When is it OK to hang up on a reporter?

There is a right way and a wrong way to abruptly end a call with a journalist. This is an example of the wrong way.

Having worked as a reporter, I say absolutely yes.

But there’s a right way and a wrong way to abruptly end a call with the Fourth Estate. The outgoing mayor of a tony Chicago suburb provided an example of the wrong way.

Highland Park Mayor Michael Belsky reportedly directed profanities at the mayoral candidate running against the woman he has endorsed. The Chicago Tribune‘s local section devotes way too many words to the story on its site today.

Read between the lines of this story, and you start to see a picture of a probably frustrated (yet persistent) reporter who’s been assigned a crummy beat. Take these excerpts:

“Belsky hung up twice on a reporter when asked if he used the two-word phrase.

“When asked Tuesday evening if he called her a name, Belsky replied that he was in Connecticut on business, about to have dinner with colleagues, so he couldn’t talk about it further. He hung up in mid-conversation.

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