I have a friend with schizophrenia who doesn't communicate well face-to-face. However he can carry a conversation perfectly well on the phone. Probably something to do with 'information overload.'
Is it possible that one of these reporters has a similar problem, where they need to have some distance from the person they are communicating with? Even to the point of pretending the other person is a great distance away?
Just a theory...
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings
Call me flak-catcher.