"I think we should get back to prisons."

Journalism In this recent interview I posted with a PR, they noted how they hate being mentioned in interviews and underneath I noted that if they're in on the interview "it means the subject can't and won't be as open as if they weren't which is presumably why the journalist mentions their presence".

Today's Guardian has an excellent example of this as Decca Armstrong attempts to interview Gordon Ramsey about personal stuff outside the tv show he's selling and a woman who must be one of his PR keeps interfering and trying to steer the conversation away from what the journalists wants to ask about:
"I wonder if that was partly why he chose to publish the infamous letter to his mother-in-law in a newspaper, instead of popping it in a post box. In a flash, the woman next to him is on her feet, snapping: "I think we should get back to prisons." I don't see how I can be invading his privacy by mentioning the letter, I point out, when it was Ramsay himself who put it in the papers. "We're not going to comment there," she barks. She's starting to remind me of one of those attorneys in bad US courtroom dramas who jump up and down squawking, "Objection!" so I decide to ignore her.

"I was going to ask, I explain, if any part of him gets some satisfaction from making a row public. "No, no, in terms of the ruck, that situation was pretty shit."

"Like I said," the woman interrupts again, "can we get back to prisons?"
There's a well recommended comment underneath who suggests that that Armstrong was out of line to shift the attention away from from Ramsey's programme or his cheffiness or whatever to other things.  What I see is a journalist battling with a PR over what an interview should be about and that journalist rightly backing out when she feels her freedom being compromised.

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