This podcast wants to change your relationship to the news

This podcast wants to change your relationship to the news


MICHAEL BARBARO, The New York Times: When
I was a political reporter at The Times, you would have all these moments where you wish
that a camera crew or an audio team were with you. It was 2011, and I was in the Las Vegas hotel
of real estate developer Donald Trump. His wife, Melania, was in the nearby bedroom
wearing a bathrobe, because he asked me to meet her and she was feeling reticent about
it because she was wearing a bathrobe. And he just said some of the most extraordinary
things, the one I remember best being that the way he thought about same-sex marriage
was how he thought about whether to use the new kind of putter that men were using in
golf. And he said, I can’t — kind of wrap my head
around using this. I can’t make that change. And that was what he compared to his relationship
to same-sex marriage. He kind of just wasn’t there yet. My biggest objection to the kind of contemporary
forum of news and news storytelling is that it often feels like the story, whether it’s
a TV segment or a radio news segment or a newspaper story, it’s kind of beginning in
the middle. There’s a government shutdown. There’s a crisis in Myanmar. There’s a ballistic missile that’s being tested
by North Korea. In almost every case, the real story requires
the clock to start way, way earlier. And what “The Daily” does, I think uniquely,
is say, no, no, no, we are really going to start this story where you need it to begin
to understand it. The thing we love to do is genuinely surprise
people in the morning. So, you have had three or four days of coverage
of President Trump, of Congress, of the shutdown. Tomorrow, you’re going to wake up, we’re going
to tell you 30-minute, operatic tale of Tonya Harding and her entire life. The idea of “The Daily” was to change the
relationship between the consumer of the news and the presentation of the news. We did an interview the night that the United
States started to bomb Syria after it had determined that chemical warfare had been
used on the Syrian people by Bashar al-Assad. And we called up one of our dearest colleagues,
Helene Cooper, at home while she was reporting the story, and we asked her a pretty provocative
question. Did these missile strikes on Syria by the
U.S., did they mean that we’re at war with Syria? And instead of filibustering or pretending
that she knew the answer, Helene said, “Michael, I just — I just don’t know that. I don’t have an answer to that.” Inevitably, when you’re transforming a story
and making it human and generating all the intimacy of sound and letting someone really
hear a journalist grappling with a story, you inevitably — you have a different relationship
with that journalist. Your bond with them changes. Your understanding of their mind changes and
that relationship deepens. So, that’s the not-so-secret secret mission
of “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro, and this is my Brief
But Spectacular take on “The Daily.”

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