When it was announced that I would be asking some of the questions at the CNN-moderated debate among would-be GOP presidential nominees on September 16, I expected a brief burst of attention from the MSM, and it arrived.
I didn’t expect requests for “profiles,” but the injection of a conservative journalist into a previously “MSM-only” preserve was more than a one-day story it turns out.
I have been “profiled” on a few occasions in my quarter-century behind the mic, most memorably in the New Yorker by the then-dean of the Columbia School of Journalism Nick Lemann. I’d also sat down for the three-hour C-SPAN marathon “In-Depth” with Peter Slen and run the most rigorous gamut of them all, a Q-and-A with the best in the business Brian Lamb
Today’s profile in the National Journal by Shane Goldmacher and yesterday’s in The Huffington Post by Michael Calderone are both fair and detailed accounts of how I approach journalism and the 2016 race in particular. Goldmacher and Calderone are both good-natured reporters, who were genuinely interested in how I think the GOP race ought to be covered. Neither came with trick questions or the intention to do other than tell the story of how I report on people running for president.
Media is changing so rapidly that this basic attitude of good-natured curiosity is going to be the only thing that survives as a marker of reliability. As both Goldmacher and Calderone note, I have lots and lots of MSM guests on my radio show –yesterday’s program included James Rosen of the Fox News Channel, Philip Rucker of The Washington Post, David Drucker of the Washington Examiner and Nick Confessore of The New York Times, today will feature NBC’s Chuck Todd and CNN’s Jake Tapper was a guest earlier in the week. All of these guests and many more people from media share in common this basic good-natured, good-humored curiosity and fairness. That’s what makes them excellent guests and respected, reliable reporters. That’s what readers, listeners and viewers want, and the skills set of a good reporter/commentator combined with this attitude is going to take over all media, left and right, MSM and new, online and traditional. As it should have, long ago.