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采访特朗普,一种独特的新闻体验

更新时间:2017-7-26 10:37:46 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The New Presidential Interview
采访特朗普,一种独特的新闻体验

WASHINGTON — As we walked out the door of the West Wing, the one sometimes guarded by a uniformed Marine and used by the president to greet visiting heads of state, editors back in the office texted the obvious question: Did we have any news?

华盛顿——当我们走出白宫西翼的大门——也就是时有身着制服的海军陆战队员把守,供总统迎接来访国家元首的那扇门——后方编辑发来短信,问了一个显而易见的问题:我们拿到什么新闻了吗?

Um, yes. Yes, we did. My colleagues Maggie Haberman, Michael Schmidt and I had just finished an interview with President Trump one day last week and the challenge was not whether there was a headline but how many.

呃,是的。的确拿到了。上周的一天,我和同事麦吉·哈博曼(Maggie Haberman)、迈克尔·施密特(Michael Schmidt)刚刚完成了一次对特朗普总统的采访,现在的困难不是能否拿出头条新闻,而是要拿出多少条。

In just 50 minutes, the president undercut his attorney general by saying he regretted appointing him, accused a former F.B.I. director of trying to leverage compromising information against him, hinted that he might fire the special counsel examining Russian election meddling if the investigation strayed too far into his finances, and revealed that he had talked about sanctions with Russia’s president.

在短短50分钟里,总统说自己对司法部长的任命感到后悔,从而令这位部长陷入不利境地,他指责一位前FBI局长试图用泄密信息来害他,暗示如果有关俄罗斯选举干预的调查过于深入到他的财务状况,他可能会将特别检察官解职,他还透露自己曾和俄罗斯总统讨论过制裁事宜。

Whatever else he is, Mr. Trump is a news machine. He generates headlines every time he speaks. He has made the White House press corps a growth industry. With other presidents, we sometimes struggled to find nuggets of news in an interview; with Mr. Trump we were overwhelmed. After the session on Wednesday, I have now interviewed seven presidents — some in office, some after they left — and with Mr. Trump the experience is strikingly different in almost every respect.

无论如何,特朗普先生首先是一台新闻制造机。他每一次张嘴说话,都会产生新闻。他把白宫记者团变成了一个朝阳产业。若是其他的总统,有时候一次采访下来想挖出点新闻会很困难;可特朗普先生让我们应接不暇。在周三的采访过后,我总共采访了七位总统——有的是在任,有的已卸任——采访特朗普先生的经历,从任何方面看都有着惊人的不同。

Bill Clinton was discursive, ranging widely over a variety of topics and citing at length arguments, anecdotes or pieces of information that had recently fascinated him, whether or not they related to the day’s news. He read voraciously and usually had a lot on his mind. These interviews were invariably compelling but not necessarily newsy, and pinning him down on questions was a challenge.

比尔·克林顿喜欢东拉西扯,广泛谈及各种话题,大段大段地提及最近引起他兴趣的观点、趣闻或零散的信息,不管这和当前的新闻是否有关。他的阅读量很大,脑子里通常塞着很多事情。这样的采访始终是很有意思的,但不见得有新闻,很难用提问来限定他的思路。

George W. Bush was more concise and stayed on topic — generally more reflective, thoughtful and informed than he was given credit for but highly disciplined about sticking to the message he wanted to impart. He gave interviews when he had a point to make. The trick was crafting a question that would surprise him and get him off script to say what he really thought about something.

乔治·W·布什要更简练,会紧扣主题——他的反思、缜密和见识没有得到应有的肯定,不过他会非常严谨地局限于他想传达的讯息。针对他的窍门是设计一个让他感到意外的问题,让他脱离脚本,说说他对某事的真实想法。

Barack Obama enjoyed the give and take of an interview, but there was more give than take. He preferred professorial answers, speaking in full paragraphs. He was smart, logical and impressive. But reporters with long lists of questions watched the clock tick and strained to politely interrupt the world’s most powerful person in order to get to more than just a few of them.

贝拉克·奥巴马喜欢有来有往的访谈,但是“往”要多一些。他倾向于冠冕堂皇的回答,说话是成段落的。他聪明,讲逻辑,相当出色。但是记者手拿着一长串的问题,看着时间一点点过去,要硬着头皮去礼貌地打断这个掌握当今世界无上权力的人,以便让更多的问题得到回答。

None of these men came close to Mr. Trump in his capacity to provoke. A product of the New York tabloid world, Mr. Trump has an unerring instinct for saying things that will produce gasps. An aide may try to steer him away from perilous topics or suggest that something be said off the record, but he usually plows forward anyway. Indeed, while other presidents are routinely joined by multiple advisers and an official stenographer for such interviews, just one aide was present at ours.

在挑起争议的能力上,这些人都无法和特朗普相提并论。作为纽约小报世界的产物,特朗普先生有一种从不失手的直觉,总能说出制造轰动效应的东西。助手也许会尝试让他绕开凶险的话题,或建议他要求这段话不得报道,但通常他都会勇往直前。事实上,别的总统在做这样的采访时都会有多名顾问和一名速记员在场,而他只有一名助手。

This is hardly heedless. Mr. Trump toggled from on the record to off the record with remarkable fluidity. Clearly he was conscious that some things would be problematic if quoted, so it’s fair to conclude that the provocative things he said on the record were intentionally so. When we asked more than once whether he might fire the special counsel, he very consciously avoided a direct answer. (We pressed him repeatedly to stay on the record, and the vast majority of the time he did.)

这很难说是掉以轻心。特朗普极为顺畅地在公开谈话和非公开谈话之间切换。他显然明白,自己的一些话如果被引用是有问题的,因此可以公允地判定,他公开发表一些易于引发争议的言论时是有意为之。我们不止一次地问及他是否会将特别顾问解职,而他非常自觉地避免直接给出答案。(我们反复敦促他做出公开发言,绝大多数时间里他也都做到了。)

Unlike with other presidents, though, there was no need to knock him off the script. He happily answered every question we asked, even if it would ultimately overshadow the designated messages of the day — in this case health care and made-in-America economics.

不过,和采访其他总统相当不同,我们跟本没有必要引导他,不去照本宣科。他乐于回答我们问的每一个问题,哪怕相关问题最终会遮蔽当天他要传达的既定信息——这次是医改和美国制造经济学。

When it came to the Russia matter, he easily could have dismissed questions by saying — as have other presidents — that he could not comment on a continuing investigation. Instead, he teed off, presumably because he wanted to.

在被问及关于俄罗斯的问题时,他原本满可以像其他总统那样置之不理,敷衍以他不会就正在进行的调查置评之类的说辞。但他却打开了话匣子——很可能是因为他想要这样做。

With Mr. Trump, the conversation is more rat-a-tat. He doesn’t mind if you interject. But he tends to veer wildly from thought to thought, moving on before you’ve fully explored what he just said.

与特朗普的交谈节奏更快。他不介意你插嘴。但他常常不着边际地转换话题,你还没把他刚说的话研究透,他已经开始说别的了。

His precision can be suspect — among other things, he mixed up details of a letter written by James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director; misconstrued the point of a story in The New York Times that annoyed him; and claimed that some people get health insurance for $12 a year. But the conversation moves so quickly from one newsworthy topic to another that it is hard to challenge each assertion.

其言辞的准确度值得怀疑——他弄混了由詹姆斯·B·科米(James B. Comey)写的一封信的某些细节;对一篇令他烦恼的《纽约时报》文章的观点进行了错误的解读;还声称一些人一年花12美元就能拥有医疗保险。然而,谈话飞快地在一个个极具新闻价值的话题之间转换,很难就他的每一个说法进行质疑。

For all the troubles of his presidency — he had just come from lunch with Republican senators trying to resurrect a health care bill that most think is dead — we found him in a relaxed, upbeat mood. There was none of the fiery media bashing that marks his public appearances. Is that, then, shtick to fire up the base, or genuine grievance? Probably a measure of both.

特朗普上任后遇到了各种各种的麻烦——他此前刚刚结束与一些共和党参议员的午餐,试图复活一项在大多数人看来完全没有了希望的医保法案——但我们发现他的情绪轻松而又乐观。接受采访时,他并没有像在公开场合常做的那样,针对媒体展开愤怒的抨击。那么,这种做法是旨在带动基础选民热情的小把戏吗,又或真是胸有块垒?可能两者兼而有之。

But he said he would talk with us again, even though we were from the “failing New York Times.”

但他说,他会再次和我们交谈,尽管我们来自“江河日下的《纽约时报》”。

We’re available anytime.

我们不论何时都有空。

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