Panel Rates Condit's Performance

He would've been better off not doing this interview. If I were his lawyer, I would never have let this guy do this. He blew it.

Overall Grade: D. (I don't give an "F" if you show up.)

Dr. Mark Goulston Condit's Strong Points:

He held his ground. What viewers don't realize is that interviewers like Connie Chung take on the challenge of trying to capture a person in a lie.

She kept forcing the issue about him not revealing the issue of his relationship. He stood his ground and that frustrated her. But it was appropriate for that line of questioning.

It would have been revealing if Connie Chung would have asked, "Have you ever told a lie in your life? Give an example." What you would be looking for is a change in body language when someone owns up to a lie. If he said he never lied, he runs the risk of getting cornered as did Detective Mark Fuhrman in the Simpson trial when he said he never said the "N-word." [Goulston worked for the prosecution in the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson.]

Condit's Weak Points: He looked as if he expected these questions and his answers seemed so rehearsed that it took away from him appearing believable to the viewer. But we need to keep in mind that if he acted on the defensive it's because he was being attacked.

Some other questions that would have been revealing: "Tell us something that bothers your conscience about this whole matter." "What is something you would have done differently if you went through this ordeal again?" And one of my favorites: "Tell us something you shouldn't tell us." These are questions that are hard to come up with pat answers for. They are questions that he couldn't prepare for and we'd have the benefit of seeing if his spontaneous responses rang true.

Did he strengthen or weaken his credibility?

I think he weakened his credibility only because when someone appears on the defensive we immediately assume he is hiding something and we tend to ignore the reporter being on the attack.

Overall Grade:

D+/C- His defensiveness came across as evasiveness.

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