Former president of ABC News takes readers behind the cameras in 'Exit Interview' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
Subscribe

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Light Snow  -7.9°C

Former president of ABC News takes readers behind the cameras in 'Exit Interview'

This book cover image released by Sarah Crichton Books shows "Exit Interview," by David Westin. (AP Photo/Sarah Crichton Books)

"Exit Interview" (Sarah Crichton Books), by David Westin

As president of ABC News from 1997 through 2010, David Westin guided the network through an impressive list of history-making stories: the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the 2000 election, 9-11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In "Exit Interview," Westin takes readers behind the cameras for his post-mortem on the job. It turns out that what was going on behind the cameras was just as interesting as the stories unfolding in front of it. Westin lets readers in on the back story around a report that Monica Lewinsky had a blue dress possibly stained with President Clinton's DNA, talks about negotiating with Fidel Castro to give ABC an exclusive interview in 2002 and goes over the near-death experience of ABC anchor Bob Woodruff in Iraq in 2006. He isn't afraid to air disagreements, either, like the phone call he got from anchor Peter Jennings after the death of Princess Diana. Jennings questioned Westin's news judgment for ordering a prime-time special on the princess. (Jennings later agreed he'd been wrong.)

Along the way, Westin subjects his own decision-making to a refreshingly critical eye, defending some decisions and acknowledging other mistakes. For example, he stands by his edict after 9-11 that ABC reporters would not be allowed to wear flag pins on their lapels, as anchors at Fox News were doing. Bush administration officials were also wearing the pins, and Westin didn't want ABC reporters wearing an item that "appeared to be part of the administration's uniform while they were questioning whether the administration was doing its job." At the same time, he acknowledges that he responded badly when ABC was criticized for having actor Leonardo DiCaprio interview President Clinton for an Earth Day special.

Westin notes that when he took on the news job at ABC, some had their doubts about a "corporate lawyer" leading a group of journalists. Yet, throughout the book, Westin comes across as extremely thoughtful about the news and profoundly committed to telling interesting and difficult stories, even when doing so is expensive.

It would have been nice to read a little bit more of what Westin did on a day-to-day basis. But, overall, anyone who watched open-mouthed at the news of the last decade will appreciate Westin's behind-the-scenes footage.

___

Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • 'I’m blown away:' Kamloops Ebus driver reacts to viral TikTok video
    A Kamloops Ebus driver says he doesn’t know how to feel after thousands of people watched a TikTok and left positive messages for him on what he considered to be just another day at work.
  • Large blaze engulfs Lake Country house
    A large blaze that could be seen across Lake Country erupted from a house last night. Witnesses started reporting smoke and flames on social media at roughly 10 p.m. last night, Dec. 3 at a
  • Naughty Penticton Santa living large after mall firing
    A South Okanagan Santa doesn’t like the term “naughty” to describe a series of photos that got him fired from a mall years ago. He prefers the term “eye catching.&rdq
  • Person bear sprayed at Sahali store in Kamloops
    A person was blasted with bear spray by an alleged thief at a Sahali store last weekend. Police responded to the location on the 1200-block of Summit Drive where a woman released a can of be
  • The Stock Pot Café: a hidden Kamloops gem
    A warm, family-oriented restaurant can be found tucked away in a Kamloops industrial park. Despite its location far away from the main restaurant hubs, The Stock Pot Café draws custom
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile