A day in the life on this below cut.
Keep in mind when watching this that I had no idea this was on today's schedule. That's how cable works. They have a rollodex and the day's headlines and they scramble to fill the 24 hour news cycle.
To give the timeline:
Yesterday: I a do blog post, get interviewed by Wall St. J.
This morning 10 a.m.: Call from CNBC, they saw Wall St. J quote, do I want to do Power Lunch? We discuss blog post. I am given title ("Is the Obama Administration going too far?") And told it is debate format and they are still scrambling to get the other side.
Noon: I show up at studio (conveniently only a 20 minute walk).
12:15 p.m.: Am plopped into chair (no make up -- some shows do them, others don't). asst producer handling me asks if I have done this before. I say "yes," so we get to basics as he clips on mic and does sound check. "Camera is here, shot goes down to about just below shoulder, you will hear the show in this earpiece"). For those unfamiliar, the studio is a dark room with a comfy enough "director chair" and a camera pointing directly at me.
I go through personal prep routine I learned over the years. Remove anything jangly from pockets (e.g., keys or change). Even small noises get picked up by the microphone. Make sure cell phone is OFF. This is live TV. Drink water, not soda. Make sure cup is off camera. Make sure beard is smooth. Kippah clips are either black color or come off -- they reflect light and are distracting.
There is a tv off to the side which captures my image. I ignore it. Experience says that this is VERY distracting. Look at the camera and pretend you are talking to the person in your ear. One needs to look relaxed, but remember that the camera will pick up any eye movement or fidgets and this will translate to viewers as nervousness or insincerity. Posture should be open, but not too open. People want an accessible expert, not a buddy or a condescending lecturer. Keep audience in mind -- financial network=care about jobs, the market, money. Remember, you are not here to debate the other guy or go after him. You want to score your points with the audience by relating this stuff to what they care about.
12:20- roll camera. Happily, they explain format in real time, because I have NEVER seen this show before. Clear from get go this will have nothing to do with what we discussed on the phone earlier, so switch to alternate bullet points. Most important rule in debate is never let them pigeonhole you. They will expect the "consumer guy" to be antibusiness and frame this as a pro-business v. anti-business debate. Make antitrust pro-business and pro-investment. Keep it pithy. Sound bites suck, but they are the currency of the cable debate show. This isn't Newshour with Jim Lehr.
It went well enough that they asked me to stick around to do a separate piece of "evergreen" antitrust that they hope to pop into something in the next day or two.
Here's what the finished product looks like.