Recently, I uploaded an old video to YouTube, of one of the strangest and funniest experiences I ever had with an interview.
It was 1996. A producer for a viewer-call-in political talk show, "Capital Watch," phoned me about the work I was doing with a group called Common Ground for Life and Choice. We brought pro-life and pro-choice people together in dialogue, to get better understanding of each other's beliefs. (To get past misunderstanding so we could arrive at genuine disagreement, I used to say.)
I put it on my calendar, and drove to the studio on Capital Hill. But while I was standing just off the set, waiting to be introduced, I heard the host say I was going to talk about common ground between Republicans and Democrats.
I knew nothing about that. I didn't follow politics at all. But in a matter of seconds I had to walk on the set, sit down, and basically fake it for 20 minutes. I guess the producer had written "Common Ground" on the schedule without any further explanation, and that's what the hosts thought I was there to talk about.
It's pretty funny. You can see me making guesses about what answer the hosts expected me to give, trying to sound like I actually knew something about the topic. Afterward I wrote a column about it, and how you can see someone on a talk show who appears to not know what they're talking about, "the idiot beside the potted plant." Well, that would be me.
Watch the interview at www.youtube.com/watch?v=SneiaHIiogA.
Read the column at: frederica.com/writings/whos-that-idiot-next-to-the-potted-plant.html.