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How To Not Sound Like an Idiot on TV

When the good folks at You Tube approached us about participating in their new Reporters Center project, we thought: What the heck.

After scanning our brain (it didn't take long) about what wisdom we could impart to aspiring young journalists, we settled on some simple advice about how to avoid making your first television interview your last.

The result -- shot brilliantly by Post Digital's Whitney Shefte -- is below.

Videos by Katie Couric, Bob Woodward and Scott Simon are trouncing the Fix's submission in page views at the moment so strike a blow for the new media and give it a click.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 29, 2009; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Interestingly, Savannah Guthrie married English-born BBC News producer Mark Orchard in 2005:

WaPo staff reporter, Anne Kornblut, had been married to Orchard (at the Ashby Inn in Paris, Virginia, in a service conducted by an Episcopal priest, and they honeymooned in Baja California) since September 2, 2001. Kornblut is currently engaged to Washington Post pollster, Jon Cohen.

Small world, ain't it?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

How To Not Sound Like an Idiot on TV

Are you referring to Dana Milbank who actually paraded his idiocy on tv this weekend? Maybe you can help your friend, he looked like a 12 year old fighting with his parents. Next time I hope they leave dana off the panel and let the adults discuss.

Schmucks like milbank keep their jobs and the true journalists like Froomkin are let go. Where's the logic in that?

Posted by: NotFooledByDistractionsTX | June 29, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe they kept you and lost Froomkin.

How about:

1. Tell the truth (especially to power, something you clearly have a problem with)
2. Support your statements with facts that can be verified and references to actual humans who might know something about what you are saying, not just assertions (like "Some have said that you are partial to goat fornication...")
3. Address both proponents and detractors of your position and show why the detractors are wrong (as opposed to claiming all detractors are the "radical left wing, Islamocommunist, fascist, haters")
4. Avoid the villager mindset (I know its hard to see it when you are in it, create it, laud it, perpetuate it, revel in it)

Just a start....

Posted by: srw3 | June 29, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"And Savannah Guthrie is really hot - so good job!"

Ah, so that's who that is. I'm not really familiar with what Andrea Mitchell looks like, but I don't remember her being nearly as attractive.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The most important thing that you said on that Chris was to talk about what you know about. If you listen to the Newshour on PBS the experts on that show are the best about only commenting on their area of expertise. On the opposite end of the spectrum are most of the people on Fox News and a few folks on MSNBC, especially Hardball and Rachel Madden (present company excluded of course, CC)

Posted by: AndyR3 | June 29, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Awesome video Cilizza. Informative and funny. And Savannah Guthrie is really hot - so good job!

Posted by: guptabrendan | June 29, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse


You are sounding too much like a campaign consultant than reporter. Stop it! You are scaring me!

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Posted by: ussmcdaniel | June 29, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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