I am not a journalist but I would like to be one and part of being a journalist is asking insightful questions so as a wannabe journalist, I’ve decided to make a list of the questions I would ask of my favorite Dateline hosts if I were to ever meet them.
If you’ve ever watched a Dateline special, Keith Morrison and Josh Mankiewicz are known for their deep voices and excellent narrations. They ask questions that would rival the questions of Barbara Walters and Oprah. Except they don’t typically give away cars or ask prisoners what kind of tree they would be. Keith and Josh are excellent hosts whom I really think should have narrated the Making of a Murderer documentary that’s all the rage now just because it would have made it even better. I also dream of the day when I can ask voice the outgoing message on my machine. That’s not weird.
So here I am…a non-journalist asking questions in my professional outfit: Uggs, pajama bottoms with flamingos and Penn sweatshirt. I didn’t go to Penn but I feel if you wear a Penn sweatshirt, you tend to ask more insightful things. I don’t know, I didn’t do the research.
First, the easy ones that are just meant to be silly and garner laughs or eye rolling. I think this is what the pros refer to as “softball” questions which by the way, have you ever been hit by a softball? It still hurts! I was hit by one in ninth grade when this mean girl totally threw the ball at me on purpose and it hit me in the ribs. I think Josh and Keith should do a story on her and if I remembered her name or what she looked like, I would totally pitch it. Anyway, I think “softball questions” should be called something else like…marshmallow questions. Who wouldn’t like to be hit with a marshmallow. I would but not one that’s on fire and about to be a s’more ’cause that might hurt. The regular ones like in plastic bags.
So here are my marshmallow questions which lead into not marshmallow questions.
- For Josh Mankiewicz; do you ever misspell your last name? Do you always have to spell out your last name? Have you ever given it to Starbucks and seen how they spell it? I am very impressed with myself that I now know how to spell it correctly which I think is always important when conducting fake interviews.
Oh and a second question for you…one time, someone contacted you from The Paley Center for Media regarding an event. Now, I don’t want to force you to play favorites but wasn’t that person just the best customer service person you have ever spoken to in your entire life? I bet they sounded super professional and friendly and no other customer service person probably compared…..just asking for a friend.
- Okay, now for Keith Morrison; your step son was on a television show, a fairly popular one about people who seemed to enjoy each other quite a bit. I mean, could he BE anymore your step son? (My sincerest apologies to the entire Perry-Morrison family). Now, have there been times when you’ve been interviewing someone, a suspect in a crime, a family member and they tell you what a huge fan they are of your step-son? Or start asking you questions about him?
Oh and a second one, do you watch SNL parodies of yourself? Do you enjoy them?
- Now, for both and I will slowly move into the non-marshmallow territory, how many times have you interviewed someone and it took all your strength to not start yelling, “you lie! Liar!” at them. Professionalism or not, that must take a lot of self-control and will power. There have been many times where I’ve watched and yelled at my television, “you so did it! Don’t lie!” How do you restrain yourself
- Why so much anti-freeze? How many stories have you done where this is the go-to for criminals? It just seems like every story involves anti-freeze. It makes me a little afraid of anti-freeze.
- Creepiest story you’ve ever done? What stories have stuck with you long after you’ve done them?
- What are your thoughts on How to Make a Murderer? From your experiences in interviewing, what are your questions? Thoughts?
- What’s the most difficult story you’ve ever done?
- What goes into making a special? How long does each one take? Do you have to constantly change stuff and re-edit as new information comes along?
- Are there any stories you refuse to report on? Any stories you just don’t want to touch?
- What has been your most favorite memory or most wonderful moment over the years of doing these specials? What stands out? Funny? Sad? Something someone told you?
So there is my fake interview and things I’d like to know before I tune in for the next Dateline Special. Whether or not these questions are answered remains to be seen….or does it? Wait…what?
(also, in case it isn’t obvious….the image below is clearly not mine and belongs to NBC, thank you for letting me Google Image it!)