This past Sunday, the George Mason University Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists attended a live taping of Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. As we entered the gates to NBC Washington Studios, we heard blaring sirens from a motorcade. Vice President-Elect Mike Pence was arriving for his interview. Secret Service hurried us through the lobby into a holding room so he can be interviewed one on one with Todd.
Soon we lined the halls filled with notable anchors headshots and entered the studio. Grips and gaffers angled the lights, makeup artists gave touchups to the panel, and the producer called out the seconds till they go live. The panel was Heather McGhee (Demos Action), Amy Walter (The Cook Political Report), Andrea Mitchell (NBC News) and Rich Lowry (The National Review).
The commentators discussed the role media played in this election season. Todd brought Joel Benson (Clinton Campaign) and Kellyanne Conway (Trump Campaign) to debate the question, ” Are Clinton voters sore losers compared to Trump’s sore winners?”. Watching each guest respond with thoughtful responses within seconds showed me the pressures that come from a live taping. With great debate, there is an even greater vulnerability.
After the taping, SPJ had the opportunity to speak with Chuck Todd who advised us about taking advantage of all the DC area has to offer in the journalism world.