Hotline Interviews Wilkinson, Jackson

Some samples from Hotline’s recent interviews with Howard Wilkinson (covers politics for the Cincinnati Enquirer) and Herb Jackson (Washington correspondnent for the Bergen Record).


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

    My job interview at the Telegraph. I’d driven all night from another job interview in Dubuque, Iowa, landing at the Telegraph office in Painesville in the early morning. About 8 a.m., I was sitting in the office of the editor, Vern Henry, having what I thought was a pretty good job interview when Vern was called out into the newsroom. He came back about ten minutes later to find me slumped in a chair, snoring. For reasons that mystify me to this day, he hired me anyway.

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

    Lincoln, hands down.

    If you could have any other job besides the one you have now, what would it be?

    In my younger days, I thought I would make a pretty good third baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. That possibility was eliminated at the high school level. If I weren’t doing what I am doing, I think I’d like to be teaching American history, maybe at my old school in Athens, Ohio.

    And finally, we’re ending this feature with a question posed by the last interviewee. This is from Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Jeff E. Schapiro: Of all the politicians you’ve covered, which one would you want to be — and why?

    Mo Udall. It would be something to be that smart and that funny.


    If you could have any other job besides the one you have now, what would it be?

    Writer for The Simpsons or Jon Stewart.

    If you could cover any past political story, which one would it be and why?

    The 1787 constitutional convention, where it all started. Let’s put some guys in a room in Philly and ask them to devise a governmental system that will survive a couple centuries. And make sure they’re guys who don’t trust each other, who use the media to vilify the other guys, and even sometimes get into duels.

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

    I can’t remember people’s names when I first meet them. I’m told this is a sign of arrogance. And I’m told I have some problems writing to length.

    What’s your favorite comfort food?