Today we feature what we hope to be one of many pairs of interviews we conduct with journalists from opposing sides of the political spectrum. Can’t we all get along? Of course not. And worse, we’d all be out of business and bored if everyone got along. The purpose here isn’t to foster better feelings between journalists on either end of the spectrum. It’s to see what happens when we bring two opposing forces together, be it a brawl, a handshake or a kiss. We’ll rate the temperature of the interview in flames on a scale of 1 to 10 flames (1 is obviously lukewarm, 10 is get the hell out of the building and fast!).
Our debut guinea pigs are Current TV’s and WeActRadio host David Shuster and TWT Senior Op-ed Columnist Emily Miller. Future interviews may bring the pair together in person or by phone — the feature will evolve. Want to be paired up with a liberal or conservative journalist for an interview or tell us who you’d like to see featured? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Betsy@mediabistro.com.
1. How do you feel being at the Democratic National Convention? Please describe the experience.
Emily: As a conservative, I feel like a fish out of water…. even with the torrential downpours we get everyday. To get interviews, I’ve had to catch people walking between the arena and the convention center. That’s how I got Ashley Judd, Terry McCauliffe and Bill Burton. They are trapped on the narrow sidewalk with the barriers on the inside, so there’s no escape. That said, they have all been very accommodating and gracious in giving the Democratic positions on issues, which I appreciate because hearing from both sides makes for stronger opinion pieces.
David: I feel drained. The long walk through security each day is horrific. Seriously, I had an easier time getting into Baghdad’s green zone during Iraq’s civil war then I’ve had getting past the security checkpoints into this convention.
2. What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen?
Emily: I went from a sea of blue blazers and summer shift dresses at the Republican convention in Tampa to Minnie Mouse guy and rainbow angel guy. And I’m too stiff, but I keep getting jolted by people breaking into song and dance in their seats.
David: Five or six concession stand workers were just getting hammered trying to accommodate a lengthy line of delegates and others trying to order food. A delegate with an AFSCME cap (American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees) started proclaiming in a very loud voice that it was “time to organize and unionize” the concession workers because “after all, this is a Democratic convention.” Indeed, but maybe the dems should have thought about this ahead of time as opposed to the moment they crave a bobcat burger?
3. Any disturbing moments?
Emily: It’s a shock to see women walking around sporting the “SLUTS VOTE” pins that are being given out by the Illinois delegation.
David: I was a bit disturbed when a few of the Breitbart folks started flirting with me. Ewwww.
4. Best thing you’ve eaten so far this week?
Emily: The only food in the Time Warner arena is concessions. I managed to hold out on the junk food all day Tuesday, but by the time Rahm Emanuel spoke, I was hungry enough to bite off my own finger. After asking the concessions lady for any grilled options, I finally gave in and ordered fries. I coated them in ketchup and sneaked them in the food-banned arena for Michelle Obama’s speech. I felt her glaring from the stage.
David: The best thing I’ve eaten this week? Yikes. I’ve been working around the clock. And unlike some of my former colleagues at various cable networks, I haven’t had time to sample Charlotte’s finest restaurants. So, the best thing I’ve eaten is something that I normally avoid — a grilled Nathan’s hot dog.
5. Best conversation — with whom, about what?…
Emily: The one and only Rev. Jesse Jackson. I found him on radio row and asked him about my favorite topic — guns. He looked down at me and intoned: “Who. Are. You? ” I said, “Emily Miller from The Washington Times.” He stared down and paused, then told me there should be laws against all semi-automatic guns because they are “assault weapons.” I started to explain to him that, to do that, he’d have to get about 100 million guns removed from the country, but then I realized this conversation was better if I just let him keep talking.
David: The best conversation this week was on my Take Action News Radio show with friend and Current TV colleague Bill Press. We talked about the conservative argument that “sperm is sacred.” Then we talked about eggs… and then we roared with laughter over a quip that your readers will just have to see for themselves on WeActRadio.com.
6. Advice for Emily Miller (and David Shuster) on his/her coverage.
Emily: David definitely should not wear high heels in Charlotte. I learned that lesson in Tampa and have 16 BandAids on my feet and only wear flats now. Also, he shouldn’t spend too much time on his hair in the morning because the rain will make him frizz.
David: Advice for Emily Miller’s coverage: Emily is great and doesn’t need any advice from me. Still, I wish she would post more links to her stuff on twitter. He explained, I tend to see her stuff from links through other people… but not her. It may be that I am missing her tweets. [On another front], I’d advise Emily not to tweet about Charlotte weather forecasts. I mentioned that the forecast I saw for Thursday night wasn’t that bad and got killed on Twitter by folks taking cues from the DNC. So, stick with news and politics and avoid inconclusive reports from Accuweather.
Rating: 5 flames. Emily and David were extremely cordial with each other. It’s touching how she worried about his feet and potentially frizzy locks. In turn, David complimented her and seemed to be trying to protect her from Twitter attacks. Just today in the Charlotte Convention Center, Emily noticed that David is sitting two rows away from her. She was going to approach, but soon she noticed that David’s eyes were shut — he looked to be catching a few zzzz’s .