If you are in charge — take charge.
If you are being interviewed by an aggressive reporter — you need to stand your ground and not be railroaded. That requirement becomes even more important when you are not just an interviewee — but you are holding a press conference. It is your event — your turf.
All that presumes, of course, that the positions you are defending have been well-thought-out.
At yesterday’s State Department press briefing, Associated Press reporter Matt Lee rhetorically grabbed hold of spokeswoman Victoria Nuland like a crazed chihuahua attacking a mail carrier.
Without taking sides in the merits of the argument — it is clear that Nuland was far too passive while Lee was chewing her leg off.
Lee, who appeared to be auditioning for his own program on cable TV, slammed Nuland with sarcasm: “How’s (quiet diplomacy) going so far?” and disdain: “You are staying silent while people are dying left and right.”
Nuland lost control of the briefing and the debate. The point she made at the end of the 2.5 minute mauling below — could have been made much earlier. In any case, allowing yourself to be chased around by one chihuahua only encourages the other dogs in the neighborhood to follow suit.