This morning we had a jam-packed first half hour, which is always exciting, and somewhat stressful as well. Meredith interviewed Tom Delay in a heated conversation about the state of the GOP and also personal allegations against him. One thing that always impresses me is how our anchors can keep a cool demeanor when drilling a guest who may become fired up on a specific topic. These interviews are usually the same interviews that get our viewers buzzing, so please send your comments and let us know what you thought.
I caught up with Meredith in her dressing room and asked her what she does to stay calm during heated interviews. Her answer: "I just try and stay focused on the point - stay focused on the questions. Sometimes you do get defensive, but you try and go back to the question and ask it in a respectful, but firm, way. And sometimes you don't get an answer."
We also had a remote interview with Ann in Khartoum - we played a clip from her interview with the President of Sudan, Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir. This was another example of an intense interview where Ann kept her cool and kept drilling the president on the issues of genocide and violence in his country. Ann stayed calm and focused even though she cares deeply about the issues she was addressing with the president in his first televised interview. The complete interview will be shown tonight on NBC Nightly News.
Along with these hard-hitting segments, we also have a concert with musical artist Joss Stone, a fashion show with five models and David Hyde Pierce will be showing up shortly. The greenroom page is trying to coordinate dressing rooms for everyone involved to keep things moving smoothly with no back-up. All in all, the mood over here is somber and very focused this morning.