Ambush by media

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An ambush by media is an unexpected question designed to catch the interviewee, typically a conservative, off guard in order to cast him or her in a misleading light. The question is often irrelevant to issues of importance to voters or the topic of the interview.

Examples include:

Interviewer Interviewee Question asked Analysis
Charles Gibson Sarah Palin "Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?"[1] "Bush doctrine" is silly media jargon unfamiliar to most people, yet the question was phrased as though Palin should know and accept the term; Gibson then refused to explain what he meant by the trick question.
Katie Couric Sarah Palin Name three Supreme Court cases that were wrongly decided.[2] Joe Biden, asked a similar question on a separate interview, apparently could not even identify the name of a Supreme Court case that invalidated legislation that he had sponsored, yet he received almost no criticism.