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When Is An Exclusive Not An Exclusive?

Meet The Press says host David Gregory has a “rare” and “exclusive” interview with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this weekend, so we wondered—when is an interview actually “rare” and “exclusive”?

News orgs tend to throw those kinds of labels around a lot (we’re looking at you Politico) and they don’t always seem like they should apply. It’s one thing to claim an exclusive over a one-time source sucked into the news vortex by circumstances beyond their control (e.g., plane crash survivors, to name a recent example) but it’s another to apply that to a news-making politician.

If Reid’s interview is “exclusive” on Meet The Press, what does that even mean? He’s never talking to another reporter again? He’s never talked a reporter before? Is it time sensitive? Is there an expiration date we don’t know about? It’s exclusive just for Sunday (as in he won’t talk to anyone else on Sunday)? The weekend? The month? Just how long will it be that Reid talks exclusively with Meet The Press?

And what about “rare”? The Senator doesn’t seem to do a lot of interviews, especially of the sit-down and talk type. But we do, after some quick and dirty research, count at least five times already this year, and it’s not just shows you’ve never heard of. Take this “exclusive” one on ABC’s This Week in February. Or this exclusive one. Or this one. Or all of these.

So what would qualify as not rare? Once a month interviews? Once a week? Once a day? We’re interested in your thoughts—but only if they’re exclusively yours.

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