Sorry, I didn't mean to be on the record. My bad.

Sometimes interviews are on the record, sometimes they’re not. But what happens when a company’s PR rep changes their mind at the end of an interview? Something like this, courtesy of State Impact New Hampshire.

Q: So for my post, can you tell me a little bit about GMO?

A: Sure.  It’s a $100 billion institutional money management firm.

Q: Do they only invest in land, or do they have a wider portfolio?

A: They invest in a variety of different things.

Q: Great.  Thank you. [about to hang up]

A: I’d rather not be quoted on any of this.

Q: Wait…what?  You don’t want to be quoted declining to comment or describing the company?

A: No.

Q: But you’re the PR guy!  You know you’re on record when you talk to the media.  Are you seriously asking me not to quote you declining to comment?

A: We’re just declining to comment.

Q: Seriously, what’s with the cloak-and-dagger?  This is all pretty straight-forward.

A: It’s not cloak-and-dagger.  We’re just declining to comment.  Declining to comment is just declining to comment.

Q: I’m going to quote you on what you said.

A: Ok.  Let me know if I can help you any more.

Q: (Laughing) I would, but I doubt you could go on the record declining to answer my questions.

A: (Laughing)…Thanks!  Click.

Check out Boomtown, a multimedia piece about fracking in Towanda, Pennsylvania. It was reported by StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow, photographed by NPR’s Becky Lettenberger. The project was produced by Wesley Lindamood, Christopher Swope, Claire O'Neill, Jessica Pupovac, Yan Lu and John Stefany.

Photo Credit: Becky Lettenberger/NPR