Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Right, right, right, um, right, exactly, OK, right

That was the voice of the interviewer I heard off camera during a video interview of a "conversation about Vietnam and Iraq with the author and Lt. Col. Rick Welch of the U.S. Army Reserve, who is currently [no date but possibly 2007] on assignment in Baghdad."


Sandra Gurvis who put this together to promote her book, "Where have all the flower children gone," appears to be a local writer. I wandered into her memoirs about the 1960s and the Vietnam War via a restaurant review. It gives me new respect for television interviewers, even the ones I don't care for. Filmed interviews need quality editing, lighting, background, staging, music, voice, etc. Gurvis didn't make the case why she was trying to compare the conflicts in Vietnam and Iraq. She jumped in to quash his positive points about why the U.S. forces were in the middle east. Having worked for 18 months in Iraq reconciling different cultures, he was polite and patient, so his performance was more professional and informed than hers. She had no content or expertise, interjecting myths, half-truths, and hyperbole from the 60s and anti-war rhetoric that made little sense in this "conversation."

This was a good lesson. Whether interviewing or simply sharing ideas in conversation, I need to resist the urge to interject little words to let the speaker know I am listening. It actually has the opposite affect.

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