TV interview about Baylor rape with realtime media coaching yields three answers for one question

In this interview in front of a TV news camera, the news crew was asked not to use a clip where the subject of the interview apparently first answered openly. A request to repeat the question came from a person accompanying the interview subject, described as a friend of the interviewee but later found to be a well-known media relations consultant. The subject of the interview was given two more chances to answer the question, answering differently each time. The news program decided to include all three answers in the resulting broadcast.

The subject of the interview was Ken Starr, recently-resigned Baylor University president and chancellor. The topic of the question: an email with the subject “I was Raped at Baylor”.

The question: “What about the victim who came forward saying that she had personally sent you an email, and Art Briles an email, saying in the subject line that she was raped at Baylor. Did you ever see that email?”

Answer #1: “I honestly may have. I’m not denying that I saw it.”

Answer #2: “I’m honestly going to say, I have no recollection of that.”

Answer #3: “I honestly have no recollection of seeing such an email and I believe I would remember seeing such an email. The president of the university gets lots of emails. I don’t even see a lot of the emails that come into the office of the president. I have no recollection if it. None.”

I’ve never seen a media handler in action like this before, and not about a topic as serious as this one. I assume this usually washes out in the edit, with the news team playing ball in exchange for continued access.


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