In my business, it's called "The Get." It’s the big interview, the big exclusive, the big one-on-one with the name of the moment for the powwow of the moment.
Right now, Private Jessica D. Lynch is the big get and this is her moment.
Still recuperating from her wounds before and during her daring rescue in Iraq, the 20-year-old private is being wooed big-time.
Katie Couric sent a bunch of patriotic books. Diane Sawyer, a locket with a photograph of Lynch's family.
And then there's CBS, part of a vast conglomerate that teased enormous synergies with Lynch, including a possible book deal through its Simon and Schuster Unit, an MTV appearance, maybe a country music television special, a documentary on CBS News, and a made-for-TV-movie produced by CBS Entertainment.
After hearing all CBS was offering, and then reading at the end of Jim Rutenberg's New York Times story that the Lynches are expected to sign with an agent soon, I appreciated how far my business has come.
Now this may shock some Edward R. Murrow journalist types out there, but I have no problem with any of this. And neither should those journalists. After all, they're the same ones working for conglomerates themselves and pushing every conglomerate-edge they can to get "the get."
All I'm saying is if and when it comes time for that interview, whoever conducts it, conduct it like any other: Tough, but fair. Sympathetic, but probing.
Do ask Private Lynch about her harrowing experience, but also ask about disputed reports that the rescue itself may not have been as harrowing as earlier thought.
Do ask her about the horror of that experience, but also ask her about the enormous financial opportunities that have arisen because of that experience. Opportunities maybe your own conglomerate or others have offered.
You don't have to be obnoxious, but you do have to ask.
She seems like one remarkable woman. And believe me, if she could take what Iraqis dished out, she can take whatever questions inquiring journalists can throw out.
Just ask those questions.
She'll be better for it. You'll be better for it and, heaven forbid, the evil conglomerate journalists love to complain about, will be better for it.
I say, let us report. And let Jessica decide.
Remember, even Edward R. Murrow had sponsors. They didn't prevent him from asking the tough questions he did then. They shouldn't prevent us from asking the tough questions we should now.
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