Forget 'House of Cards': Watch a real reporter sweat a politician

Sometimes real life outdoes fiction. In the current political cycle, you won't find a better example of that than the video below of the Topeka Capitol-Journal's Tim Carpenter nailing Milton Wolf's hide to the wall.

Wolf, a radiologist, is a Tea Party candidate hoping to dislodge Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) from his senate seat. Among his claims to fame is that he's a distant relative of President Obama. Thanks to Carpenter, he's now famous for something else: posting horrific X-ray images of gunshot victims on his Facebook page, accompanied by jocular repartee. Next to a posting of an image of a person decapitated by gunfire, for example, Wolf wrote: "What kind of gun blows somebody's head completely off? I've got to get one of those."

Carpenter's article about Wolf's behavior is here. In this accompanying eight-minute video you can watch Carpenter confront Wolf with the images and home in for his explanation. 

This is how a real journalist goes about his job. It's the most professional, effective interview of a politician we've witnessed in our decades in the business. No histrionics, but brutal in its impact. It should be screened for every journalism class in the country, as well as every newsroom and not a few writers' rooms in Hollywood. (Are you listening, "House of Cards"?)

Pay special attention to how Carpenter hauls Wolf back to the subject at hand when the candidate tries to distract him with baloney. On "Meet the Press," they would have accepted Wolf's defense that this was all aimed at "educating" people about the consequences of evil and then moved on to a commercial. 

Reach me at @hiltzikm on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or by email. MORE FROM MICHAEL HILTZIK

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