[Guest post by DRJ]
A UNC-Chapel Hill professor says John Edwards’ staff tried to kill a student’s video story. The professor, retired political reporter Leroy Towns, writes on the journalism school’s Talk Politics blog that the Edwards’ campaign demanded a student journalist take down the video she had posted on YouTube.
The video focuses on Edwards’ campaign headquarters in Chapel Hill’s affluent Southern Village. It includes an interview with a columnist for the Daily Tar Heel, the UNC-CH student paper, who criticizes the location as contradictory to Edwards’ advocacy for the poor. The segment had been produced for the school’s Carolina Week television program, but student Carla Babb posted it online as an entry in an MTV contest.
Edwards staffers then tried to persuade the professor to kill the story, Towns writes. He declined.
Towns writes the experience was instructive: “The Carolina Week staff learned the importance of standing their ground against a disgruntled source, even when that source is a candidate for president. PR students saw firsthand how a public relations mistake can turn a small non-story into a potential national story. Very instructive.”
I guess John Edwards’ advocacy for the poor has its limits and for his campaign staff that limit is an address in the Southern Village.