LeDuff Shows How To Ambush And Harangue A Congressman

April 02, 2014, 1:42 PM by  Alan Stamm

Fox 2 News Headlines

The approach demonstrated above isn't taught in News Interviewing 101 -- for a good reason.

Responsible journalists generally try to illuminate with light, rather than heat. They work to inform and educate, not badger and harangue. They push aggressively, but not antagonistically. They showcase newsmakers and other sources, not themselves.

In the universe of convention-busting Fox 2 personality Charlie LeDuff, though, things often are different. The correspondent is at the center of stories that orbit around him -- as a senior congressman learned Tuesday in a bizarre confrontation about GM's ignition defect recall.

"Why didn't you know about it?" Charlie LeDuff asked a congressman, referring to GM's ignition switch defect.

The Detroiter accosts Rep. Henry Waxman outside the Capitol because he chaired the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform during 2009-10 federal loans to support GM's bankruptcy reorganization.

While repeatedly jabbing a finger toward the congressman, LeDuff asks why government overseers didn't know about a faulty ignition switch blamed for deadly crashes -- which Fox calls "a huge, overlooked detail in this whole GM recall crisis" in an online posting with the nearly three-minute video above.

Charlie LeDuff caught up with California Democrat Henry Waxman. . . . Watch the video closely. He doesn't seem to have any answers.

LeDuff: So if you didn't know and the GM executives say they didn't know, who's supposed to know and what does that say about your ability to run this country?

Waxman: This is a problem that GM knew about and they didn't do anything about it.

LeDuff: Why didn't you know about it? You spent $50 billion of the American taxpayer's money. Are we just going to blame GM for this or are we going to blame the federal government as well. Where was the federal oversight? You bought the company. You voted for it,   

Waxman has been on Capitol Hill since 1975, but likely never met a journalist quite like the brash, blustering bulldog from Detroit.

Dramatic TV? Perhaps.

Informative reporting? You judge.

Read more:  Fox 2 Detroit

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