5 Questions For…Lisa Myers

By Alissa Krinsky 

Alissa Krinsky
TVNewser Contributor

Lisa Myers is Senior Investigative Correspondent at NBC News. Since joining the network in 1981, she has served as chief congressional correspondent, covered six presidential campaigns, and was lead correspondent on the Enron and Lewinsky stories. Previously, Myers was The Washington Star‘s White House reporter, and the Chicago Sun-Times‘ Washington correspondent. Myers, a University of Missouri graduate, grew up in Webb City, Missouri.

1. TVNewser: The state of investigative broadcast journalism in 2007:
Myers: Better than advertised. Despite financial pressures on virtually all traditional forms of media, including networks, NBC and other organizations have maintained their commitment to investigative journalism, which is expensive and often controversial. NBC News President Steve Capus, in particular, has been unflinching in providing the resources and support needed. In co-hosting the Dupont Awards last year, I also was pleasantly surprised by how much terrific, high-quality investigative work still is being done at all levels of broadcast journalism, including local stations.

2. TVNewser: Making the switch from political reporting to full-time investigative journalism has been…
Myers: Fantastic. I admit to the occasional pang when a great political story breaks during the presidential race, and I still get involved in political coverage from time to time. But mostly I am relieved to be away from the hyper-partisanship and incessant spinning, and love what I am doing now. I find this assignment more challenging, more intense and much more rewarding.

3. TVNewser: The most interesting part of covering the 1980 Ronald ReaganJimmy Carter battle (for The Washington Star):
Myers: It was my first big presidential campaign so everything was interesting. In my view, Ronald Reagan’s political team (and first White House staff) was the most savvy and the most professional of the many I’ve covered. Reagan himself was charming, but kept such distance from the press during the campaign that one day, out of desperation, the press corps tried to interview a portrait of the Gipper being loaded on a plane.

During that campaign, I also saw my favorite political banner. Gov. Reagan had just caused a stir by saying trees caused potentially dangerous pollution. So we show up at a California college campus and find a banner strung between 2 lovely oleander trees. It read: CHOP ME DOWN BEFORE I KILL AGAIN!

4. TVNewser: The most difficult-to-crack investigative story I’ve ever worked on:
Myers: Hard to identify just one. Certainly, trying to penetrate and report on the Army’s procurement system as we’ve done twice recently is a daunting challenge, even when plenty of folks inside the Pentagon offer up information to support their belief that the system isn’t always getting the best possible equipment for soldiers.

5. TVNewser: Having Tim Russert as a boss is…
Myers: Invaluable. At risk of sounding like a total suckup, Tim makes us all better and is most generous…as a friend, fellow reporter, and consigliere. And there’s no one I’d rather have in my corner in a fight!