Media writers, unite!
We joined George Stephanopoulos for lunch this week to discuss “This Week”‘s upcoming move to the Newseum (first show: April 20).
Of course, we wanted to know what’s going to happen to “This Week”‘s legendary green room (each week, a chef whips up tasty, customized omelettes). Sadly, that won’t make it to the Newseum, but they will have catering that provides scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, fruit, and bagels and lox (no omelettes). With Wolfgang Puck’s “The Source” nearby, good food is never far away (budget willing). (And fear not: Green Room Courtney will still pose for pictures). “This Week”‘s roundtable, however, will be moved to the Newseum studio.
Stephanopoulos said he’s enormously excited for the move, especially for the great view of the U.S. Capitol that the Newseum’s studio provides (the Capitol will be over his left shoulder in the shot).
We asked how this move fits any hopes that “This Week” has to eventually top perennial ratings champ “Meet the Press.”
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As to any other potential changes in the works, Stephanopoulos said, “There’s no reason to change what works and what people like. What they like won’t change.”
They’re still figuring out where the stakeout will be, but likely it’ll be off to the side of the Newseum on 6th Street. The first show will probably include a segment on the show’s new Newseum digs, but it’s unclear as to whether subsequent shows will mention the Newseum (and details on “This Week”‘s expenditures to rent out the studio were not readily available).
“Our goal is to make the show feel like a Sunday paper and to have more variety over the course of the show.”
The show has stopped running it’s “Voices” feature. “I feel like it ran its course.”
Did you know the Vatican isn’t a huge fan of George? He said that, during an interview with Cardinal Law, “they thought I wasn’t going to ask about Boston.” Oh well.
Who are his dream guests? He’s been trying forever to get Michelle Obama. He’d love to get Chelsea Clinton and Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but says they are basically impossible gets.
Would he ask Chelsea about Monica Lewinsky? “I’d have to ask her about it now. I’d point to some of the footage that’s surfaced recently and ask, ‘Why doesn’t that voter have a right to ask you about that?’”
Which candidate is the most forthright? “Generally, [Sen. John] McCain is more likely to give you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when you ask a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question,’ but not all the time.”
On how “This Week” can keep things fresh when the presidential campaign’s main topics become redundant. “We try to switch it up…It’s the most interesting thing going on in politics right now … You ignore it at your peril. … There is tremendous interest in this campaign.” he said they may try to do a few shows focusing on key Senate races, but probably not House races.
On what media writers don’t “get”: “Cable and the Internet tend to get a disproportionate amount of attention, given the audience they get.”
On whether he misses his involvement in campaigns and politics: “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss [the White House].” But, no, he doesn’t have any plans to return to politics or the White House. “And I doubt I’d be asked to return,” he joked.
RELATED: See the Washingtonian’s interview with Newseum head Charles Overby.