Hotline Interviews David Bauder, John Harris

Choice excerpts from Hotline’s interviews with AP’s David Bauder and the Post’s John Harris when you click below…


David Bauder:

    What was your first job?

    First job, as a teenager, was painting the inside of a building a local company bought as a warehouse. First real job was at the Stamford Advocate in Stamford, Conn., the paper I delivered as a kid. Covered several beats, starting at the bottom — planning and zoning.

    What’s your most embarrassing on-the-job moment? (Or as embarrassing as you’d like to reveal?)

    Writing an entire column about George Stephanopoulos and misspelling his name throughout. I had even double-checked it (as I do every time I write his name) and STILL put the ‘u’ in the wrong place. That one earned me a nasty and deserved letter from the head of the AP. Then there was the time Elvis Costello threatened to kill me, but that’s another story…

    If you could interview any deceased person, who would it be and why?

    I suppose it would be John Lennon. Like tens of millions of other people, I grew up a Beatles freak, and through my job have been fortunate enough to interview Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono. It would have been nice to complete that circle.

    What’s your favorite comfort food?

    Grilled cheese. Yodels for dessert. And, yes, I do need to lose 15 pounds.

John Harris

    What was your first job?

    My first non-paying job was an internship at the Washington Monthly magazine in 1983, during my sophomore year at college. Jonathan Alter, now of Newsweek, was the managing editor under editor in chief Charles Peters. My first paying job was a summer internship in 1983 at the Rochester Times-Union, an afternoon daily that has since folded into the morning Democrat & Chronicle. The boss was Robert Giles, who now runs the Nieman program at Harvard.

    What’s your most embarrassing on-the-job moment? (Or as embarrassing as you’d like to reveal?)

    Did you ever see the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?” There are several incidents for which I would gladly follow Jim Carrey and go to Lacuna Inc. for memory erasure. Among those that spring immediately to mind: Once during my internship at Rochester, I wrote an obituary of a young woman who died in a car crash, and gave her a different first name. Her grieving mother called to point out the error. At the Post, I have committed the common error of sending instant messages talking uncharitably ABOUT a person TO that person. I have concluded the best strategy in such moments is to stay on the offensive and pretend that there was no error–that I meant to let the person know how I felt and wait for them to apologize.

    What is your biggest weakness (and not your job interview biggest weakness)?

    Trust me this is a real weakness, not a job interview one. My work space often looks like a bomb went off. And I last turned in expense accounts in 2004. I blew off a couple grand in 2005 because I could not find the damn receipts and was too busy for an excavation. Perhaps my employer, who pocketed the difference, would consider that a strength, not a weakness. Mike Allen of Time Magazine, a friend of 16 years, is unfortunately my role model in such matters.