Here are more answers to your questions from John Roberts. I've been told that JR is subbing on American Morning this week. And Book Asylum has sent us a link to a post JR did Tuesday, on Tony Snow.
From Carrie M.
What type of story do you most enjoy reporting? Is it politics, war from the front lines, breaking news, human interest stories, or something else and why?
JR: To be honest, I like them all. Politics is great because you’re covering the evolution of the nation. Wars are non-stop adrenaline, as is breaking news (though without the bombs and bullets) and human interest stories are rewarding (particularly a story like Hurricane Katrina). Wars are probably the most interesting stories to cover – there are so many aspects to them. But every time you go to one, you push your luck, and luck can only be pushed so many times before it jumps up and bites you big-time. I’ve lost some good friends in Iraq.
From Fran M:
Where does he like to go on vacation?
JR: We do a lot of beaching – Outer Banks or Martha’s Vineyard in the summer – Caribbean in the winter – my daughter just loves the ocean. My son goes to school in Colorado – so we always try to make a point of getting in a few days of skiing every winter. My favorite vacation of all time, though was two weeks in Tuscany. We had a great house on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. It was just magical.
What’s on your nightstand? What are you reading for pleasure, for work and what’s your most recent read?
JR: A lamp and Bose wave radio are the permanent fixtures. Temporary occupants right now include Vali Nasr’s Shia Revival, Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope, Time and Newsweek, and the latest issues of BikeWorks and Guitar Player magazines.
Shia Revival is my latest read…just finishing it. I work on my motorcycles myself a lot, so I read BikeWorks for tips on repairs and modifications, and Guitar Player has some good lessons to further my playing. My problem is that I read so much research during the day, and work such long hours that by the time I pick up a book at home, I read for about 15 minutes, then fall dead asleep. It can take me weeks to finish a book.
From M. Silva:
Who is the most interesting person you have interviewed?
JR: I think Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf back in 1999. He had survived an assassination attempt, taken control of the country and was in the middle of a nuclear standoff with India. It was pretty compelling stuff.
If you could select ANY topic to cover in-depth for a 2 hour special, or a series of specials, what would the topic be?
JR: I think the climate change crisis facing the world. It’s probably going to be the most important story of our lifetime, and lifetimes to come.
As a journalist, what is your honest opinion, about the progress in Iraq?
JR: As I said on This Week At War last weekend, I believe that we are beginning to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The open question: Is it success? Or an oncoming train? Things in Baghdad have become marginally better in just the past few weeks. Now the challenge is to sustain that and build upon it. But when I was there in October/November, it was a total disaster.
Do you want the "more important" story to take precedence over the "breaking news" and how is the distinction made, if any?
JR: It’s a tough call. Some stories are important. Some are ‘interesting’. I’ll always lead with the story that’s most important to our viewers. It’s often a judgment call, which is why, on occasion, you’ll see three different leads on the network newscasts.
Did you ever just have one of those days? Well Tuesday was like that for me. I spent the entire day working on my taxes, with little success. I wasn't even looking forward to AC360, just stressing about some lost files. So DH (this time it stands for damn husband) decided to search the computer for my missing documents, in an effort to relieve my stress. For some reason he did a shut down and stopped my recording during the second hour of the show. But of course my favorite moment of the night came during the second hour.
Did you catch it? My buddy Mike Watkiss was back on the show. He looks so distinguished since he shave off the Elvis sideburns. I always enjoy Mike's take on the polygamy story. He has lived and breathed Warren Jeffs for many, many years. It was so kind of Anderson to mention that Mike is going to receive an Edward R. Murrow award. In the news business that's a big deal. Congratulations Mike!
I'm ashamed to call John McCain my senator, especially after his asinine comments today on the safety in Iraq. Michael 'balls of steel' Ware said 'the Senator couldn't be further from the truth'. I've got an idea, why don't we all pitch in and buy Johnny Mac a ticket to Baghdad and tell him to take a stroll? I'd pay big bucks to see that.
On a related note I thought MW was looking better tonight than he has in ages. Maybe having Kyra Phillips in Iraq has brightened his spirits? I can't believe Mic has been in Iraq since 2003. He's an amazing journalist.
Most of Tuesday's second hour was taken up with Breaking News. It always seems like a tough call when it comes to this type of coverage. There wasn't much to report tonight and AC seemed to struggle with keeping it moving. You'd almost have to be a psychic to know if this story will be tomorrow's headline or something that fades away into oblivion. For the sake of the captives I hope it ends up being a non story.
There was another very well done story, by Drew Griffin, about child abuse at the hands of a priest on Tuesday's show. There is nothing funny about this topic, but it did remind me of an email I got from a reader on Monday night. He asked me if I could hear birds during AC360. Birds? Do you have any idea what he was talking about? Well it seems that CNN has now added sound effects to that annoying, spinning graphic that they impose on the bottom right corner of our screens. It was bad enough before, but I could almost ignore it. CNN must have sensed that and so they have now made it completely impossible to ignore. CNN please fire the graphics guy who creates the whirl-a-gigs and strangle the sound effects guy while you're at it. Thank you!
And here is where we stop for tonight. No Christiane Amanpour, Tom Foreman or Mike Watkiss. I'll be sure to pass your complaints on the DH, believe me. Oh yes, one more thing, Mr. Cooper you need to take care of that cold. You're sounding so stuffy.