Goldberg's infraction? Asking Paulose about, in his words, "the questions surrounding her appointment as U.S. attorney and her management style." (Paulose' age, 35, and her coziness with the Bush administration have caused many to wonder about the conditions surrounding her appointment.)
Brian Lambert reports that Goldberg shot back at his KARE 11 blog, saying Paulose's request was not a "ground rule [but] a joke":
In our industry, ground rules are conditions agreed upon by both parties before an interview takes place. The Paulose press conference didn’t begin with an agreement. It began with a decree...[Cross-posted at Minnesota Monitor.]
A public official, in a public building, at a public meeting, can not tell reporters they are not allowed to ask questions about unpopular topics. That would be like Tony Snow announcing President Bush won’t be taking any questions on Iraq. Come on.
Let’s remember the backdrop:
1. This was the very first press conference Paulose held after three of the top lawyers in her office resigned their management positions and called her management style into question.
2. This was the very first press conference Paulose held after the news broke that the name of her predecessor, Tom Heffelfinger, had surfaced on a Justice Department “hit list.”
3. This was the very first opportunity we had to ask Minnesota’s new U.S. attorney about the scandal surrounding her boss, Alberto Gonzales.
4. This press conference happened to be taking place two days before Monica Goodling, the White House aide who played a role in hiring Paulose, was scheduled to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee.
Knowing all of that, why on earth wouldn’t we ask Rachel Paulose about the elephant in the room?