Thursday, December 4, 2008

When famous intelligent people take the time to respond

Watching MSNBC last week, I was reminded of the on-screen personalities that I'd written to there, who have taken the time out to personally respond back to me. I know they're all very busy people, and my short emails on the inter-company MSExchange server is one of hundreds or thousands or more that they get each day, but it is still pleasantly surprising to me, when someone actually takes the time to write back with a personal reply.

Before Tim Russert died earlier this year, I wrote him in November of 2005 after a particularly well researched MTP Sunday morning where he eviscerated the double speaking Repugnican Tom Coburn on the show with his own words. Tim replied back with a short paragraph, full of ellipses for punctuation, crediting the "the sisters of mercy and jesuits taught me preparation is all..i read 6 newspapers a day...books, experts.." Tim went on, and wished me a Merry Christmas. I miss watching him Sunday mornings.

In 2006 after Brian Williams interviewed the President, I emailed Mr. Williams and politely inquired that W answered more succinctly and and coherently than I'd ever previously seen him do, and asked if there were "pre-screened questions". Brian apologized for taking 3 weeks to get back to me, and then assured me that NBC news never agrees to pre-screening deals. I was impressed. The Williams "Giant Head" on TDS is still my favorite characterization of him.

In December of 2008, I emailed David Gregory after he tenaciously asked probing questions at a White House press conference where he quoted passages from the recently published 9-11 bi-partisan commission report. I thanked David, and encouraged him to 'keep up the good work'. 2 hours later, I get a "Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Device" reply "Thank you very much".

I've emailed Olbermann and Maddow as well, but have not herd back from them. Rachel is a self admitted news junkie, being a PhD in Poli Sci from Oxford, working 80 hour weeks, so I can understand. Keith, well, Keith is Keith. I highly doubt I'll ever hear from him.

Rick Karr of course (who occasionally reads this blog, as seen in my Brooklyn hits) knows the venerable Bill Moyers personally and has interviewed countless famous people, so the question is somewhat banal to him.... but... I'm curious if you've had a personal reply from someone famous and intelligent. Run into Jello Biafra on the street in San Francisco and have an short conversation perhaps? That sort of thing...

1 comment:

  1. Why yes...I HAVE run into Jello Biafra on the street and had a conversation with him. Literally. I had been waiting to go to the Green Festival, watching an old Dead Kennedys video. I started walking to the Festival when a car pulled up, Jello jumped out, and started walking to the Festival. I chatted him up, as I've run into him a few times around town. He's very witty and intelligent, and has a great sense of humor.


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