ICGB   70-246  , 220-801   N10-006   70-461   VCP550   642-999   CISM   200-125  , CISM   70-177  , 200-120   300-320   1Z0-144   JK0-022   300-209   200-355   NSE4   1Y0-201   300-206  , 2V0-620   70-412   MB2-707   300-208  , 1Z0-060   PEGACPBA71V1   LX0-103   000-105   300-209   000-080   1Y0-201   642-732   70-177   70-410   74-678   101-400   MB2-707   MB5-705   500-260   1Z0-051   700-501   MB2-704   70-412  , 70-177   300-209   070-461   2V0-621D   3002   200-125  , CISM   70-410   810-403   220-901   300-115   350-018   000-104   1Z0-803   OG0-091   M70-101  , 200-355   74-678   70-461   210-065  , 2V0-621   200-125  , CAP  , CAS-002   200-310   N10-006   100-101   70-483   MB6-703  , CISSP   1z0-808   300-115   000-089  , 070-461   70-980   70-412   642-732   CAS-002   70-463   350-018   220-801   M70-101   CCA-500   70-461  , MB6-703   102-400   HP0-S42   102-400   74-678   640-911   210-260   SY0-401   350-080   70-243   70-980  ,

Episode 16, with guests Betsy Fischer, Executive Producer of “Meet The Press” and Prof. Alan Schroeder, Debate Macher from Northeastern U.

Betsy Fischer and Alan Schroeder are our interview guests this week
Show produced by Katherine Caperton
Original Air Date: June 25, 2011 on SiriusXM Satellite Radio “POTUS” Channel 124.  Click above to listen.
Listen to the show by clicking on the bar above.
Show also available for download on Apple iTunes by clicking here

The only sure things in life are death, taxes and, if it’s Sunday, “Meet The Press.”

Betsy Fischer is our opening guest this week.  For those of you who don’t know her, she’s the most influential news person in Washington you may not have heard of. Even if her name’s not on the tip of your tongue, she sets the agenda for what Washington talks about every week as Executive Producer of NBC’s 63-year old weekly power play called “Meet The Press.”

Here’s an oldie but goodie from “Meet” with two guys we all know:

Betsey Fischer, EP of “Meet The Press”

I could suggest I was a grade school politico posture and say I started watching “Meet” during the Bill Monroe days from 1975 to 1984, but I’d be lying.  Yes, I remember a musical chairs of hosts including Marvin Kalb, Chris Wallace and Roger Mudd in the mid-1980s as I made my way through Swarthmore — when I woke before noon on Sundays. But the real launching pad for MTP for me was the gargantuan and googly-eyed Garrick Utley, who held the moderator’s chair from 1989 to 1991, yielding to the giant Tim Russert that year.

It was during the Utley Administration that Fischer got her start at “Meet” as an intern. In that first-break job she learned — as her predecessor and my pal, Jeremy Gaines did — the proper way to tear news clips for the moderator using an NBC News-approved straight-edge.

Betsy is a testament to keeping focus during a career in Washington career and not getting short-sighted.  From her intern perch and the first few years working for the late Mr. Russert, she now is Washington influence personified.  The people who she and current moderator David Gregory select to appear on their Sunday morning program have the potential to “drive the conversation” for the succeeding seven days.  That’s not a power taken lightly.

In her conversation with Adam Belmar and me, Betsy reveals the alchemy that goes into selecting the Sunday morning guests, how visual elements influence her highest-rated show, the secret to the green room food selection, and how to gain the upper hand against “Face The Nation” and “This Week” when your guest is doing a “Full Ginsberg.”

* * *

Northeastern U.’s Alan Schroeder

From there, we talk to one of my old friends, Professor Alan Schroeder of Northeastern University.  Alan was, when we met back in 1984, the Executive Producer of WBZ-TV’s “People Are Talking,” the daily pubic affairs broadcast of the then-NBC Affiliate in Boston, Mass., and I was his intern.  Alan is now a much-admired teacher of media and journalism and perhaps its foremost authority on presidential debates.  He’s the author of Presidential Debates: 40 Years of High-Risk TV (Columbia University Press, 2000) and Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show Business Took Over the White House (Westview Press, 2004).  You can get both Presidential Debates and Celebrity-In-Chief at Amazon, among other places.

We talked with Alan on the heels of Michelle Bachmann’s boffo breakout performance at the WMUR Debate in Manchester, New Hampshire. After that first cattle call, we looked ahead to dozens of parlays for the candidates willing to sequester themselves in debate prep, spend interminable hours in holding rooms, pose for countless obligatory “class photos,” send their surrogates forth to a myriad of spin rooms and, hopefully, score points against their competitors as Bachmann did in New Hampshire.

Alan knows the backstory behind every mythic debate moment including, among others, Nixon’s shadow, Mr. Breen’s microphone, Bernie Shaw’s indelicate question, Lloyd Bentsen’s killer, and Al Gore’s invasion of George W. Bush’s space, an event we affectionately refer to as “the stalker debate.”

Have a listen to this show and gain an deeper understanding of what influences opinion, every Sunday on “Meet The Press,” and every four years as competing candidates square off in the political equivalent of a Steel Cage Match.


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