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March 8, 2024 99 mins
Mark takes us back to that defining high school orientation that set him on a path that would lead to a dozen Emmy Awards, a prestigious Peabody, and a quarter-century of shaping the news landscape. It's a tale of inspiration, passion, and the unwavering pursuit of a dream.A seven-time Emmy award-winning journalist and Peabody Award recipient with a quarter-century or reporting that's appeared on major networks and affliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, Mark's global interviews, including the iconic Bill Gates, stand as a testament to his leadership in journalism. His journey is characterized by investigative reporting, innovative storytelling, and creative communications.Mark's journalistic brilliance is adorned with prestigious accolades, including the 'Wade H. McCree Excellence in Legal Journalism and the Advancement of Justice Award' by the State Bar of Michigan and the 'Superior Civilian Service Award' by the Minnesota National Guard. His impactful investigative series on the death of a Minnesota sailor in Iraq not only earned a Peabody Award but also catalyzed transformative changes in how the U.S. military tracks the remains of American service members.Beyond his reporting prowess, Mark emerges as a strategic communicator and educator, shaping media training for executives and leaders. His models for creating earned media without traditional press releases, coupled with impactful training courses for journalists, underscore his commitment to fostering excellence in the ever-evolving landscape of journalism.
Get to know more about the Media Expert himself, Mark Albert, at www.mediaadvisoryexperts.com
To learn more about myself, Michael Esposito, and find out about public speaking workshops, coaching, and keynote speaking options, and - of course - to be inspired, visit www.michaelespositoinc.com
The Michael Esposito Show is hosted by Michael Esposito and produced by iHeartMedia Hudson Valley. Be sure to subscribe on iHeart Media, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, Google Play, YouTube, or the podcasting app of your choice.
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Episode Transcript

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(00:01):
This show is sponsored by DN tenInsurance Services, helping businesses get the right
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dent ten, you're giving back ona global scale. Hello all, my

(00:22):
entrepreneurs and business leaders, and welcometo the Michael Esposito Show, where I
interview titans of industry in order toinform, educate, and inspire you to
be great. My guest today isa twelve time Emmy Award winning journalist as
well as the recipient of the DistinguishedPeabody Award. He has been featured on

(00:44):
ABC, CBS, NBC, andCNN, to name a few, traveling
to over eighty countries. With experienceinterviewing world leaders and business giants, namely
Bill Gates, he offers unique insightsand capabilities. His reporting prowess has uncovered
deep secrets, exposed unspoken truths,and brought lightheartedness to morning shows. Throughout

(01:08):
his journalistic career, he's been atrailblazer launching online news startups, media databases,
and media training in underserved nations.Today, he has taken his experiences
expertise and his desire to help otherssucceed in media to a whole other level
by founding Media Advisory Expert, wherehe offers media training, video production,

(01:33):
and strategic consulting. He is drivenby lifting all boats with the tide and
helping leaders like you create the bestmedia profile available. Please welcome the founder
and CEO of Media Advisory Expert,Mark Albert Michael. Thanks very much for
having me. I appreciate it.Welcome to the Show Man, great to
be here. It's so cool tohave you on the show today. We've

(01:56):
talked a little bit off air aboutwhy but I go to the speaker Lab,
which is how we met in thespeaker lab mastermind, and what I
want to share with my with ourlisteners here today is you just never know
what you're going to get out ofa training, out of an organization,
out of a mastermind, out ofanything in life until you go in and

(02:21):
put yourself out there. And whyI say this is the mastermind that you
and I were a part of thatday. So I called them all masterminds.
They were workshops or master whatever youwant to call them. But they
are typically these coaching sessions with multiplepeople on them, and they have different
topics that they follow, and inthe particular one that you and I met,
it was a topic that I hadalready explored. I had already gone

(02:45):
to one of their masterminds before,but I have it marked off on my
calendar, and that day I rememberthinking, why am I going to it?
I have so much to do andI've already gone through this mastermind.
There's not really a need for meto be here. It's mostly for the
beginning that are coming. And Ialways go back to my philosophy of I'm
always going to learn something from somewhere. And so I showed up and sure

(03:08):
enough you were there and you introducedyourself, and something happened. It was
some sort of connection that happened betweenus. I don't remember it specifically,
but a connection happened. I reachedout to you, and I slid into
your DMS, reached out to youand said, hey, I think you'd
be great on my podcast, andthen from there we hit it off and
had several meetings. And so Igo back to why I'm sharing a story

(03:29):
with everyone is that you just neverknow what kind of what lesson you're going
to learn, or who you're goingto meet. And I know why I
reached out to you, and ithad to do with a lot of a
lot had to do with your resume, and of course you know the Emmy
Awards and all that stuff, butreally the journalist side of it. I
mean, I run a podcast here, right, so it would make sense

(03:50):
that I'm like, super like enthusiasticabout learning about the business. So I
just wanted to share that with everyonelistening in that like, you just never
know what things are going to comeabout, so you got to take that
risk, take that chance, andbe open to opportunities. Absolutely. And
in fact, what you were talkingabout you were going to Indianapolis, if
I recall, and you were thinkingabout, geez, if I'm going to

(04:12):
Indianapolis, how can I get moreexposure for your own business and for what
you're doing. And I think Ijust popped up in the middle of the
class and I said, well,if you're going do this, this,
this, this, and you're like, oh my gosh. And then we
connected afterwards. I think you werein the car, you were taking notes,
and so it was great. Iwas able to share some knowledge with
you, and then you invited meon the podcast and it's so great to
be here. That's that's funny.Yeah, that's exactly what. Yeah,

(04:33):
I was looking for help. Iwent to this beginners call looking for help.
You're right, it was. That'spretty ironic that I bring it up
that way. So yeah, soyou're here now, which is really awesome.
I always like to thank my guestsfor traveling and coming here. You
have your partner Francisco here with youas well. All and you got to
visit Poughkeepsie. How amazing. Wehad the best pizza in Poughkeepsie. Right,

(04:56):
it was the Dutch Crown, Sothe best pizza in the area.
That's awesome. Chris is going tobe excited to hear that he just opened
up new entrepreneurs that'd be really cool. Let's get into your story. So,
as I mentioned and everybody heard inyour bio, you've been on all
these different networks. You've been allover the globe, and we're going to
talk about that, and of courseall the cool celebrities and politicians and all

(05:18):
these people that you've met. I'minterested in your story. How did you
get to where you are? Allright, so we have to go back
to nineteen forty No, I'm justkidding. I'm not that old, although
I have gray hair for those watchingon Facebook Live. So, you know
what, I wanted to be anEnglish teacher, and I would go to

(05:38):
these teacher supply stores and I woulduse my allowance and I would buy a
blackboard and chalk, and I wouldmake my sister, who was four years
younger than me, sit down andI would, you know, fake teach.
And so that's what I thought Iwas going to do. But I
had this ap English teacher who justmade it so unenjoyable. I thought,
Okay, what am I going todo for the rest of my life now
if I'm not going to be anEnglish teacher. My mom said one day,

(06:00):
well, you've started watching local news. When you were eleven, you
bought the La Times with your allowance. When you were eleven, you're on
the school newspaper. You anchor theTV production club in high school. Of
course, why don't you explore journalism? And it was sort of like,
oh, yeah, duh. Youknow, I was the kid who in
nineteen ninety two the election between GeorgeHW. Bush, Bill Clinton, and

(06:20):
Ross pro I'm sitting at the TVand I'm counting on a piece of paper
the Electoral College votes as each stateis coming in, and I'd run to
my mom and I'd run to mydad, and I'd say Bush is up
by this many. Clinton's up bythis many. Because I wanted to know
before anybody else, and I wantedto be able to deliver that history to
people, to say, this iswhat's happening right now. And you know,

(06:44):
as a journalist, you're writing thefirst draft of history. It's amazing.
It's a front seat to history.And I've always been captivated by it.
It's been twenty five years now,a quarter century, and it is
so fulfilling and so honorable journalism.And I've been so fortunate to be able
to travel around the world, likeyou said, and tell so many amazing
stories. I'm just very grateful.So, at eleven years old, you

(07:09):
were spending your allowance to buy theyou mentioned La. So did you grow
up in La yep. I grewup in Los Angeles. Who went to
USC for college? Go Trojans,everybody. I had a feeling at that
bottle. I thought that bottle isthe USC bottle. It's a little faded,
but for those I don't know ifyou can see it there, for
those watching on Facebook the usc Trojanswater bottle. I was in the Trojan
Marching band, playing alto sacks andyeah. So I grew up in LA

(07:33):
and I started using my allowance moneyto buy the La Times on Sundays because
I wanted to know the news.I wanted to know what was happening.
And I would get so mad becausemy dad would get up before me and
he'd go down on the driveway andhe'd pick up the La Times and I
get up, I said, leaveit there, I want to pick it
up. So, you know,I just was really interested in the news
and current events and what was happeningat an early age. Who gave you

(07:54):
that spark? Because eleven years oldwanting so you had to find the time
somewhere you had to I honestly don'tknow. It just was all of a
sudden I wanted to know what washappening in the world. And in fact,
my grandparents on my mother's side,they told each of the grandkids that
when you turn eleven, you cango anywhere in the country you want.
We'll take you on vacation, justthe three of us. And so my

(08:16):
cousin, who was a year older, she said the Redwood Force, and
I thought, well, how sillyis that. I mean, it's in
California. You can go there anytimeyou want. And my sister chose disney
World, and I thought, well, how silly is that We're in Disneyland's
backyard. Would I want to gothere? And when my grandparents asked me
where I wanted to go, Iknew instantly Washington, d C. I
wanted to see the Constitution. Iwanted to go to the Capitol. I

(08:37):
wanted to go to the White House. And it just captivated me so much,
the monuments, the history, thesleeves, the corruption, all of
it in Washington that I told myselfat eleven that if I ever get the
chance, I was going to livein DC and I was going to work
in DC. And I made thathappen. You told yourself at eleven on

(08:58):
my show. So I've had severalguests come on and we talk about manifesting,
We talk about visualization, and youknow, vision boards and all these
cool things, and some of themwork and some of them don't. But
in this case here, did youknow what you were doing when you told
yourself that? Did you know thatwhat you were doing was kind of like
writing your future. No, Ijust thought, this is a really cool

(09:20):
city, and I love the columnsand the architecture and all of it.
It was amazing and I felt this. I always felt home when I would
come to d C. So afterthat, you know, you go there
maybe in high school once, oryou go you know, when you're working,
you go to visit friends or something. Every time I would go to
d C, I felt more homethan I did in LA. And you

(09:43):
mentioned manifesting, and I said,if I ever got a chance, I'll
tell you what. I never didget the chance. I interviewed for a
correspondent job at CBS News and Ididn't get the job. This was in
twenty twelve, and so I toldmyself, when my contract comes up.
I was a Minneapolis investigative reporter.I said, when my contract comes up
next year, I'm quitting my job. I'm putting everything in storage, and

(10:03):
I'm moving to d C without ajob or a place to live, and
I'm going to work for CBS News. And so I moved to Washington,
d C. And a friend saidI could sleep in his extra bedroom and
I would find out where the bureauchief was going to be for CBS News
because I already knew him. Iinterviewed with him. So if he was
at a charity event at the Newseumor somewhere else, I would show up

(10:24):
and I'd say, oh, howwhat a coincidence. I'm great to see
you. And after a couple oftimes he's like, Okay, just come
by the gatas of the talk,and that turned into a wonderful three years
at CBS News. Reporting for theCBS Evening News, CBS This Morning,
I reported across the country. Ireported from Taiwan, Australia, Peru.
It was amazing, but like youjust said, sometimes you have to realize

(10:46):
what you want and you have toput it all on the line and you
have to go make it happen.Yeah. I think that's a really great
message for everybody to hear. Igo back to the eleven year old and
your parents have this, your grandparentsare going to take you on trips.
By the way, Redwood Forest.I'm from New York and that is on
our family's bucket list, is togo visit the redwood farming. It's not

(11:07):
in our backyard, but you're soright on the point that we take for
granted the things that are in ourbackyard. Like for me growing up,
I grew up in Queens, NewYork, so right right near Manhattan.
Growing up there, going to seethe Statue of Liberty or the World Trade
Center, the Empire State Building.The only time I really went to do
that was if we had relatives comingfrom outside of the country. I'm so
grateful that my cousin's from France.When I was I believe seventeen years old,

(11:31):
I'm so grateful that they had.They were like, no matter what
we do, we want to visitthe Trade the World Trade Center, And
I'm so grateful for that because Iwould have never visited it. I have
a picture at the top of theWorld Trade Center because of them, not
because I lived in New York,because they came from France to drag me
to go see the World Trade Center. It's incredible. But you're right,

(11:52):
we take it for granted. Butto your point, we want to see
what's on the other side. Andyou wanted to go to DC. And
I'm kind of just putting some peacetogether here of you putting the votes together
in nineteen ninety two, and youknow Ross Paro and George Bush, which
by the way, I remember thatelection. I remember that election because I
was in fifth grade. I thinkwas I in fifth grade. I think

(12:13):
I was in fifth grade during thatelection, and our class did a whole
thing on it, on voting.We did a whole voting thing on it.
And I remember at the time notunderstanding politics, but understanding wealth.
And I remember hearing Ross Perot wasa billionaire or a million a big millionaire
at a time I guess at thetime billionaires weren't that big, and all

(12:35):
of us, a lot of usin the class kind of rallied around him
because we were like, this isso cool, Like we want a rich
guide running the country. I don'tknow why we thought that that would make
sense, you know, looking backat it today, now you're a billionaire
too, right on, how strangethat is. But I remember that,
and I go back to you inthis story in that you're eleven years old,

(12:56):
you're buying the La Times, you'rekind of doing your own thing,
but you're focused around politics. Andyou know, in my research of you
and checking out some of the storiesthat you've done and your demo reel and
all the different things, it isaround politics. And I think you know,
back to what your dream of manifestingbeing in d C. Of course
you live there now and seeing itkind of like closes in on this this

(13:18):
coolest shot that comes in and you'restanding in front of some big building in
DC proard of me for not knowingthe US capital, and they're the Supreme
Court. My listeners are just like, all right, Michael, you got
to get some geography in you man. But I'm just tying it all together
to what was this draw for youof politics? Because this started at a
very young age and you've carried thatthroughout your career. I think it's that

(13:43):
that's where the magic happens. Whathappens in d C is jaded, is
so many of your listeners probably are. What happens in DC affects everybody.
It affects your taxes, it affectsyour healthcare, it affects your your rights
to own and buy bear arms,It affects everything. And so the opportunity

(14:05):
to be at the center of powerwhere decisions are made that will spread out
to affect the rest of the country. That was intoxicating, that was alluring
and attractive, and to be ableto tell people about something that just happened
that's going to affect their lives.Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow,
but it will affect their lives.That was so seductive, And as I

(14:26):
mentioned earlier, as a journalist,you're helping to write the first draft of
history. And so, just likethat kid in nineteen ninety two who wanted
to tell his parents before they couldhear it on the news who was ahead
in the electoral college count I wantedto tell the first draft of history.
And where better to do that thanin Washington, DC. That's interesting.

(14:46):
It's definitely a whole different take fromwhat I'm I guess used to in terms
of interviewing business owners and entrepreneurs andmore of the CEOs of companies, which
you are one, because their takeis usually around going to where the business
hubs are or the tech hub orSilicon Valley. You know. I've had
a few of those on the show, and those were pretty neat where it's

(15:07):
like a rocket ship, you know, they're talking about the big rush that
happened with the tech with the techindustry at the time. So it's just
such a different turn, which iswhich is very interesting. So you have
this desire at eleven years old,you're doing all this stuff. But then
obviously you go off to school andyou want to be an English teacher.
Tell us more a little bit moreabout that, because it also ties to

(15:28):
what you're doing today. Well,so teaching thing. Yeah, so I
well absolutely, and so I wantedto be an English teacher, but I
kind of got the joy sucked outof me in high school. And so
my senior year. The fall,my senior year USC in our bankyard University
of Southern California, they held aprospective freshman orientation. So, you know,
if you're a high school senior you'rethinking about applying, you can come

(15:50):
to the university with your parents andyou take three one hour sessions. And
so my mom and I went andI signed up for English one hour,
and Education and hour, and Ineeded to fill the third hour. And
I turned to my mom and Isaid, you know, what else should
I take? And she goes,well, of course, journalism. You
know, she recapped everything I hadbeen doing. So I said, okay,

(16:11):
went to Education, went to theEnglish sessions, and I was like
bored. And so we get tothe last session of the day and it
was on journalism and they had formerUSC students who were now reporters and producers
and anchors, and they were standingup there. I can just see it
so clearly in my head. Theywere standing up there and they were talking
about what they do and what journalismhas brought to their life. And at

(16:32):
the end, I turned to mymom and I said, that's what I
want to do for the rest ofmy life. And that was it.
You had to apply to USC,and just because you got into USC didn't
mean you get into the journalism school. So I'd apply there and I got
in and I never ever considered changingmy major. That was it. I
was inspired by that orientation session.I used everything I had learned in you
know, at eleven and in highschool, and that was just the track

(16:56):
for me. And so now it'sbeen twenty five years and twenty nine years
wait, that would have been ninetyI'm dating myself here. It'll be thirty
years this fall since I took thatorientation. What's the allure of the TV
aspect of it? Because you couldhave been a reporter writing for the La
Times or the New York Times orthe Washington Post. I think is bigger

(17:19):
than any Times over there on.The Washington Post is huge. New York
Times. Absolutely, those are allflagship newspapers in the area. You could
have been writing for them. Youcould have done the same journalistic type of
things that you do of interviewing peopleand bringing that back to the office and
writing it all up and typing itall up and doing all that stuff.
So what about television or the cameraswas alluring to you? It's kind of

(17:41):
like asking somebody who performs for cirtdays, lay, why are you high
up one hundred feet on this thinlittle string instead of walking in the crosswalk
on the ground. Because it's theexcitement, it's the allure, it's the
medium. And so being live onbroadcast television is being on that high wyt
you are live a newspaper reporter isso invaluable to our medium, but it's

(18:06):
a different type of presentation. Iloved the excitement, the adrenaline rush of
saying something over the air and itgoing out to everybody, and there's no
you can't take it back, youcan't hit the delete key, you can't
change the wording of that phrase.Just like if you publish in the newspaper,
once it hits the print, it'sgone. But to be on live
television when there is breaking news,when things are happening, history is being

(18:30):
made. It is so alluring andsuch a high to be able to do
that high wire act, and Ihave found it just so absolutely intriguing.
It's breaking a story live on televisionis an amazing feeling. I could only
imagine that because I asked this question, also because of myself, right I

(18:52):
think of it. I don't knowhow to answer the question personally of when
someone asks me, like, youknow, what do you want to do?
And I say public speaking, andI talk about giving keynotes, I
talk about wanting to start my ownshow, my own television broadcast type of
show, And when the question comesup, why, I don't really have
an answer for it other than Ijust really enjoy it. I just something

(19:15):
about to your point, the camerasbeing on and being in front of the
camera and knowing that you're reaching somany people, there's a feeling, right,
It's an immediacy. It's an immediacy. What you're doing is having an
immediate effect. And for you,I think it goes back as well to
teaching. When you speak, youare conveying this information, this thought process.

(19:37):
You are teaching your audience something andI think that's a real allure to
both of us, is to beable to communicate immediately to your audience something
that you find a value that youthink is going to impact their lives.
Yeah. Yeah, it's probably theimmediacy of the impact. And then I
think in terms of the broadcast areaspect of it, it's the knowledge that
so many people have availability to watchit. I'm not there yet in followers,

(20:00):
but the availability. I actually I'mwith you on a live piece because
mine is much smaller than yours interms of a CBS or an NBC or
something like that having breaking news andlive. But I do an Instagram live
and now it's a LinkedIn live showand it's live. It's live, and
my guest will sometimes be a littlenervous or concerned or anything, and I'm

(20:21):
just like, it's don't worry aboutit's all good. It's all fun,
and there's something about it to yourpoint when when we hit that live button
that just feels like all right,I'm on. And my last guest,
which was actually yesterday, my mostrecent guest, i should say, which
was yesterday, she said that tome. She goes at the end when
we finished recording or doing the liveit was a live She was just like,

(20:41):
it was so interesting to see yougo from just talking with me to
all of a sudden, your energyjust went through the roof. And there's
something about hitting that live button whereI'm just like a sprinter, like it
just goes right. It's wild.Well, you're trying to tell a story.
And so for your listeners right now, who are listening to this podcast
a month from now, a yearfrom now, ten years from now,
we need to convey with our voiceand annunciation and emotion what we are hoping

(21:07):
that they will take away from this. So you have to pumpump the energy.
It's radio, it's television right right. We are not in your living
room, but we are in asense a two D version. Yeah,
yeah, I gotta bring that excitement. I want to go into your journalistic
background because you have a lot tocover here. I mean, I had
written down seven time Emmy and it'sactually twelve. So I'm interested in understanding

(21:29):
what it takes to get an Emmy. I think that everybody. I mean,
the reason why it's in the firsttwo sentences of my intro to you
is because I think there's a biga lord of that too, of like
whoa seven Emmys? Who was twelveEmmys? Who is this guy? How
did you get how did Michael gethim on the show. So I'm interested
as what is it about an Emmy? How do you get one? How
did you receive yours? What weresome of the things that you did.
We're going to get to the Peabodyone, but I'm interested in the Emmys

(21:52):
for now. Sure, it's interestingbecause in broadcast journalism the Peabody is much
more prestigious. In the end,That's why I said we're going to get
to it, because there's there's areason behind the Peabody for you that there's
a much deeper story there that Iwant us to dig dig into. Yes,
So the m's basically when you doa story in news. And most
of my emmi's were from my workin Michigan and in Minneapolis. You know,

(22:18):
they're for different stories. And soone Emmy was for team coverage on
the I thirty five w Bridge collapsethat happened in August of two thousand and
seven. I was the second newscrew on there. One of them is
for my embedding with US troops inIraq. I did it twice and another
one is a story we did aboutmanufacturing jobs going from the US to Mexico

(22:41):
in the early two thousands, andso it's for different stories and different journalism.
I was very, very honored towin those with my peers, and
yeah, it's it's it's what's someof the criteria in order to be recognized
that way. So typically you'll enterthe Emmy you and you enter the stories
an explanation of why it made adifference in that and then your peers judge

(23:04):
you for whether it's your region,or it's nationally, or it's you know,
different different markets. And so thesewere for I think it was the
Midwest, you know ones or something, Yeah, Michigan and Minneapolis, so
it would have been like the midwestof the country, and you don't find
out for months and then you goto the ceremony and you get the you

(23:26):
know, the Emmy that you seeon TV. You know, you get
that that statuete. Now, newsEmmys are different than TV Emmys, So
I'm not winning against Gray's Anatomy.No, of course, these are news
Emmys. Yes, I figured Andwhat kind of impact does it do on
your career? Does it have onyour career? When you win them,
obviously people bring it up like youand so it's a it's a big impact.
And obviously the awards that you winthat are voted on by your peers

(23:49):
are really an incredible honor. Solet's get to the Peabody because, uh,
you know, when I first waswas doing some research on you,
and of course the Emmy were thefirst thing, because that's the part that
that's the one that we're all reallyfamiliar with. I remember actually telling my
mom that I was going to haveyou on the show. Yeah, I'm
telling you. It was it's prettycool, Like I said, you know,

(24:10):
you're in an industry that I've alwayswanted to be a part of,
and so it's kind of like it'skind of like how I always wanted to
be in the NBA if I hadLebron James sitting here with me, right,
So I put you on that level. Oh my god. So I
was talking about my mom about aboutwhen I first met you, and I
said, and I think he's goingto come on the podcast. And I
said, yeah, he's an EmmyAward winning journalist. And I said,
he's got this Peabody. I don'tknow what it means. But he's got

(24:33):
a Peabody and then I did alittle looking up on it. I don't
have as much background as i'd like, and i'd like you to share with
it. But my understanding is ithad to do with something that you uncovered
in the US military and that wasreally significant and really impactful, and that
this Peabody award is not something thatjust anybody receives, and it's not this
It really is a distinguished award.And if you could share maybe a little

(24:56):
context to it and then how youwere able to earn it. So the
Peabody Ward is the Pulitzer Prize ofbroadcast journalism. If you're a broadcast journalist,
you cannot enter the Politzer Prizes.Those are for print and online.
And so it's an incredible honor.And what happened is and I'm actually getting
chills thinking about this as I'm aboutto explain it. In two thousand and

(25:18):
four, on September eleventh, twothousand and four, there was a Minnesota
sailor. He was a corman assignedto Marines in Iraq, and he died
around two am on September eleventh,two thousand and four, at a base
in Askanderrea, Iraq, and theMarines found him dead in the shower,
and the Pentagon told his family,the Cedargrean family, that he died of

(25:42):
an undiagnosed heart ailment. Well,his father used to be a medical examiner
and the sister was a nurse,and they're like, okay, we're all
getting tested for this heart ailment.Nobody had it. Four years later,
in two thousand and eight, thePentagon announces that about a dozen and a
half cases deaths of US service membersabroad in the previous four years we're going

(26:07):
to be reopened, and Dave Siergranwas one of them. So that night,
I and a photographer from KSTP Television, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis,
drove to Dave Sedegran's father's house andwe interviewed him for a minute and thirty
second story on the evening news elevenPM News. And I remember driving back

(26:30):
with a photographer and saying, Ican't believe that four years later, this
family does not know for sure howtheir loved one died, and I want
to get to the bottom of it. So we did the story that night,
and I filed what's called a Freedomof Information Act request FOYA request.

(26:51):
This is the landmark public records lawin the US. You don't have to
be a journalist to use it.Any one of your listeners can file a
FOYA and essentially it demands that thegovernment give them access to public records.
So I filed one with the Pentagonand NCIS for the investigative file on Dave
Cedargrin's death. And after several monthsour request was denied. So we got

(27:15):
our lawyers involved and we appealed,and we fought it over and over again,
and after six months we got thefile and Michael, it was about
three inches thick, and what itshowed is that there were so many electrical
problems at the base where Dave cedarGrin died, that when it rained,
sparks would jump up from the groundfrom the exposed wiring. That other marines

(27:40):
had been burned and shocked and hurtin those very showers where they found Dave
cedar Grin dead, hurt so badlysome had to be flown out to Ramstein
Air Base in Germany for extensive treatment. And the base commanders knew that these

(28:00):
problems existed, and when they wentto go fix it, they didn't ask
for a certified electrician from the US. They didn't ask for the ceabs at
the Navy to fix it conclusively.Instead, they looked for a local electrician
and when asked by the investigator,how did you determine what electrician to bring
on, they said, we lookedfor the oldest Iraqi because we figured if

(28:25):
they lived that long, they mustknow what they're doing, and that's who
they got to fix the base whereDave Cedgrin died. They did not fix
that base. They did not fixthe electrical problems. Dave Cedegrin's father gave
me power of attorney to get theautopsy photos and they showed electrical burns on
his fingers and his toes, andafter we pressed and pressed and pressed,

(28:48):
they amended the cause of death toelectrocution in that shower. We did three
parts of the series. We gavethe family the documents that they were not
able to get after they had hiredseveral loyal and we pressed NCIS for an
interview and they declined. After thethird piece that we aired, the PIO,
public information officer for the NCIS calledand they said, okay, the

(29:12):
head of NCIS will do an interviewwith you on camera. You have to
come to DC, and if youcome here, just know she's not going
to apologize for what happened, forthe investigation, for not telling the family,
for missing the signs. And Isaid, no problem, We're going
to go anyway. And I preparedMichael for that interview like I had never

(29:33):
prepared in my life, and Ihad so many documents with me, and
we set up multiple cameras. We'reat NCIS headquarters in Washington, and five
minutes into the interview, as I'mpressing the head of NCIS Investigations into what
happened, she says, you knowwhat, I have a son, and
my son's serving in a rock rightnow, and if this happened to my

(29:53):
son, I would want someone toapologize. So on behalf of us here
at n I apologize for what happened. After our series ran, the Armed
Forces Medical Examiner changed the way thatthe US tracks the remains of every service
member killed around the world. Thatis the power of journalism, and those

(30:17):
are the answers we got for thisfamily that they would not have had otherwise.
Later this year, it's twenty twentyfour as we're talking. Later this
year will be the twentieth anniversary ofDave Cedegrin's death, and I hope that
the military has learned something and preventedother families from going through this grief.
Thank you very much for sharing thatentire story. Actually it definitely feels I

(30:44):
felt chills from it from you sharingit, and it is very deep.
So because of this, you thenwere awarded with this Peabody Award, And
I think from what I get fromyou sharing a story is it's really the
award. It was almost second tothe feelings of even getting her to apologize.
It's the power of journalism to holdthe powerful to account. You cannot

(31:10):
have a democracy without journalism. Youcannot have a democracy without a free press.
In fact, as I love tosay, Thomas Jefferson has a very
famous quote, and he said inseventeen eighty seven, two years before the
ratification of the Constitution, were leftto me to decide whether we should have
a government without newspapers or newspapers withouta government. I should not hesitate a

(31:33):
moment to prefer the latter. ThomasJefferson preferred newspapers and a free press to
a government that should tell you allyou need to know. I just wanted
to set this up because I justrealized that this would be probably better than
that camera over there for the audience. Michael here is playing studio, technician
and host all at the same time, all at the same time. While

(31:56):
you were reading now, I wasjust like, maybe I could get this
going for us at some weird angleof my water cup. Here. This
is how it's done, Ladies andgentlemen. I'm thinking, I'm going to
have to delete this part of thepodcast for a second, but we're going
to get right back into it.That's not working out so great. Can

(32:19):
you just angle the laptop, notthe phone, but the laptop. No,
angle it, Twist it like this. Yeah, now prop the camera
up again. Maybe that works,and we're aund fifty two minutes to delete
that part. We'll take it backup here. I have a few questions

(32:47):
for you in terms of this story. There's one of the things that we're
going to talk about for sure,and I'm going to get to is how
you prepare for interviews, because youmentioned that you prepared like you never did
before in your life, and thisdefinitely is something that I would like to
know about if I can get someinsider tips. But I want to go

(33:07):
back to some of this case herethat happened. As a journalist, you
have a job to do, andthe job seems simple from an outsider's perspective,
it's this happened, Go interview thatperson, take some pictures, get
some video, get some good audio, whatever it is, and bring it
back to our desks, and we'llbuild a story around it. But for

(33:30):
some reason, on your drive back, you had this inclination to uncover more.
I'm curious about that inclination that youhad not necessarily about this story,
because I just feel like it's somethingthat trends with you of you always have
this desire for deeper knowledge, andI'm curious as to what that is and

(33:52):
where it comes from. Well,that's a great question. I think part
of it is on this story specifically. I can't stand with people. To
me, ah, I'm offended,and I'm offended when people in power and
responsibility hide information from the public.You know, a sunlight is the best
disinfectant, which is a very famoussaying. And I'm offended when people try

(34:15):
to cover things up and they tryto hide the truth and they don't tell
the truth. And our job isto get to the best ascertainable version of
the truth, not the total truth, the best ascertainable version of the truth
at that moment. And the factthat this family did not know after four
years, conclusively how their loved onedied, and the fact that the Pentagon

(34:39):
refused to give the file to thefamily, refuse to tell them what happened,
and even refuse to tell them whofound their son's body. The name
of the person who found Dave Cedegrin'sbody in the shower was redacted in the
report. We found him, weflew him to Minneapolis and reunited him with

(35:00):
the family at the grave site.At Dave Cedegrint's grave site, the Pentagon
kept the name from the family.And I just am offended when people try
to conceal the truth when all ofthis is happening. And I, you
know, I appreciate what you're sayingtoo, in terms of concealing the truth,

(35:21):
and it's really obnoxious when someone youknow that they're lying and they don't
want to tell the truth. Iwant to stay on track though, with
this story here, because again there'sa lot of questions here, but I
don't want this to be our entireconversation today, but it really is.
It goes very deep. And italso ties back to your I think your

(35:44):
interest in politics, interest in beingof interesting to be a journalist. On
when the lawyers, when you hadto seek get the lawyers to open this
up. Was that when you kindof you and your team kind of knew,
oh, okay, we're onto somethinghere, because I just feel like
by this I'm not giving you theinformation that you have the right to was

(36:05):
almost kind of like a red flag, like something's up here. I just
the file should have been given tothe family, and the file. If
I file had been given to thefamily, there would be very little for
us to look into. And sowhen they denied it, you knew something's
up. The government does not denyaccess to a file because there's nothing in
the file except for Daisies right,there is something in there. And it

(36:27):
was so explosive. Today I gotthe file. Actually it was a big
box, and I opened it upat the station at my desk, and
I think I read about maybe fivepages. And I went straight to my
news director's office and I said,you are not going to believe what's in
these documents. I mean, wehad to pay I think one hundred bucks
or something. I could not believeit. How they found the electrician,

(36:49):
the oldest I ROCKI and the sparkscoming up from the ground and all of
this stuff. My blood was boiling, and I just I could not wait
to do the story. But then, of course you have to get all
your ducks in a row, youhave to go all these interviews together.
We brought the entire family into thestudio. Uh. You know, we
took our time. We tried toreach people that were there at the time,
and it was a very laborious process, but it paid off for this

(37:10):
family. And I asked us too, because why did they need to hide
it? I mean from from mymy ignorant perspective. My ignorant perspective is
that we we set up a basein a foreign country, and we don't
have the resources available to us toget the proper electricity going through there,

(37:34):
and we have people in power whomade some mistakes. And I feel like
there's some reasonable answers to a lotof it, which aren't answers that we
want as family members of anybody whodies or gets burned or is injured,
but is something to where we cansay, Okay, we get it,
you're you're abroad you're in, you'rein a battle, you're in, you're
you're at you're at war. Therethere's people around you. I thought,
you know, maybe it was becausea Taliban was was trying to get into

(37:58):
and that's how the electric thing whenyou mentioned that they were getting a Rockies
and you know, there's all sortsof reasons that could have at least made
us feel like, Okay, Iget it. Why do you think it
was important, I guess to thePengona to hide this. I have no
idea. I don't know whether itwas embarrassment or it was I have no

(38:19):
idea. I can't get into theirhead. All I know is that they
did not disclose it to the family. They denied our Freedom of Information Act
request. We had to appeal.We finally got it on appeal, and
what it showed was damning. Itwas absolutely damning. And if it had
not been for journalism, this familywould not have answers today. Yeah,
yeah, I mean, And whenyou think about journalism, I just watched
a movie, not a journalistic movie, but you know, a documentary type

(38:43):
movie on do you remember it didn'thappen that long ago when we I can't
remember the names of the people,but I think there was a group called
the Wall Street something and they drovethe game Stop stock really high. So
I just watched that movie. Andwhy I'm where I'm relating this whole thing
is that in the end, therewas there was a bunch of different things

(39:06):
that happened from a UCC or notUCC financial I think it was sec thank
you security thing exchanging. Yes,yes, a bunch of things that happened
and where people really probably should havegone away or been find a lot heavily,
heavily, right, heavier. Idon't know what should have happened or
didn't happen, but I know whatdidn't happen, right, and it was

(39:29):
that they didn't. And do youknow anything about the story. I don't
know much. Oh, you don'tknow much, Okay, So just to
kind of give you a little backgroundso you could understand what I'm talking about
here, this this guy who's afinancial analyst starts going on live camera and
starts talking about his stock portfolio,and he starts saying game Stop is going
to be the next Hotes stock AndI'm doubling down on it. And in

(39:52):
the movie, I'm just referencing themovie here in the movie, and I'm
assuming a lot of this is truebecause it was all done on live of
streaming platforms. He invests like fiftythousand dollars into game Stop and at the
time the stock was like three dollarsin change. And now other people start
jumping on the bandwagon and they startdriving the stock up. At the same

(40:13):
time, hedge fund managers were shortingthe stock, and now that the stock's
going high, they're losing millions intobillions of dollars because of meme stock.
Right, yes, so this iswhat's happening. This guy's fifty grand gets
turned into at the end of thewhole story, thirty million, right,
So that's how high he drove.The stock drove up to over three hundred
and eighty four dollars from what Iremember. So anyway, what ended up

(40:37):
happening was they were buying the stockthrough an app called Robinhood. A lot
of them were buying it through Robinhood, and the founders of Robinhood were saying,
you know, free platform, andyou know you can buy stocks and
all this other stuff. And oneof the hedge fund funds that were involved
were also involved with Robinhood. Iguess in some way. I don't know

(40:59):
how, but somehow or another,at least in the movie the way that
they described it, the app gotturned off. The buy button on the
app or the sell button on theapp got turned off on Robinhood, and
therefore people couldn't buy or sell theirstock, and now it was driving a
stock down. So there was awhole thing that happened there. And then
they fix it because I guess they'retrying to get out of the light.

(41:19):
It gets fixed or whatever. Butthen there's a whole court hearing about this,
and it puts these hedge fund managerson trial and Robinhood on trial and
everything. And in the end,what ends up happening, and what's written
on the screen not played out inthe story, is that the hedge fund
manager walks away and everybody walks away, even though it was proven through text

(41:42):
messages and all these other things thatthey were involved in the shutting down of
Robinhood because they were losing billions.Right. So where I bring this up
in terms of journalists journalism is theygot away with it. But if it
wasn't for whatever journalism's got put intothis movie and being, then we would

(42:02):
never know that this kind of stuffis happening. We would never know that
these people get away with certain thingsthat the normal person doesn't get away with.
And even though justice wasn't brought tothem in the court, I feel
like there's some sort of social justicethat occurs in that we can go,
you know what, Yeah, Iguess they got it walked away with and

(42:23):
we could be angry about and upset, but we could also look at it
and go, at least we knowthe story. At least we know what
happened. And this guy who waspainted in a negative light of investing his
money and he was trying to theywere trying to bring him down of saying
that he I don't know insider tradingand all this other stuff. You know,
it is like, no, justa normal guy who just likes the

(42:45):
stock and brought into it, youknow. So I feel like going back
to this whole thing of journalism isthat you're sharing with all of us two
sides of the story, and you'reshowing us you're giving us justice to some
extent, is what I'm feeling.Let me put it this way. As
I said earlier, democracy does notexist without a free press. Since two

(43:06):
thousand a quarter of the newspapers inthis country have closed. There are now
about two hundred US counties that areconsidered news deserts. They have zero independent
news outlets, none where people gettheir information from Facebook or other social media,
where there is no independent journalism.If you value the game Stock story,

(43:27):
if you value the story that wedid to find the truth about Dave
C. Degrin's death, if youvalue transparency, if you value democracy,
you will subscribe to your local journalismoutlets. I subscribe to Buffalo News.
I don't live in Buffalo, butI admire their journalism. I subscribe to
the Arizona Republic. I've never livedin Arizona, but I admire their journalism.

(43:50):
If you support stories and journalism anda free press, you should go
online today and support your local journalismoutlet. They are closing, they are
dying. We have had the lasttwo months a brutal series of layoffs in
journalism. We cannot survive in thiscurrent revenue model. It is not enough
to talk about it. It isnot enough to give out rewards. If

(44:13):
you and anyone listening supports journalism,then you need to put your money where
your mouth is and support democracy.Yeah, I mean, it just goes
back to just uncovering these stories.I mean yours obviously much well, you
know, it definitely different level,different of what was happening. There.

(44:34):
Another achievement that you received that I'minterested in understanding is the Wade H.
McCree Excellence in Legal Journalism, AndI'm interested in what that is because it
also mentioned something about the state bar. So I'm assuming has to do with
law. Are you a lawyer.I'm not a lawyer, and I think
so. Wade H. McCree wasa Solicitor General of the United States.

(44:54):
I think he was the first orsecond African American Solicitor General of the United
States. And it's the let mesee the Excellence in Legal Journalism and the
Advancement of Justice Award. Now Idon't know many people that have an award
for the Advancement of justice, butI'm very proud of it. And what
happened is I was doing journalism aboutthe story of this judge. This judge

(45:15):
crashed his car into a building,and what happened from then on was so
confusing that we got to the bottomof it and we exposed what really happened,
not what was the first initial story, but what really happened. And
as a result of all of ourjournalism into what happened when the judge crashed
his car into this building, wewon this award from the Michigan Bar the

(45:37):
Bar Association of Michigan. So whatreally happened? Now, I'm curious Now
I want to know what did theytell us of what happened? Well,
this was a while ago, somy memory is a little fuzzy here.
I just told you a GameStop movie. Yes, yeah, right, sorry
everyone for that one. So essentially, the judge crashed his car into this
building and what he said happened wasnot ultimately what happened, and it went

(46:00):
all the way to Supreme Court.I was subpoena to testify, which is
a big no no as a journalist, and so our lawyers at the time
fought that and I did not haveto testify. But we conclusively showed over
a series of months that what thestory that was initially told was not true,
and it led to a bunch ofconsequences went all the way to the
Supreme Court. And the fact thatwe did not back down that this was

(46:22):
a local judge and it was asmaller county so in this county, this
judge was a very very big deal. It's not like in a major county
where you could have fifty judges.I think there was one or two judges
in this county, I can't remember. But again where they kind of make
their own law, well, wherethey have a lot of discretion and it's

(46:42):
their fiftom. And in this case, again I could not stand that.
I thought somebody was not telling thetruth. Yeah, that's and so that's
where that one came from. Goingback to the whole independent journalism. And
then of course we have the bigones that are out there. When you're

(47:04):
working in the field in this industry, right, you're working in this industry
and you're coming up against the Foxesand the I mean Wall Street Journal was
just bought by Amazon, right,Jeff Bezos owns Jeff Bezos owns the Washington
Post Washington Post five years ago,right. I mean when you see it
that way, and we go backto independent, where do you see the
landscape of the independent going when youjust mentioned it earlier, of like,

(47:28):
are they getting bought up or arethey getting kind of like sucked dry?
And and how does it affect thekind of news that we receive because you
just talked about like how one thingwas said and now it was actually uncovered
that it wasn't, So how doesit affect that? Okay, So a
clear distinction here. Jeff Bezos boughtthe Washington Post from the Graham family.
The grand family had owned it,I think for like seventy years. Obviously,
the Washington Post did the trailblazing journalismthat led to President Nixon resigning.

(47:53):
Woodwere in Burnstein, obviously, andhe bought the paper. But crucially,
even though Jeff Bezos bought the heleft the editorial team. He left the
team, the editor, the managingeditors. That team was left to cover
the news independently. Jeff Bezos isnot sitting in the editorial meeting every day

(48:13):
saying I want you to cover Amazon. In fact, if you look at
the Washington Post's history of stories,they've covered Amazon very critically in what's been
going on and labor practices and alot of things there. So it's not.
In some ways, billionaires and millionairesbuying journalism is saving those outlets.
When Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, he gave them a far longer runway

(48:36):
and investment into digital products, reporters, new beats, etc. New bureaus,
and so he gave the Washington Posta lifeline to expand that it would
not have had otherwise. So it'snot that people buying papers are ruining the
journalism. It's are they keeping theindependent structure in that newsroom. That's what's
crucial, and by and large,that is what is happening. What's not

(48:57):
happening is enough people are not subscribing. Why they think they can get their
news from Facebook. Getting your newsfrom Facebook is not getting the news.
You need independent journalism, curated withcontext and analysis, with people who have
done this, who subscribe to ethicsand rules and standards, to tell us

(49:17):
what is going on in the world. You don't have to agree with everything,
but whether you agree or not,these are the facts, and we
need people to tell us the factsin our life. We cannot be an
informed cistenery if we do not havejournalists to tell us what is happening and
to put it into context. Journalistsare not the enemy of the people.

(49:38):
You know what the enemy to peopleis people that don't tell the truth,
people that want to shut up journalists, authoritarians and autocrats. They ruin countries
and societies by attacking independent media.That's how they start the slide to dictatorship
and authoritarianism. In fact, favoriteperson Thomas Jefferson, two years later in

(50:01):
seventeen ninety nine, talked about theessential nature of independent journalism and I actually
have this quote on my desk.Our citizens may be deceived for a while,
and have been deceived, but aslong as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light. As long as independent journalism can

(50:22):
be protected, we can trust journaliststo shine a light on corruption and wrongdoing
and malfeasance. Support your local journalism. And I assume that because of that
is why you couldn't be subpoenaed forthis other thing, because that protects you
as a journalist to be able togo and kind of get stories and do

(50:43):
the different things that you do.Well. I was subpoenad but we successfully
quashed the subpoena because there is astandard in this country that typically reporters are
not pressed to testify. Not always, but typically there is that privilege,
that standard. It's not ironclad toprotect the freedom of journalism. Then sure,
if I have a source, let'sjust talk about I'm blanking out Daniel

(51:09):
Elsberg. He linked the Vietnam Wardocuments from the Pentagon super secret and they
conclusively showed that our leaders at thetime of the Vietnam War were telling us
everything was hunky dory and going great. But they had his whole report to
show that they knew things were notgoing well. They knew things were not
going well and that it would ultimatelylikely end in defeat. Daniel Ellsberg was

(51:30):
a contractor at the time, Ithink for the Rand Corporation linked those to
the New York Times. They wantedto uncover the source, the government,
and they wanted to shut down thefree press. It's called prior restraint,
where you try to get an orderfrom a judge to stop journalists from publishing.
And in the end they lost becauseeven though the New York Times for

(51:52):
a short period of time was precludedfrom publishing, the Washington Post picked up
the baton, and then other newsorganizations picked up the baton. We have
a strong history in this country ofan independent press, and we will all
be worse off if it withers.So there's a camaraderie between all of them,
even if they disagree with each other'sviews. Because some carry different political

(52:13):
views or different views on things.Right. That's what I've always understood is
that you know, one media outletgoes to the right and one media outlet
goes to the left kind of thing. But in the end, in order
to uphold what you're talking about,they all kind of come together. There's
nothing better than being another journalist asa scoop. However, when the stakes
are massive, we all are onthe side of truth. And I would

(52:36):
just say one thing that you mentioned. There is partisan media more than ever
before, on the left, onthe right, on other sides. But
a typical news operation has a newsside and an editorial side. Let's take
the Washington Post. There is afirewall between the newsroom and the editorial pages.
One does not control the other.So while you may think think that

(53:00):
the editorials and the Washington Post laneone way, the newsroom is separate and
not a part of that. Theyare in no way connected to the opinion
calumnists. Same on cable news.If you have a news operation from nine
to five o'clock and at five pmit switches over to hosts and guest panelists
and talk shows. That's different thanthe news blocks of what they're reporting.

(53:20):
Yeah, going back to this thisleak that you were just talking about,
it made me think about Snowden.I'm interested in your thoughts on that one
and how that came up and cameabout. Look, a journalist wants to
get almost everything out into the open, and so what Edward Snowden did in
linking leaking the fact that there wasthis warrantless surveillance program that was going on
I think started under the George W. Bush administration and then he revealed it.

(53:45):
Of course, ajournal journalist wants totell the American public what is going
on in their name that they don'tknow about. There is occasionally times when
a journalist will have a story andsomeone from the administration or Homeland security or
whatnot will ask them to hold thestory, not necessarily to kill it,

(54:06):
but to hold it for a shortperiod of time so that sources and methods
can be protected, or because theyfeel that if a journalist publishes a story
that it could put lives in danger. There are many, many instances of
journalist journalism outlets holding a story fora short amount of time, and I
think that what happened in the snowedIn case was when they had those documents,

(54:27):
if I recall correctly, they didfirst tell the government that they were
going to run these documents, andthey asked for comment and quotes and contexts.
And so that's the way to responsiblydo it as a journalist, not
to post everything online without redactions,but to put it in context, give
the government agencies an opportunity to respondand then report the news. Thanks for
touching based on that. That wasanother movie that I watched. Another great

(54:52):
source of my knowledge. Here aremovies going back to the work that you
do, which of course we're talkingabout, but talking about from these other
levels and cases and different things thatyou've reported on. I'm interested in the
backdrop of the work that you do. So you've gone to underserved countries and
you're teaching these journalists there how todo what you've just talked about, but

(55:16):
you're also showing them lighting techniques andvideo techniques and production techniques and all these
other things. I'm interested in someof that too, Because we won't go
back to you being an English teacher, right, We're going to go back
to there, right, And it'snot you about you being an English teacher,
but it's about this desire to teach. And we just had a nice

(55:36):
little interaction with one of the peoplehere in the studio, Chris Marino,
and you were just talking with himoff air here and just mentioning to him
that your greatest joy out of teachingis really selfish, because it's really when
you see the light bulb go offthat you feel, wow, that's awesome,
and you feel this really sense ofaccomplishment. And so I would love

(55:57):
if you could share a little bitabout how you go to the different underserved
countries, and I know Vietnam isone of the ones that you work closely
with, and how you teach themand some of the techniques and strategies that
you teach them. Well, beforeI talk about me, which I'm always
happy to do, let me justgive a shout out to the teachers that
made the difference in my life.John Starzik was my fifth and sixth grade
teacher. He just turned ninety yearsold, and every year for the last

(56:20):
twenty years, I go back toLos Angeles and I take him to lunch
because he made such a difference onmy life. And you need to tell
a teacher when they've made a differencein your life and in the very beginning,
he would say to me, Okay, we're going to alternate. You
buy lunch one year, I'll buylunch the next year. And every year
he asked me who bought last year? And I'll tell him that he did,
even though he hasn't bought a lunchin twenty years. That's how much

(56:44):
of a difference he made to me. And the other one is Carolyn Sweeney.
And she was a high school teacherand she believed in me. She
encouraged me, and she believed inme. And so let's have a shout
out for teachers and so if Ican even be a quarter of as impactful
as they were in my life toother people, that I will have gone
full circle and done something that I'mproud of. And so I started teaching

(57:06):
in twenty sixteen in Pakistan. Actually, the US State Department funded a program
through the International Center for Journalists,and they were looking for someone to create
a two week news production course,everything from how to do a news conference
to how to shoot something on cameraand how to light it and edit it
and put it together. So Iput together the course and I went to
Pakistan and taught for two weeks.I'm still in touch with those students today,

(57:30):
those journalists, and we had totake a different route to the school
every day the classroom for security concerns. So it was dangerous, but it
was important that I go and itwas important that we do that. And
they had real desire to transform thewild western journalism in Pakistan at that time
to the Western model where there areethics and rules and standards, and so

(57:52):
I did that. And then intwenty seventeen, I was invited to go
to Vietnam and teach in newsrooms thereand I've done it almost every year since
twenty seven. They'll give me atopic, so last year was fact checking
and I'll build a three to fiveday course on that, and I go
and I teach it throughout newsrooms there. I was an adjunct professor at Northwestern
University adjunt lecturer for their Middle Schoolof Journalism. And so now the way

(58:15):
we met is, you know,I'm teaching people on media training through my
company Media Advisory Experts, and Iteach media training, and I teach crisis
communications to clients and video production.And you're right, I guess it goes
back to when I was eleven.I just I really it is selfish.
It absolutely is selfish that I findsuch joy and I get such a kick

(58:37):
out of seeing the light bulb gooff in someone's head with the curriculum that
I've designed, that I've taught them. It's amazing. And you see the
impact on these people. They messageyou years later the impact that you've had
in their life. And so myhat's off to teachers. Thank you to
the ones that impacted me, andI tip my cap to all the teachers
out there. I think it goesto the public speaking side of what we

(59:00):
do in the impact side, theimpact right when you create impact, Like
why do we do what we do? Why do we do anything? Why
does anybody do anything? Why doesa mechanic fix a car? Why does
anybody do anything? And it's toimpact someone? Sometimes it's just for a
paycheck, And I get that,right. There's people that job hop and

(59:21):
it's just for a paycheck. Ihonestly think that a lot of those people
who job hop is because they haven'tfound their reason or what they want to
impact or how they want to impact, and they're still searching, and I
hope that they'll find their place.But for the people that you know,
really find a profession and buckle downand excel in it and look for all
different ways and mentors and ways tosucceed in that profession. It's the impact

(59:45):
that it creates. If you're thebest mechanic out there, you're creating an
impact. You're keeping roads safe,You're getting people making their cars faster or
better or running more efficient or whateverit is, or developing new technologies in
the like all sorts of amazing things. So there's always a way to impact.
And I want to just also acknowledgeteachers, especially since I'm married to

(01:00:06):
one, and my mother was ateacher she's retired, and so many others
who have impacted my life, andso I also want to acknowledge that statement
that you made and appreciate it.You know, my dad told my sister
and I when we were kids thathe didn't like his job, and he
hated his job for thirty five years, and he did it to provide for
us right as a single income family. And he told my sister and I,

(01:00:29):
go find something you love and doit. And I've quit my job
three times in my career because Iwanted to do something more, because I
had felt fulfilled and I felt completebut then at a certain time, you
feel like you want to do somethingmore, You want to go chase that
joy in a different direction. AndI would just say to people out there,

(01:00:52):
some people are not able to alwayschase the joy. And if you
have the capability, if you havethat moment in time, no matter how
brief it may be, chase thejoy. I love that. Chase the
joy. I promised we would getback to how you prepare for interviews,
and then I added to that andalso fact checking. So I am interested

(01:01:12):
in some of the things that youdo in terms of your preparation for interviews.
I look at it like in alawyer. You know, there's a
saying about how you should never aska witness a question you don't know the
answer to, and I sort ofsubscribe to that method. I want to
know the answer before I ask thequestion in an interview. And so what
that means is it's a ton ofresearch. And I'll have all kinds of

(01:01:32):
papers in front of me, andI'll have post it notes, and I'll
say this is document A, andthis goes to point A and all that
stuff, and I'll make all thesenotes. I typically actually do not write
the questions out in advance, becauseyou have a fear. There's a risk
when you write questions in advance asa journalist that you'll be so focused on
this question that I have on thepiece of paper that when your interview subject

(01:01:58):
says, yes, I stole thenuclear codes, you'll be like, okay,
but so how's your wife doing?Like you'd be so committed to the
next question, you won't hear thebombshell in front of you. If I
had been so committed to the nextquestion at NCIS, I would never have
heard her say I apologize. Andso I do a ton of research,
but in the moment, you haveto listen. And unfortunately a lot of

(01:02:20):
newer journalists they are so nervous thatthere will be silence after an answer that
they are looking at their notes.They're committed to the questions that they've written
down, and I like to beso prepared that off the top of my
head, I know when someone hassaid something surprising. I know when someone
has said something like the apology thatis going in a different direction. I

(01:02:44):
had all these notes, Michael,and all these outlines of where I wanted
to go with that interview with her, but the moment she said, she
was sorry, boom, that goesout the window, my whole outline,
my whole you know, direction thatI wanted to go. You have to
respond in that moment, and soit is important that you prepare. It's
important that I not be caught upguard. There was a congressman who told

(01:03:06):
me once I was going to interviewhim? And he said, what do
you know about me? And Isaid all this stuff and I said,
then I turned it on him.I said, what do you know about
This is before we were recording,and I asked him, I said,
what do you know about me?And he goes, oh, I know,
you're one of the best prepared journalistsever, and I'm not going to
sneak anything by you. And thatwas a massive compliment. Yeah, yeah,
that is, that is it's it'sI guess I'm thinking about my my

(01:03:29):
method to prepare for an interview.And you saw I have an intake form
that I have you fill out.You didn't fill it out as much as
as I as I sometimes would like. But I do a little research.
I went to your website and youknow, go online and find some some
things. But that's that's how Ikind of do my research. Because I'm
not a reporter, so I don'tgo digging into into your life outside of

(01:03:52):
what I'm able to find. Butone of the things that I do is
I don't like to read that intakeform or do any type of research on
my guests pretty much until day of. And I do that because I want
it to be fresh and I wantto be present with you in that moment,
so as I'm not interviewing people basedoff of like what happened in a

(01:04:13):
war, so you know, it'smore about their life story and you know,
so that's part of my preparation.I'm curious as to what you think
about that preparation because some people havechallenged it of like you don't think about
your guest the whole week or themonth or whatever. And I'm like,
I interview two guests a week,both on Fridays. You know, you
normally have an eleven o'clock and atwo o'clock, And I'm like, if
i'm I'm going to confuse them.Quite personally, I feel like if I

(01:04:36):
start prepping for both my guests ona Monday, I'm going to confuse you.
To look, I write notes byhand on a notebook and other people
are like, why don't you typethem out? And so if you want
to do your research on the dayof the interview, and I want to
do my research a month prior,Hey, more power to you. Whatever
works for you, and you havebeen present. I can testify to that.
I felt like you were present forthis interview. So no, don't

(01:04:58):
change it up. Whatever works foryou, whatever your research method is,
whatever makes you feel confident and prepared, that's what you should do. Yeah.
And then the other one I appreciatethat you said too, is about
the prepared questions. That's another one. I actually get a lot of feedback
from podcast guests about that, wherethey go to podcasts and the host has

(01:05:18):
so many prepared questions that, toyour point, they don't hear the story.
And I've been fortunate to have somereally wonderful guests on that have provided
me with the feedback of it wasnice to not like get hit bombarded with
questions, like, although I'm askingyou a bunch of questions during this whole
time, it just pertains to whatwe're talking about. And I feel like,

(01:05:39):
I think that in journalism, you'reon television and you have a half
hour spot or a fifteen minute spotor maybe you have an hour or whatever
it is, but it's usually notlong because our tension SPAN's not long,
and so you have to get certainquestions out. So I get that.
But in the podcast realm, it'slike you don't need to go boom boom
boom boom boom, like you couldlisten a little bit, right. I

(01:06:00):
mean, it feels like we're havinga conversation. Now. I'm very disappointed
you haven't asked me about my firststint on national television. That is,
really you're missing the lead story herewhen I was eighteen. Are you going
to ask me about my nationwide debut? Hold on, hold on, hold
on, because I want to showcasemy research here, and so for all

(01:06:21):
of our listeners, what he's whathe's speaking about, if he's going to
kick me if I'm wrong here?What are you speaking about? Is there's
a little show on television, littleshow on television, and it's called The
Price is Right. And I'm goingto just make an assumption here. I'll
make an assumption here. I'll fatcheck it that you'll fact check it,
and hopefully you don't kick me forthe name of the person I put on

(01:06:43):
this but there's a little show calledThe Price Is Right, And your claim
to celebrity was being chosen to meetBob Barker on The Price is Right.
And I'll let you take the restfrom there. So I went as a
freshman in college, and I hadalways watched The Prices Right, you know,
when you're sick. Your home isMy wife loves that show today.

(01:07:04):
Okay, so Drew Carey. Backthen it was Bob Barker and the late
Rod Roddy is the announcer. Andso I had just marched in the Rose
Parade a couple of days prior wewere going to go. My whole dorm
was going to go, and Iwasn't going to go. And my mom's
like, you're crazy. You seehow my mom is always like the font
of wisdom there in my life.And she said, you're crazy. You've
always watched The Prices Right. Youwant to go? I can't fine cope.

(01:07:26):
So she's very encouraging. She's veryencouraging, right, hi, mom.
And what most people don't realize isthat you're interviewed when you go to
The Price is Right. You're interviewedin groups of ten, and so you
go in front of two producers andthey're on director's chairs. And I was
with a group of twenty five peoplefrom USC. So you walk up in
a group and there were ten ofus and I was number nine of ten.

(01:07:48):
So the producer starts on my ritewith number one, and he says,
just tell me what your name majoris? What your name would?
We go down the line and I'mlooking at this line Michael, and they're
saying, oh, I'm so andso on this is my major. I'm
thinking, how in the world amI going to get on the price is
right? If all I say isI'm Mark and I'm a broadcast journalism major,
that's going to get me nowhere.So they get to me and I

(01:08:09):
go nuts, and I say,I'm Mark and I'm a broadcast journalism major.
And I play alto saxophone and thegreatest marching band in the history of
the world US and we're gonna beatthe UCLA Trojans, We're gonna beat the
Neder in Irish and and I gooff. You did what most people do
when they get up on stage withthem right right, So isn't even on
stage, it's like outside of Andso we get done with that and all
my friends are like, you blewit, you blew it, you were

(01:08:30):
crazy, you were over the topenergetic, You're never gonna get picked.
I'm like, okay, well Iruin my shot here, right. So
we get in the studio and theytell you that if you can't hear rod
Roddy because of the music, theywill hold up a cue cart with the
name of the person they call.Well, I'm not paying attention. So
the game show starts and the musicstarts, and you know how, they

(01:08:50):
pick four people in the beginning ofthe game show right to fill contestants row.
So they call number one. I'mnot paying attention. Oh I'm clapping,
I'm looking around, blah blah blah. Finally they get to number four
and I get poked in the ribsby the person my classmate on the right,
and I ignore them, and thenI'm poked in the ribs on the
left and I'm like, what areyou talking about? And he points and

(01:09:11):
it's that slow motion in your lifewhere you follow his arm and the finger
where he's pointing, and he's pointingat the stage and I can see a
cue card and it says Mark Albert. I'm like, oh my god,
so if you watch the tape ofthe video, like they can't find me.
I tried to find the tape.Yeah no, I hit it.
It's underlock and keep remember the transparencyit doesn't view apply here. So anyways,
long story short, I get downa contestants row, I finally get

(01:09:33):
on stage. Bob and I havethis hole back and forth about USC and
anyways, I win the whole thing. So I win the That's what I
was waiting for you to get tothe Showcase showdown? What was it?
So the first Showcase showdown was itwas like a living room and you know,
a boat and all this. I'ma freshman, right, What am
I gonna do with the living roomset and a boat and what do you

(01:09:56):
know about it? I don't knowabout anything, And so I pass it
to my the ray I think washer name next to me, and I
go for the next one. Thenext one was a recliner and it was
a hot tub and it was aCamaro T top rs Camaro and I didn't
have a car and I was eighteen, so I thought I died and went
to we're going to play with you. Hold on, we're gonna play with
you. So we have a recliner. Yeah, what year is this?

(01:10:18):
This was nineteen ninety six, nineteenninety six, recliner, recliner, a
hot tub, hot tub, anda Camaro T top Camaro RS T top
Camaro RS. And this is nineteenninety six, Yeah, ninety six,
nineteen ninety six. All right,let's see, I'm going I'm going twenty

(01:10:39):
at ninety six. I'm gonna gotwenty two k on the Camaro. I'm
gonna go. I'm gonna go elevenone hundred on the hot tub and the
recliner. I'm gonna go, Idon't know, two hundred. So what
do we got there? We gottwenty two twenty twenty three. Did I
say eleven hundred, right? Soh thirty three thirties thirty seven. I'm

(01:11:02):
gonna go with thirty seven thousand.So you're making a faulty assumption here that
I actually remember what I tell thatone. So listen. The total price
package I won was thirty two thousand. I was close, no, no,
no, but for everything, becauseI won an antique trunk to get
on stage, and then I wanta refrigerator, a tea set, binocular
to telescope, and a sofa whichI still own, and yes, Francisco

(01:11:25):
here hates the sofa, but Istill own the sofa. And then the
whole showcase showed end. So thewhole package was thirty two thousand. I
think the showcase was like twenty threethousand. Okay, all right, remember
this was twenty long time ago.Yeah, I said thirty six, yeah,
thirty seven yeah, all right,so you were close for the total
package. You're saying, I'm makingan assumption that I remember you remember the

(01:11:46):
price, You remembered every single itemyou won. I think that's weirder.
The price is easy. Okay,let me tell you why. I have
told this story probably five thousand timesin my life at least, and before
when I won, it was beforesocial media. Walking around camp people recognized
me, yes and stopped me fouryears later. That's so cool because they
saw it on TV air at tenam. And my last question about the

(01:12:09):
prices, right, and we're goingto get back to self development here people,
because this is what it's all about. It's all about learning things.
But this is the cool part.This is what's so cool about meeting people
with unique stories and really diving intoit. And I think I think it's
really a lesson for everybody to hearis that there's more to someone than what
they what they show. And youknow, if I met you and I
said, hey, you're a journalist, I want to learn about journalism,

(01:12:30):
and I want to learn about camerasand all this other stuff, and I
only want to talk to you aboutwhat you're doing in your career and being
on CBS, you'd be like,cool, Michael. But I don't know
if I want to come up fromDC to talk about that, like which
I do all the time. Right, But this is really about getting to
know somebody for who they are.But anyway, so my little rant there,
I am interested. One last questionabout the price is right? And
because they're pretty famous for this,what T shirt did you wear? Did

(01:12:51):
you guys have a team T shirt? We didn't have a team T shirt.
We all wore USC shirt. Youdid. And I still have this
shirt because my mom made me keepit. Okay, Mom again, And
can I just go back to somethingyou just said. Steve Hartman is a
correspondent at CBS News. He isone of the most phenomenal writers in America.
He does a story every Friday nighton the CBS Evening News Steve Hartman.

(01:13:13):
I hope you're listening. Steve andhe used to do a series called
Everybody Has a Story. He wouldhave a map of the United States.
He would close his eyes and hewould put his finger down on the map,
and wherever his finger landed is wherethey would do a story from the
following week, he would go tothat town. He would open up the
Yellow Pages and he would do itagain and put his finger on the Yellow

(01:13:36):
pages and find some random person andhe would find the most incredible, emotional,
impactful, poignant story you had everheard of these people. So what
you're saying is true. Everybody hasa story, you just have to dig.
Yeah. Yeah, I really believethat when I think about this show
and why I started it and howit's evolved and where it's gone, and

(01:13:59):
I always look at it go.You know, I, you know,
you might be the start of thecelebrity of the show, but I always
think everybody's got a story. AndI don't think i'd ever deny anybody a
request to come on the show,because to that point, some people that
are a little bit more shy,they're not as easy to open up about
their story, but they have astory. They have something to tell.

(01:14:20):
And with everybody listening, what Ialways tell my guest is as long as
you impact one life, you comeon here and you impact one life your
story the way it relates to somebodylistening right now or in a clip of
it or whatever it is, thatit impacted their life. That's the goal
of my show is that you impactsomebody positively and that they see that there's

(01:14:42):
no blueprint to what we do inlife. There as you said with me,
in journalism and interviewing, and there'swhat works for you, and everybody
is different. And when I firststarted this show, initially just for some
backdrop to what I'm saying here,I thought that there was a blueprint,
and so the the purpose of thisshow for me was to learn the blueprint.
It was to interview CEOs, businessowners, entrepreneurs, business leaders,

(01:15:06):
to learn the blueprint, to findout get all of you here to give
me your information based off of myquestions that I would ask you, questions
that I have every desire to learnabout, right, how do I start
a business, how do I becomea leader? How do I do all
these things? And what I learnedyour episode one hundred and nineteen I believe
today as we sit here, whatI've learned is that there's nobody the most

(01:15:29):
successful people that have walked through thesedoors has the same story. My story
is not your story, and itshouldn't be right right. Just because there
are best practices doesn't mean you haveto follow each individual person's path. And
so what works for you doesn't necessarilywork for me. You should do what
works for you. I think thatthat's just phenomenal and amazing and so getting

(01:15:51):
to best practices. So we're gonnajump off of this for a second.
By the way, I had alittle celebrity myself when I was nine years
old. Now, you don't likeliars, but you're you're, you're gonna,
you're gonna forgive me for this one. Here, You're gonna forgive me
for this one. Here. WhenI was nine years old, there was
a show on TV called Video Arcade, and I was in the YMCA camp

(01:16:15):
and they took us to see VideoArcade. So we went to see it
television show. It was in thenineties. It was a show about video
games and Johnny Arcade was the bighost, and all my friends knew who
he was. I didn't know whohe was because I watched the show.
But anyway, I'm there and I'mexcited because I get excited very easily.
And they come around with a clipboardand they say, we're looking for contestants
for the next show, and soI said, I want to be on

(01:16:38):
the show. And they said,well, you have to be ten years
old, and I said, well, I'm ten years old, and so
I put my name on it andeverything, and sure enough I got selected
to be on Video Arcade. AndI do remember being in a schoolyard.
I was probably fourth grade or somethinglike that, third or fourth grade.
I remember being in a school yardand a couple older kids coming up to
me and go, I saw youon TV. And I was like really,

(01:17:00):
and they're like, yeah, youwere on Video Arcade. I was
like cool. I was like,I never saw it. I never saw
it up until recently when I foundit on YouTube. I found it.
It's now posted on my YouTube channel, because I was like, that's pretty
cool. I finally found it andI played Battle Toads. I lost that
was off really quick and I wonHeavy Shred and so I also remember a
little moment there. So you wereon television nine years before I was there

(01:17:24):
when you were nine and I waseighteen, right, I didn't make it
till eighteen. You made it alreadywhen you were at nine years old,
but then it stopped there for alittle while, for a little while.
Anyway, this is about you.I want to get to what you're doing
today great, and you mentioned bestpractices. The way that we met is
we met through Speaker Lab, whichis a place where people learn about the

(01:17:45):
speaking business and learn about how toturn this thing that we do that we
do well, this gift that wehave of being able to speak and speak
publicly and turn it into a truebusiness and being able to book podcasts,
TV shows, speaking engagements, beingon stage, creating an impact with our
voice. And that's how we met. And you shared some of that with

(01:18:08):
me about what you're doing and howyou're trying to create this impact. And
the best Practices is really a greatway to go into this in that you're
doing media training and strategic planning andall these different cool things in media,
and so I would love if youcould share some more about what you're doing
today in this space. Well.Thanks. I took a sabbatical from journalism
in fall of twenty twenty three,because you know, twenty five years is

(01:18:30):
a quarter century. So you know, as you can see with the gray
hair, time to do something alittle bits. We still have hair.
That's true. That's true. Andso I launched Media Advisory Experts to do
media training for executives and companies,organizations, thought leaders, anyone who might
be interviewed by the media or whoneeds to work on their public speaking and
their public presence. And then wealso do journalism training, which I've done

(01:18:51):
since twenty sixteen, and we docrisis communications and video production as well.
And so I just gave a talkactually a week before. We were before
we're sitting here taping and one ofthe most pressing revolutionary things I try to
get leaders to focus on is Itell them, ask yourself, if this

(01:19:13):
is you, are you sending outlots and lots of news releases, maybe
two hundred and fifty news releases withthe help of an expensive, fancy PR
firm, and all you're hearing inreturn is silence. Silence is nobody calling.
Right, then I want you todo something counterintuitive, and I want

(01:19:33):
you to stop pitching your company,and I want you to stop pitching your
product and stop pitching your brand.Instead, I want you to pivot one
hundred and eighty degrees and I wantyou to pivot. I want you to
pitch your expertise. At what valueare you going to add to the audience?
What value are you going to addto that journalist who's writing that story.

(01:19:57):
If you try to sell your product, your company, your brand and
through a journalists, they're going tosniff that out in a heartbeat and you're
done toast put a fork in you. Instead, what I tell my clients
is, let's find that expertise thatyou have. Because if you're a thought
leader and executive, realtor, banker, financial advisor, doctor, you have
expertise. Let's find with that expertiseis let's craft it into a compelling story

(01:20:19):
pitch, and let's target who you'regoing to be sending that pitch to stop
sending out news releases about your company. It's foolish, and yet everybody does
it every day and they wonder whythey don't get results. So my media
training focus on let's find your expertise, let's craft your story and pitch,
Let's find out who it should goto, and I want you to add

(01:20:39):
value to that journalist and that story, and that's the heart what we do.
We're not a PR firm. Wehelp you maximize your PR opportunities.
I have a good friend who hasbeen on the podcast Tom Langan, and
he always says it lead with value, lead with value, Lead with value.
I'm interested in in this shift inmedia about leading with value because it's

(01:21:02):
a shift. It really is likegrowing up, it was all about pitching
your product, pitching what you do, and it was it was all about
that. That's what the commercials were. And in today's media, we see
a lot of what you're talking aboutthought leader. Like when I see people
like a Gary Vee or or evenoh my no, the gross Tyson or
something like that, and you seethat and they're talking and they're thought leaders.

(01:21:24):
You know that they're coming across asthought leaders, but behind them,
they're selling something. There's something forthere's a book for sale, there's a
media company there, whatever there is, there's something. And I mean very
similar to in our business of publicspeaking. There's we're on stage, we're
speaking, we're trying to create animpact, but we also have something that
we're selling and we're leading with value. We're no longer saying getting on stage
saying hey, buy my book orbuy my course. We're teaching them something.

(01:21:47):
And so I'm interested in if youknow when this shift happened and why
it happened, from going from productpitching into leading with value. So I'm
actually going to differ with you justa little bit of flicking here. So
what you're saying, in my view, are two separate things. So product
pitching has existed for a very longtime. The pivot in product pitching came

(01:22:11):
with social media, with influencers andtrying to subtly get your product placement in
there. You've seen it more andmore in the Super Bowl ads or in
movies right where you see the staris in the BMW and they don't ever
say the word BMW, but yousee the car prominently in the movie.
That's because BMW like the pay forit, right. I'm arguing the product
placement that is yeah, right.What I'm arguing though, is that that

(01:22:33):
is different than what I'm talking aboutin journalism and in the news. Here's
an example. Katie Kirk's first husbanddied of colon cancer. Two years later.
She did something incredibly brave, andshe got a colonoscopy live on the
air on the Today Show, whichat the time was the number one morning

(01:22:56):
news program in America. Can youimagine I'm now at an age where I
just had I first went, andlet me tell you, no cameras were
allowed. So she did this incrediblybrave. Years later she went with Jimmy
Kimmel, and Jimmy Kimmel got iton TV as well. If I was
a doctor who did colonoscopies, Iwould see that this was going to be

(01:23:17):
happening on Thursday, and let's sayit's Monday, and I would draft an
email that says top three symptoms tolook for. Then I might have colon
cancer, top five ways to preventcolon cancer, and then I would send
that to my local media at theTV stations, the newspapers, the radios,
etc. I'm not sending a newsrelease. I'm saying, here is

(01:23:39):
my expertise, and here's the valueI'm going to give to your audiences.
Then when the local news has youon, right, because we call this
a breakout piece, here's the nationalnews and of course you're wondering about colin
cancer, so let's have an experton here's the expert, the doctor that
does Klonosquez. Of course they're goingto mention your company. They're going to
put it on the lower third bannerat the bottom of the screen. They're
going to mention in the introduction.But you're not wrapping the interview around your

(01:24:02):
company or your brand or your product. You're not getting ten percent off of
Kolonosky if you use the word kurrkright. Instead, you're pitching your expertise
and the value that you're bringing toyour audience. And I would argue that
that's been the way to get theattention for a journalist for decades. Okay,
to add value, but so manypeople today are misinformed and think that

(01:24:25):
they're going to send out to aninvestigative journalist the top sunscreen for summer.
I don't care what the top sunscreenbrands are for summer. You're doing it
wrong. So if you are blatantlypitching your product, your company, your
brand, and you're not getting mediacoverage, you're doing it wrong. If
you're not engaging the media, you'reafraid of the media, you're doing it
wrong. So what we help peopledo is find out what their expertise is,

(01:24:48):
how best to pitch it to ajournalist and what value we can add
to that journalist's audience. Well,I appreciate you clarifying all of that for
us product placement. I remember learningthat one in my my film classes,
and now for it's it's probably mywife probably wants to to kill me every

(01:25:08):
time I mentioned, oh, yousee that, but you see that,
you see and I mentioned all theproducts. I mean, you look at
a Michael Bay movie and it's likefilled a product placement. It's it's just
crazy going uh, going back towhat we were just talking about. In
terms of what you offer, You'reyou're also offering media training, which is

(01:25:30):
which is interesting to me because Ithink sometimes that some of my guests needs
some media training because they do comeon trying trying, where's my card,
where's my car, Let me getin my car, trying to trying to
pitch a product. But I Iknow that very quickly once we start having
a nice conversation, they're able tomove move past that. Where I'm going
with this is you did have areally big celebrity guest. Now this isn't

(01:25:53):
this is not this is pre youopening your business. You did have a
big celebrity guest, and that wasBill Gates. You had interviewed him.
I'm interested. I'm interested in themedia training that goes into someone like that,
and does he receive media training?Does he pass that? Do you
offer it to him before he comeson? Do you help him understand like,

(01:26:14):
hey, this is how you're beingperceived, or maybe you should sit
differently or something like that. Imentioned that because he slouches when he sits.
So I'm just interested on when youwork with a guest like that,
how do you go ahead? Andsure, So this is actually a great
point for your audience. It wouldbe unethical for me, as the journalist
interviewing Bill Gates to give him mediatraining, so the way that someone comes

(01:26:38):
in, I might be misunderstanding mediatraining then too. Yeah, so here's
what I mean by it. Solet's say I'm interviewing Bill Gates. It's
not adversarial, but I'm not hisfriend either, and so obviously I have
a point that I want to getin the interview. I have questions I
want to ask, and he isa point for granted me the interview.
The first time I interviewed it happenedto be that he was going he used

(01:26:58):
to do before the pandemic, onlythree interviews a year, and it was
around the annual letter that he andMelinda Gates now separated, put out,
and so he chose us because ofmy work on election security. He was
admiring of it. He wanted meto be one of his three interviews that
year, so he wanted to gethis annual report in his priorities out in
the first time we interviewed. Thesecond time I interviewed him was about COVID

(01:27:19):
and the support he was given tothose trying to develop the mRNA vaccines.
And so in that role as ajournalist, you cannot coach the person That
would be highly unethical. In myrole now that I've taken my sabbatical for
journalism, we would take someone likeBill Gates or someone who's a business leader,
let's say a tech startup CEO.They're so focused on Series A funding

(01:27:42):
and the technology and all this thelast thing they're thinking about is media training.
But when they're about to go publicor when they're trying to pitch investors,
they need those concepts involved in mediatraining, how to present, how
to be on camera, how topivot, how to develop your messages and
make sure they get through those interviewuse and sometimes how to handle a hostile

(01:28:02):
interview or hostile questions. That's themedia training I do now, and I
can give him insight that very fewPR firms can, which is I spent
twenty five years as a journalist.I know how a journalist thinks. I've
done it, and I can tellyou the pitfalls to look out for and
how journalists can be an amazing resourcefor the value that you want to add

(01:28:23):
to the to the audience. ButI'm not giving Bill Gates tips whether he
needs them or not. That's that'snot my role, right and not your
role as the journalist, Which makessense to me now. If Bill's listening,
Bill, give me a call.You know that that makes more sense
now because as a journalist you arelooking for the truth, and therefore you're

(01:28:43):
not you're not going to try toget him to say or her say anyway
that's gonna dissuade from the truth.That makes a lot more sense to me
now. But now, because ofyour business and you're more of an objective
person, you're not the journalist inthis In this case, you can give
that to them if they are yourclient. That makes sense. Yeah,
it's perfect sense. So I'm workingwith a variety of clients right now,
and each client has different needs.Some are organizations, some are people,

(01:29:05):
some are CEO whatever. And thougheverybody's needs are different, we want to
let them know what a journalist isgoing to be looking for and what not
to do. Don't lie to thejournalists. It seems simple, but there's
a lot of theory that goes behindthat, a lot we need to practice.
So one of the things I loveto do is we do sort of
a classroom session on paper, butthen I bring in a camera crew,

(01:29:26):
lights multiple cameras, and we sityou down and we see how are you
going to be on camera? AndI throw you some curveballs. Sometimes I
will pay for opposition research on youwithout you knowing, so that I can
throw those curveballs to you in ourmock interview, and then we watch it
back on camera and we find outwhat your ticks are, what your problems
are, what we need to workon, and then we do it again.

(01:29:46):
And for many of these people it'sthe first time they've ever done this.
Trust me, you don't want thefirst time that you've done it to
be for real, and that's whyyou need people to do media training.
That's so cool. I'm grinning fromear to ear while you say that,
because I've had that experience in thepodcast studio. My very first time here
at iHeart was Oh my goodness.It was back in two thousand, like

(01:30:11):
I think nineteen. So this isright now, we're recording. This is
twenty twenty four. Congratulations, fiveyears. Well, hold the congratulations,
because I've only been recording for threeyears. So I had been brought in
by a friend to record my firstpodcast, and we were going to see
how it goes. And so Ishowed up here and I've always I've taken
public speaking classes in college, I'vetheater all this stuff, right like,

(01:30:34):
I've always been open and right nowright we're just talking right. Well,
my very first time here in iHeartwas in a studio next door here,
and I sit down and he goes, yeah, I just grab a seat
right over there. And he's onthe boards like real confidently he's been on
radio for years, and he's like, hey, we're gonna just start recording
your first podcast. See how youdo, see how it feels and all
that, and I'll go okay,and I sit down and I'm nervous and

(01:30:58):
I don't know what to say.I don't know how do I speak into
the mic, And I've just likeapproached the mic just awkwardly, just now
everyone. And that's what I did, was like I didn't know where it
should go or what it should do, or where I should be. And
he started warming me up. Hestarted saying, you know, so tell
me about your family, tell meabout your kids, tell me about your
life, whatever it is. Right, he started getting me talking. I
bring this up in what you're talkingabout in media training, because even I,

(01:31:20):
as an extrovert, even I,as someone who knew I wanted to
do this, who you know,has been on camera and all this other
stuff, was nervous in this situationand it took me time to get comfortable
to where I'm sitting here with you. I'm not saying I'm totally comfortable and
there's some nerves kicking in here.For anybody who's been listening to my shows
can hear that from me. Butmy point is is like it's taken time,

(01:31:43):
so one hundred percent I'm with youon this. Is that if you're
going to be interviewed by anybody andyou haven't been on camera yet. You
need to get on camera. Youneed to get behind it. And I'm
not just saying that to pitch youor anything that you offer there. I
just I've experienced it and it's soso true. Well, you don't have
to pitch it. I will MEETIAExperts dot com, Media Advisory exps dot
com. He's pitching, he's allall there. I'm going to switch gears

(01:32:05):
real quick as we start concluding.But it's only because with what you the
work that you've done, and wherewe are right now in terms of elections
and everything, I think is veryimportant to bring up. And I mean
you, based off of our conversationsand getting to know you, you really
dig deep to the root of thingsand you have a very objective personality,

(01:32:28):
and so that's why I feel comfortableto ask you this. But I am
interested. You did this whole partseveral part series on election elections twenty four
Part twenty four. I knew itwas a big one, yeah, on
election security, and so I'm interestedin what that was about and what came
up about it. If if youcould just share a little bit about this
this series. Sure, when Icreated the first national investigative unit for Hearst

(01:32:49):
Communications in twenty eighteen. One ofthe very first stories I pitched, I'm
talking within seventy two hours of startingat Hurst was election security. This was
twenty eighteen, long before all thecontroversy that we've seen in twenty twenty and
since. And we did a seriesabout can you hack voting machines? And
I'll give you the bottom line.Yes, you can absolutely hack a voting

(01:33:10):
machine. However, it's going totake you about thirty seconds to a minute
per voting machine. And there areabout one hundred thousand voting machines in America.
It's impossible to hack America's voting system. You can hack one machine if
you can get it alone with aUSB drive by yourself, with no one
interacting with you. Impossible, Itdoesn't. You cannot swing an American election

(01:33:31):
like that. It's bogus. Anyonewho tells you that space lasers or anything
else that was a real thing,but somebody mentioned to that. Yeah,
some of your audience will know whatI'm talking about. Anybody who says that
you can flip votes in voting machinesin mass is bonkers. It cannot be
done. And we have it onvideo of changing my changing the race,

(01:33:55):
but on one machine, and wetime how long it took, and we
tell you exactly what you need todo to do it. And it's impossible
to do nationwide. So we dida twenty four part series on disinformation,
misinformation, how not to be duped, the whole thing, problems with the
Post Office in twenty twenty about mailin ballots and all that stuff. And
you know what I came away withafter twenty four parts and interviewing almost all

(01:34:17):
of the Secretaries of State in Americathat run elections, I interview them twice
a year for five years, isthat there is no widespread fraud in America.
It doesn't exist. And anybody whotells you otherwise, Michael, is
lying to you because they think you'rea dupe. There is no widespread fraud.
America's elections are safe and secure.Is there fraud, Absolutely, it

(01:34:41):
happens every election one here, two, there, three there. There is
no widespread fraud in America's election systemperiod, widespread being the keyword there.
This has been awesome having you on. And when I conclude, I like
to go to someone's mantra inspirational quotethat moves them forward in their lives and

(01:35:02):
what it means to them and foryou. It says, if a man
does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a
different drummer. Let him step tothe music he hears, no matter how
measured or far away. Henry DavidThorroaw, Yeah, tell us about that
quote. It's actually hanging on mywall in my bedroom. My mother had

(01:35:27):
that photo by the framed poem,and she gave it to me when I
was a kid because sometimes I wantedto do things that were different and I
didn't go with the pack. Andwe were talking earlier about sometimes I've quit
my job without a job because Iwanted to go find into the joy.
I wanted to chase the joy.And that line that poem has resonated with
me so deeply in my life.It has almost been not just a mantra

(01:35:49):
but a theme. It's okay ifyou don't follow the path that everyone else
is on, and it's okay ifyou don't follow the you should chase your
joy. And I have looked tothat quote, that line from Threeau that
poem for sustenance and guidance and comfortbecause it can be lonely. When you

(01:36:13):
take the path less traveled, itcan be very lonely. But you know
what, Sometimes you hear a tuneand you have to follow it. And
I would not have followed my tuneswithout my teachers, without my parents,
without the people who have made adifference in my life, who have given
me the confidence to follow that path. You know, no matter how measured
or distant the music may be.And so that line from throw has been

(01:36:34):
very impactful in my life. Imean ever since I was I don't know,
a young boy. It's funny thatyou mentioned it, because I actually
was going to bring it up ifyou didn't, because it is that impactful
to me. And I think thata lot of people these days, especially
with social media, if I don'thave a million likes, I'm not worth
anything, or my life doesn't matterbecause it hasn't resonated on TikTok. Forget

(01:36:56):
that stuff. Forget that stuff.You follow your joy and you follow the
music, no matter how measured orfar away it may be, and don't
worry about if anyone else is onthe same path. I don't have any
other way to end this other thanthat was awesome. That was I am
so appreciative of you coming to studiotoday, of your partner coming to the

(01:37:20):
studio today, and it's just beenit's really just such a pleasure to have
you right here in studio. LikeI said, you know, as a
basketball fan, a little child boy, childhood dream was to make it to
the NBA, and I knew thatvery quickly that was never going to happen.
So we shifted gears. And soif Lebron James would be my NBA,

(01:37:42):
you're here as my journalist. Soit's really really such an honor to
have you in studio and I'm veryappreciative of it. I look forward to
getting on stages with you and speakingwith you in the future. I would
love for our audio listeners, ofcourse, it's all be in a show
notes. If you could just sharewith them again your hand how to get
in touch with you and your websiteon how to get in touch with you.

(01:38:03):
Sure on Twitter, Instagram, it'sMalbert News, m Albert News,
m Albertnews. You can find meon LinkedIn. I'd love to connect.
And for all of your media training, journalism training, crisis communications or video
production needs, it's Media Advisory Expertsdot com. Mediadvisory Experts dot com awesome.

(01:38:24):
Well, thanks for coming on theshow. Thanks for having me Michael,
it was a pleasure. Thank youfor listening to The Michael Esposito Show.
For show notes, video clips,and more episodes, go to Michael
Espositoinc. Dot com backslash podcast.Thank you again to our sponsor dn Teninsurance
Services helping businesses get the right insurancefor all their insurance needs. Visit Denten

(01:38:45):
dot io to get a quote that'sd n TN dot io and remember when
you buy an insurance policy from Denten, you're giving back on a global scale.
This episode was produced by Uncle Mikeat the iHeart Studios in Poughkeepsie.
Special thanks to Lara Rodrian for theopportunity and my team at Michael Esposito Ink.
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