"I always hated the idea of the 'get', because 'get' became the story. It didn't matter what I asked you, what we talked about or what we learned, it was 'I got you and he didn't.' We often chased after somebody who wasn't worthy of a story, and it obscured genuine news that wasn't getting covered. I didn't like seeing people who were great journalists obligated to chase after stupid stories just because they were the hot 'get'. And it's still going on."
About This Interview
In her three-hour Archive interview, Jane Pauley discusses her early life in Indiana, including her many awards for high school speech and debate competitions. She describes her interest in politics and how it led first to her job as a correspondent at WISH-TV news in Indiana, and later to her appointment as the first female anchor of a nightly local newscast in Chicago. She recounts her on-air audition for Today and co-hosting the program at age 25. Pauley discusses the challenges she faced replacing Barbara Walters, her on-air chemistry with Today hosts Tom Brokaw and Bryant Gumbel, and dealing with pregnancy and motherhood on-air. She outlines NBC's decision to slowly give Deborah Norville increased airtime in 1989, which led to her very public and controversial departure from Today. She details NBC's difficulty in making a hit news/magazine show, and talks of the challenges she faced during her tenure at Dateline NBC (including the threat of a lawsuit from GM over a staged incident involving one of their trucks). She reveals her struggle with bipolar disorder during a leave of absence at NBC, her return to the network on September 10, 2001, and how NBC news subsequently dealt with 9/11. Matt Lombardi conducted the interview on February 8, 2011 in New York City, New York.