Then I read the actual quote.
"She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything," Ms Power added. The newspaper described her as "hastily trying to withdraw her remark".
As someone who does a bit of reporting (though admittedly my recent articles are more in the realm of pie-eating contests than national politics) I have to cry foul.
I have seen comments online that said Ms. Power should have known what she was doing, that if she wanted to be off the record that she had to state that at the beginning of the interview, not selectively in the middle.
Feh. This is "gotcha" journalism at its very worst. One word is used to indict an otherwise very competent woman who immediately recognized that she had made a slip and tried to correct it.
If reporters don't recognize that anyone can say something stupid and give them a chance to retract it immediately, they are asking for trouble. No wonder it is so hard to get people to speak at all. And when they do talk, they are often so guarded as to say absolutely nothing of interest or value.
The reporter betrayed her subject's trust and confidence. She did not give her a chance to be human.
Maybe it is because I am a sucky reporter and too much of a softy to be a real journalist, but if someone told me something was off the record during a conversation, I considered that done. If they called me later and tried to backtrack, that would have been a different story. I would listen and consider, depending on the source.
I cut average people much more slack than those - government officials, public relations people - who were used to dealing with the press. I felt like the Mayor should know to keep her mouth shut, while Joe the Construction Worker might not.
Samantha Power's comment was utterly insignificant. Having it out in the international press added nothing to our discussion over who should be president.
The only thing this story did was to further batter the credibility of the news media, which was already limping and did not need another whack.