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Some (more) perils of public intellection.

October 24, 2008, 7:15 am

Yesterday afternoon I talked to a very kind and pleasant reporter and camera crew from CBS News for three hours about the Great Depression and New Deal, both as history and as compared to the present crisis, as far as one can. This was for what they called a “turnaround” documentary—i.e., one commissioned quickly for quick production—to appear on the History Channel.

About halfway through I began thinking, boy, I thought live interviews are bad: but maybe tape is worse! In a live interview you might say something dumb because it’s live; in a taped interview—especially one that goes three hours and in which they ask you to recall myriad facts and figures off the top of your head, without telling you which they might be in advance—you’re guaranteed to say something dumb at some point. Probably several somethings.

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