In my never ending quest to engage in thoughtful dialogue between conservatives and former liberals who now like to be called progressives, I agreed yesterday to appear on Viewpoint with John Fuglesang.
Given that the program is on Current TV (yes, the former Al Gore vehicle), I had to pause for a moment and think, “Do I really want to do this?”
Being an adventurous type and one who always operates under the slim hope that following some thoughtful discussion of the issues, some progressive somewhere will come to her senses (and we should rejoice when even one of these people sees the light), I agreed to do it.
When they called me, I didn’t know much at all about Viewpoint or its current host. Evidently, the show was at one time hosted by Elliott Spitzer, the former New York Governor whose dalliances with a hooker wrecked his political career. Other than that and the Al Gore connection, I didn’t know much.
Apparently, I was recommended for the show by Rick Ungar, who despite being a Democrat, I actually like. Rick and I appear frequently together on the Fox Business Channel. I soon learned that we would be joined on a panel by another friend from the left, Basil Smikle.
Now before I get nasty email and hateful tweets, let me just make clear that I believe that we can be friends with these people. It’s when we start thinking we might actually agree with them that there’s trouble. Fortunately, I’ve never once been tempted to think that way.
In the conservative world, an appearance on Current TV is like Daniel walking into the Lion’s Den. You certainly don’t expect a friendly reception.
This is where I was actually pleasantly surprised.
My first encounter with them was a call from Jenna the booker for the show. Jenna was truly a gem. She provided me with very detailed research and asked me if I needed a car service. She also told me that Barry, the line producer, would soon follow up. Sure enough, shortly thereafter I received a call from Barry who went over the segments with me and was very cool. As I was heading for the show, Carli called me. She wanted to make sure I was on my way. I thought that was very nice of her. Then again, she may have just been making sure I wasn’t backing out.
When the driver pulled up in front of the studio, he ran around to help me from the car. I was greeted by a very sweet pretty girl in a summer dress right out of a garden show. It was Jenna ready to escort me in (and also to ensure I didn’t try to make a break for it).
When we got inside, she directed me to the green room and to a spread of food for the guests and a small army. There were lovely fruits with spreads and sweets. I’m pretty sure all four food groups were covered.
After that, I went to make-up where very nice and attentive ladies put me together quickly. On this particular day, their task wasn’t easy. Between my frizzy hair and pasty complexion, they had their work cut out for them. Thankfully, they did a great job.
The show itself went well. I was particularly impressed with John, the host, who is quite the comedian too boot. He’s not mean like Keith Olbermann or boring like Spitzer.
I have to admit, I had a blast.
I’m actually glad I did it. This just confirms my belief that it never hurts to try new things and you never know what you’ll find. You could even be pleasantly surprised.
I can say without reservation that Current TV is a well-oiled machine. Let’s see if the same holds true when they officially become Al-Jazeera.