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Sunday, August 19, 2007

John King and Next Week's Schedule

Evelyn, one of ATA's regular commenters, had an up close and personal encounter with CNN's John King at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday. She was kind enough to share the details. Thank you Evelyn.

This year, the Iowa State Fair is a must-visit destination for the presidential hopefuls. Sure enough, I spotted Mrs. Obama taking in the sites with her daughters and an assistant. Where Mr. Obama was, I don't know, but I'm sure he had many hands to shake. With so many candidates traipsing around, it just makes sense that CNN sent their Chief National Correspondent John King to cover the event.

I was already planning on being at the fair on Thursday night for a concert, but while I was getting ready, CNN Newsroom made my trip to the fair a lot more exciting than it usually is. Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips led into a segment about the presidential candidates visiting the fair, and then went to John King live at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Now, of course, my loyalties lie with the one and only Anderson Cooper, but when it comes to utterly fantastic newsmen, John King comes in second on my list. The sight of John standing in the sweltering heat among fried Twinkie vendors, lemonade stands, and thousands of Fairgoers made my heart skip a beat. I immediately called my concert companion and informed her we would be embarking on a
mission to find John King before heading to the concert.

When we arrived at the fair, I knew exactly where to go. The live shot showed enough background that I knew right away John was on Grand Ave. Sure enough, as we walked down Grand, we saw two large white trailer trucks with satellites on their roofs. We walked by local news station campouts and a tent for Faux *ahem* Fox News (which had a considerable crowd around it; it is Iowa after all). I finally spotted the CNN logo on one of the trailer trucks, but I didn't see a CNN tent or any personnel so I feared that we had missed them. We decided to go do some spin art and come back in a little while. When we came back, the door to the truck was open, and I'm a pretty outgoing and hopefully polite person, but I didn't want to be rude. I decided the best way to go about this was to simply knock.

When I got to the open door, there was a fellow sitting just inside the opening. I figured he was associated with John in one way or another so I introduced myself and asked if I could meet John if he was still around. He said sure and told me I could come into the truck. It was extremely small and cramped, filled with all sorts of electronic devices and switches and in a corner on a Dell laptop there sat John King. I introduced myself and politely asked for a picture.

We stepped back outside to snap a few shots and chatted for a while. He asked if I was in town for the fair and I explained that I was a Des Moines native. I asked how he was enjoying the fair so far and he replied, "It's been great, you guys have every sort of food here." As the conversation progressed, it became clear to me that he was a wildly hilarious guy, as I was laughing quite a bit.

Through the course of 10 minutes, we hit a lot of topics. I asked if he had seen any candidates and he said he saw quite a few. He asked who my candidate was and when I wouldn't tell him he coaxed it out of me with an "Oh come on". Let me tell you, I'm easy to persuade, especially if John King is the one doing the persuading. After I divulged my candidate, I asked his, to which he replied, "Oh I can't tell you that." with a chuckle. I asked if I could have an autograph and offered him my spin art to sign. I explained how I was planning on making the CNN logo in spin art, but ultimately decided against it. He signed the frame and replied, "I don't know, I think you might have to be pretty drunk before you see the CNN Logo in this."

He asked if we were just walking around to which I confessed that I had embarked on a mission to find him. I recounted how I saw him on CNN Newsroom telling Krya Phillips he would send her some fried Twinkies, at which he laughed and said, "You've been watching, I'm impressed." He said Krya is really fun to interact with and he wanted to keep the event fun and light, "I don't want to be like other reporters who come and say things like 'there's a lot riding on this visit to the fair for candidates' as if it's the end of the world; come on people, it's however many months away, in an odd numbered year, lighten up."

I told him how much I enjoyed it when he subbed for Anderson on AC360 and Wolf on TSA. He chuckled and said, "Wolf is a funny guy. I remember when I was just starting out at CNN and he was the top correspondent at the White House and I was like #3. He made up these tacky pens that said 'I'm a friend of Wolf Blitzer' and gave them to everyone." I remarked that I would like one of those pens and maybe one day I'll have John's job and be able to get one. He replied, "You can have my job tomorrow. You have a 6am live shot for AM with Kiran Chetry and Rob Marciano." I laughed and said I was looking forward to Rick Sanchez. John then did a hilarious, spot-on impersonation of Rick, "Go ahead, I'm ready, tazer me!" while brandishing his arms at his side. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen. I asked if he had any other impersonations, perhaps Anderson? He replied, "No I can't do Anderson, he's pretty unique. I do have a Wolf though." In a flat voice, "You're in the Situation Room, happening now". I'm telling you, if you didn't love John before, you did after hearing his sense of humor!

I then asked him about the CNN Election Express Yourself trailer that was supposed to be there this weekend. I thought it was funny that it was a total surprise to him and I knew more about it than he did. After I told him what I had read, he said, "It's a trailer full of CNN pens, stickers, buttons and all that stuff." He told me to come find him tomorrow and he would personally accompany me to the CNN Election trailer. I told him I couldn't promise anything, as I'm moving back up to school tomorrow, but I would try. He then asked for my email address and said if I sent him a mailing address, he would get me some CNN "propaganda". Sure enough, when I checked my email, he had already sent me a message. What a nice guy!

To put it into perspective: while we walked away, my friend Katie, who didn't know who John King was before this, said, "He's pretty good looking, and funny too. Maybe I should start watching more news." Exactly my point! All in all, it was a fantastic experience. John is a nice, genuine and hilariously funny guy. I hope I've entertained you with my encounter and conveyed just how incredibly charming John is. I'm so lucky to have met him, and I hope all of you are lucky enough to meet him too!

We recieved next week's schedule from CNN earlier this week. With Christiane Amanpour's 6 hour special being shown this week it mixes up the schedule for this coming week.
Please note the following primetime CNN schedule and program descriptions for CNN Presents:
God’s Warriors - all times are EASTERN:

Monday, August 20, 2007
8:00pm – 9:00pm God, Sex & Greed with Roland Martin (Premiere)
9:00pm – 10:00pm Larry King Live: Christiane Amanpour, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dr. Maher Hathout, John MacArthur and Reverend Barry Lynn

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
8:00pm – 9:00pm CNN: Special Investigations Unit – Growing Up Diana (Premiere)
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS (Premiere)
11:00pm – 12:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
12:00am – 2:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS
8:00pm – 9:00pm Larry King Live: Christiane Amanpour interview about God’s Warriors
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS (Premiere)
11:00pm – 12:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚

Thursday, August 23, 2007
12:00am – 2:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS
8:00pm – 9:00pm God, Sex & Greed with Roland Martin
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S CHRISTIAN WARRIORS (Premiere)
11:00pm – 12:00am Anderson Cooper 360˚

Saturday, August 25, 2007
12:00am – 2:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S CHRISTIAN WARRIORS
8:00pm – 9:00pm CNN: Special Investigations Unit – Growing Up Diana
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS
11:00pm – 1:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS

Sunday, August 26, 2007
1:00am – 3:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS
8:00pm – 9:00pm CNN: Special Investigations Unit – Growing Up Diana
9:00pm – 11:00pm CNN Presents: GOD’S JEWISH WARRIORS
11:00pm – 1:00am CNN Presents: GOD’S MUSLIM WARRIORS


Evelyn said...

Thanks for all the programing info PT! I can't wait to see God's Warriors! Christiane is so talented, and what a fantastic subject matter.

BookAsylum said...

Thanks again to Evelyn for sharing her meeting with John King. He's definatley one of my CNN favorites.

This week's schedule on CNN is just packed with new programs!

Sapphire said...

I am so glad we got a first hand account from the Iowa State Fair. Thanks so much Evelyn for sharing your experience and good to know what is actually on the CNN Election Express Yourself bus. Did you tell JK you read about it on ATC :P

Can't wait for God's looks so good