Hill’s statement on Obama camp should be considered with caution

“Obama vows to ‘change’ America” (8/29) is in many ways an admirable article, but its author, when quoting Yale diplomat-in-residence Charles Hill, ought to have noted that Hill was a top foreign-policy advisor to Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. News readers who know of Hill’s recent political activism might view differently his comment that Barack Obama’s campaign has been “fairly bereft of any but slight indicators of what specific policies he has in mind.”

In fact, this reader is curious if Hill himself disclosed the Giuliani connection before giving a quotation to the reporter. It’s a connection far more relevant than the modest sums that many Yale staff members, faculty and students (my Obama-supporting self included) give to political campaigns.

Mark Oppenheimer

Director, Yale Journalism Initiative


  • RC69

    You could make the automatic assumption that since Hill had once been a political partisan, his opinions are forever suspect - as is the case with such lights as Carville or Shrum - or you could think for yourself and judge the truth of his statements.
    What'll it be?

  • ES2006

    You could make the assumption that Oppenheimer is offering a political opinion here -- and perhaps he is -- or you could say that he, as a professional journalist, is reminding student journalists to provide relevant disclosures in their articles. Were Shrum or Carville a Yale professor critiquing a Republican presidential candidate, I'm sure he would advise the same.

  • monty


    I’m writing a Yale Daily News article on commentary both offline and online––including on the News’ website.

    As one of the site’s frequent posters, I’d like to talk to you about comment forums, what motivates you to comment, the benefits of anonymity and how you view the internet/News more generally.

    My guess is that you’d prefer to remain anonymous–– and as such, would there be a good time to talk tomorrow or Thursday on the phone or, if you prefer, via questions over this email thread?