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In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions—When It Counts, Second Edition by Jerry Weissman

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Chapter 1. Agility Versus Force

Challenging Questions

To understand how to handle tough questions, let’s begin with the reason people ask such questions. Journalists such as Katie Couric and Chris Wallace (the son of the legendary provocative interrogator Mike Wallace) ask tough questions because, being familiar with the classical art of drama, they know that conflict creates drama. Aristotle 101.

One of the most regularly occurring examples of journalistic baiting is in presidential press conferences. Every U.S. president, regardless of party affiliation, periodically faces the slings and arrows of tough questions from the White House press corps. One such exchange took place on June 23, 2009. In a press briefing following violent demonstrations ...

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