Conservative media personalities quickly jumped to Senator Rand Paul's (R-KY) defense after his contentious Today interview with host Savannah Guthrie.
Rand Paul Interrupted NBC's Savannah Guthrie As She Grilled Him Over His Foreign Policy Stances
Paul Told Today Anchor Savannah Guthrie How To Conduct An Interview As She Questioned Him Over His Foreign Policy Stances. On the April 8 edition of NBC's Today, Rand Paul scolded Guthrie on her interview skills after she questioned his changing policy stances on defense spending, foreign aid, and Iran. [NBC, Today, 4/8/15, via Media Matters]
Media Points Out Paul's Problem With Female Interviewers
National Journal: “Rand Paul Again Scolds A Reporter For Asking Him Uncomfortable Questions.” National Journal connected Paul's treatment of NBC's Guthrie to his previously criticized treatment of CNBC's Kelly Evans in a February interview:
One day into his presidential campaign, Rand Paul is building a reputation that could be hard to shake: When he's confronted by reporters--especially women reporters--about things he doesn't want to talk about, he gets antagonistic.
The latest example came during an appearance on NBC's Today show Wednesday morning, when the Kentucky senator took offense with Savannah Guthrie's line of questioning.
Paul engaged in a similar on-air exchange with a reporter in February. When CNBC's Kelly Evans asked him about his proposal for a tax incentive for U.S. companies to bring their overseas profits back to the United States, Paul became defensive. [National Journal, 4/8/15]
Wash. Post: “Rand Paul's Problem With Female Interviewers Just Cropped Up Again.” Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza noted that Paul's interview with Guthrie “didn't go so well,” and explained that he had behaved similarly to another female reporter in the past:
This isn't the first time Paul has had a run-in with a female reporter this year. In an interview with CNBC's Kelly Evans in early February, Paul shushed Evans and told her to “calm down a bit.”
In the wake of that interview, Paul was unapologetic -- insisting that he was simply speaking truth to a resistant media. “I think if you're forthright and answer a lot of questions, sometimes you'll get people who won't let you answer the questions and that makes for a difficult answer,” Paul told CNN.
Paul's interviewing problem is made worse by the fact he has now been seen mansplaining to two well-respected female reporters. That, of course, could simply be coincidence: I've not watched every somewhat-contentious Rand Paul interview this year to see whether female reporters are involved more often than men. But that the two high-profile incidents this year have happened with women does not help Paul. [The Washington Post, The Fix, 4/8/15]
Right-Wing Media Jumped To Defend Rand Paul As He Faced Criticism
Fox's Watters Praised How Rand Paul "Doesn't Take Any Garbage From The Media." On the April 8 edition of Fox News' The Five, Watters praised Paul on being tough on Guthrie and proclaimed, “a good job by the good doctor, and on that, I stand with Rand.” [Fox News, The Five, 4/8/15]
Fox's Varney Does Not See Anything Wrong In “Paul Going After These Young Women Who Were Really Badgering Him.” On the April 9 edition of Fox Business Network's Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney favorably compared Paul's tirade of Guthrie to how George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan would stand up journalists. [Fox Business Network, Varney & Co., 4/9/15]
Mark Levin Claimed Paul Acted Completely Rationally Despite Guthrie's Biased Questioning. On the April 8 edition of Cumulus Media Networks' The Mark Levin Show, Levin asserted that Guthrie's line of questioning was biased, aggressive, and even sexist towards Paul, which forced him to defend himself, and called her a “propagandist for Obama and the left.”[Cumulus Media Networks, The Mark Levin Show, 4/8/15]
Limbaugh: Guthrie Showed "Open Disrespect" For Paul And Treated Him Like An Alien. On the April 8 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh argued that Guthrie was disrespectful in her interview with Paul. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 4/8/15 via Media Matters]