What has been your most difficult interview so far? -Rome Ibera, Dumont, N.J.
Admiral Hyman Rickover. He was in his 80s at the time. He’s the father of the nuclear Navy, and he famously tried to destabilize you when you were in his presence. I introduced [the segment] by saying how brilliant he was, and he said, “It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s that you’re so dumb.” And that’s how we began.
What is the weirdest thing you ever had to do for a story? -Karina Ramirez, Dallas
I made my way into the Russian White House in the middle of a coup attempt when [Boris] Yeltsin was President. No one was being allowed in the building. I went up, and the guard said women would not be allowed in the building. And I said, “I’m not a woman. I’m an American journalist.” There was a momentary perplexed look on his face, and he said, “O.K.” It worked. Sometimes a non sequitur is as good as strategy.
How do journalists refrain from showing emotion while covering overwhelming events? -Denise Johnsen, Kaysville, Utah
I don’t think we do refrain. I think you can see it in our eyes, but we also know they are the story. We are not the story. Our feelings are not the story.