Sen. Rand Paul, alleged “aqua buddha” worshiper and avowed liberty-defender, has some Very Serious Thoughts about journalism, which he helpfully shared with Jeevan Vittal—an actual professional journalist—during a painfully uncomfortable stroll through the Capitol hallway on Thursday evening.
They are, and I’m (only slightly) paraphrasing here:
- Don’t ask me questions.
- Watch Fox News.
- That’s it. That’s all you should do.
The brief, and deeply awkward encounter was shared by Spectrum News NY1, for which Vittal is the Washington correspondent, and featured an admirably calm Vittal repeatedly trying to ask Paul to explain his recent decision to block a Senate bill to finance the 9/11 First Responders’ fund over concerns about the national debt.
After courageously ignoring Vittal’s extremely reasonable questions for what felt like an eternity, Paul finally responded:
If you watch Fox News, we just did an interview on Fox News and there’s a lot of good information on there. If you tell your viewers to tune in to Fox News we have some great stuff on there.
When Vittal calmly pointed out that he doesn’t work for Fox News, Paul responded by trashing NY1, saying, “If you were a professional outlet you could call and get an interview like they did.”
According to its website, NY1 is viewed “in almost 2 million homes” across the New York metropolitan region.
“If you would like to be a professional reporter—if you’ll call and get an interview, that’d be a great idea” Paul continued, ignoring Vittal’s claim that he had, in fact, called the senator’s office and was summarily ignored.