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Reblogged:Interviewer Gets Surprise Lesson on Keeping Agreements

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Writing about a recent interview in Israel that Monica Lewinsky abruptly ended, business writer Suzanne Lucas finds a lesson in fighting harassment and discrimination. Lucas is correct, but I think the lesson from that incident is much more general.

"When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side." -- Ayn Rand
On Monday night, Lewinsky got up and walked out of a live interview in the Jerusalem Convention Center when Channel 2 news anchor Yonit Levi asked a question that Lewinsky said they previously agreed was off limits. You can watch the video here.

She didn't scream, cry, or throw a fit. The boundaries had been violated and so she left. Interview over.

She didn't worry that she was making the interviewer feel uncomfortable, or that the event planners now had time they needed to fill.

According to Lewinsky, she and Levi had agreed before the interview that the question about former President Clinton was not to be asked. If this is, indeed, the case, Levi was counting on social pressures to make Lewinsky address the question. [link in original, bold added]
The interviewer, like many people we all occasionally encounter (and who apparently see basic etiquette as a sign of weakness), hoped Lewinsky would try to avoid "making a scene." Or, to put things more accurately, she hoped Lewinsky would forget who was responsible for any "scene" that would occur, and attempt to avoid the blame for the alternative she chose -- by answering a question she did not want to answer. That was a shameful tactic by the interviewer, and I applaud Lewinsky for calling her bluff.

-- CAV

P.S. I have not seen the TED talk by Lewinsky that Lucas brings up later in her piece.

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