When is an interview a conversation? Rarely or never.

In this “conversation,” as CNN’s Don Lemon refers to it several times, L. is to ask questions, Sheriff Clarke is to answer them. Not with a question either — even if that is one way to advance a discussion, or argument, and this is an argument.

Do not answer L’s question with a question, especially one that leaves L stuck for an answer. Nothing to stop L with putting another question if he were up to it and the producer allowed it.

Sheriff C. got repetitive, yes, but only after L insisted on the q&a, interview format, where it’s C’s role to respond. Which is no way to have a conversation.

Rare is the interviewer that wants or can handle an interviewee who acts like an independent agent. (O’Reilly is no paragon in this respect.) Which is why so much TV interviewing is useless and boring.

The main bullshit here is the “conversation” gambit, which underpins Lemon’s (and most interviewers’) performance.

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