about a standard journalistic fail.