Comment: Thank you Jan for your unique and excellent work

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Thank you Jan for your unique and excellent work

I think the people who say it's annoying that Jan appears to "badger" the interviewee are missing the point.

The people he's interviewing are professional question-dodgers. They normally get away with dodging the question because no one with a press pass is willing to call them out on their dodging. Jan is basically doing what each of us wants to do when we see these people on TV -- to say "you haven't answered the question, and we will NOT move on to the next question and pretend you've given a real answer!"

A lot of interviewers will try to subtly "repeat" a question by reframing it and hoping for a different answer. Prosecutors do this too. Problem is, when you're dealing with professional question-dodgers, they're too clever for this.

Jan tries to politely repeat his questions by saying things like "I'm trying to get at the principle, and here's that principle I'm getting at and my particular question."

The practice of refusing to accept non-answers to interview questions has been done less politely by people like Jeremy Paxman, in this incredibly entertaining interview: http://youtu.be/Uwlsd8RAoqI?t=2m20s (I queued it up to where the fun starts)

I'm sure there's room for improvement on Jan's work but I think he does an amazing job and I think this is one of those things where it's not nearly as easy as it looks. Just by the nature of the kind of interviews Jan is doing, it's a given that a lot of his interviews are going to flame out, as well as that he'll need to trial-and-error things a bit. But if you look at the "best of" reel of Jan's interviews, he has captured some amazing interactions that really expose so much.

My favorite are his interviews with the congressional black caucus trying to defend the claim that their rule of not allowing "full membership" to non-black members is somehow not a form of racism.