B²: Stupid Questions

Stupid questions happen…a lot.

Sometimes it’s because the reporter’s job is to ask questions already presented in the news cycle, whether the questions are of high quality or not. Other times, it’s because the reporter is not an expert in the field and doesn’t know what to ask.

Regardless of the reason, less-than-intelligent and/or unfair questions are asked.

Last Thursday, Speaker of the House John Boehner found himself on the receiving end of such a question and he let the reporter, and the rest of America, know.

When asked whether Amtrak was well-funded enough in the lead-up to the crash of Amtrak 188, his response began with:

“Are you really going to ask such a stupid question?”

Speaker Boehner’s approach to what he thought was an ignorant question was to call out the reporter. Media, even the usually friendly Daily Caller, covered Boehner’s derisive response more than the content of his answer.

Do you know how to handle stupid questions?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s the likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “<Insert ‘Stupid’ Question>”

: “Let me put it this way…”

A simple phrase like the one above (another option is “Let me put that into perspective”) is a way to redirect without insulting the reporter.

Even if you think the question is lacking, includes a faulty premise, or is unfair, simply B² it to avoid headlines like “xxx shames reporters.” If you attack the reporter, you seem rude. And, your frustration will be captured forever in a media clip.

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