Pundits, spokesmen, and other people interviewed on TV often get away with making overly broad generalizations. But Michael Goldbarb, a representative the McCain campaign, got caught on CNN yesterday making an assertion he couldn’t back up. Check out the video below.
In the interview, Goldfarb said that Barrack Obama “hangs around” with anti-Semitic people. CNN anchor Rick Sanchez pressed him to cite one example beyond the case of Rashid Khalidi which is somewhat in dispute.
Goldfarb got the “deer in the headlights” look — and said “we all know” who he was talking about without providing any specifics. Um, no we don’t.
Of course, if you are being interviewed, your goal should be to never get yourself that far out on a limb. But if you do overstate your case during an interview and get called on it, rather than trying to bluster your way past mistake, the proper way to deal with the situation is to imply that perhaps you were not clear as you should have been and then re-state your point citing something that you can plausibly back up. For example, Goldbfarb could have said:
“What I meant to say was that we all know that he has associated with a number of people of questionable character and judgment — not just anti-Semitic as in the Khalidi instance –but also other people such as…”