NPR’s Brian Naylor Talks to Hotline

Hotline sits down with NPR’s Brian Naylor and we learn how he has no idea who Bill O’Reilly is and how he once botched the announcement of Golda Meir’s death.

The full interview after the jump…


Out Of Sight, But On The Air

Brian Naylor covers Capitol Hill for NPR. After almost a decade of reporting on Congress, he now focuses on the issues, people, and events of the Mid-Atlantic region. Before becoming NPR’s congressional corr., he was a WH corr. for the network. Before joining NPR, he covered politics for WOSU-FM in Columbus, OH. But today he’s our Friday Feature:

Where’s your hometown? What was it like growing up there?

Pound Ridge NY. It’s a rural suburb of NYC, with lots of woods and a small town feel. But the big city was only about 50 miles away, so it was a pretty cool place to grow up.

What was your first job?

I worked in the town’s hardware store. Learned lots about nails and screws and stuff.

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

I worked in a small radio station in Maine after graduating from college. A bulletin came over the wire service that said Golda Meir had died. I rushed into the studio and in my best radio voice breathlessly announced “Indira Ghandi is dead.”

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

Lincoln for all the obvious reasons. And Lyndon Johnson. I find him an incredibly fascinating and complex character. It would be wonderful to see him in action as Senate Majority Leader.

It’s 2026 — where are you and what are you doing?

Sailing on the Chesapeake. Or maybe on a photo safari in Africa.

Name your favorite vacation spot.

Kauai. Or Maine.

What is your favorite book and why?

Anything Elmore Leonard has written. He is such a craftsman, with a great ear for the way people speak. I want to be him when I grow up.

What would be your last meal — ever?

You mean like if I was on death row? I have a friend who grills a mean marinated leg of lamb. And some kind of chocolate ice cream.

What is the first section of the newspaper you read?

Um, sports.

And finally, we’re ending this feature with a question posed by the last interviewee. This is from Harry Jaffe: Why do we care about or even cover Bill O’Reilly? Isn’t he starting to sound as whacky as Pat Robertson?

Bill who?

Now you can pose your own question — any question — to the next interviewee. Be as nice, or as mean, as you wish.

If Barry Bonds breaks Babe Ruths’ and Henry Aarons’ home run records should there be an asterisk next to his name?