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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Comments from Amanpour, Hughley, & Gupta

Christiane Amanpour CNN November 19, 2008
Photo credit: Jemal Countess/WireImage

On November 19, 2008, CNN's Christiane Amanpour attended the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Bridge Dedication Gala at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piersin New York City. While there she spoke with US Magazine:

Jennifer Aniston isn't a fan of Angelina Jolie, but Christiane Amanpour sure is.

"Angelina does an amazing job in terms of her capacity to highlight issues and problems around the world and with her humanitarian and human rights work," Amanpour, who is the Chief International Correspondent for CNN, told at the Justice & Human Rights Bridge Dedication Gala on Wednesday in NYC. She said she has no plans to interview the celeb.

D.L. Hughley CNNNeal Justin of the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) recently spoke with D.L. Hughley about his new program on CNN. Here are few snippets from the interview:

The newest member of the CNN family is also its unlikeliest. D.L. Hughley dropped out of high school, joined a Los Angeles gang, then turned his life around with a comedic career based on making audiences squirm.

Despite the nontraditional résumé -- and his unabashed support of Barack Obama -- he's the host of "D.L. Hughley Breaks the News," a one-hour program jam-packed with skits, interviews and in-your-face observations, with many of the news network's tools and personalities at his disposal.

You spent election night interviewing folks in Times Square... What was Times Square like?

You always hear your parents talk about when such-and-such happened, like man landing on the moon, but my generation has always missed those things. I didn't have any context -- until Tuesday. I mean, people were crying, they were euphoric. It took an hour and a half to go 30 blocks. Of course, near the end of the evening, I tried to get a taxi and it just rolled on by. I had to get a doorman to get me one. So things haven't altogether changed.

On last weekend's episode, you talked to Jesse Jackson Jr. and you showed footage of his father crying in Grant Park. I thought that was one of the evening's most memorable moments.

I think for people like him, they couldn't believe it was happening. I mean, my generation hasn't been the most inspirational. Activism kind of skipped us. I couldn't stop crying myself because I was thinking of my father. He's still with us, but we're not very close. Still, that was a moment we could have shared. I missed him right then.

What kind of shows did you have prepared in case Obama had lost?

Well, I would have had to be honest, but that whole idea would have been so final for me. I mean, if it's not this guy, then who? I would have definitely concluded that a black man can't be president. But, yeah, I would have found some humor in it.

Where will you find humor in an Obama presidency? Isn't pessimism funnier than optimism?

Optimism can be funny. Anything you're earnest about can be funny. I've never found it particularly hard to go after people I'm fond of. I mean, when you were in school and you really liked a girl, you didn't pass her a note. You tripped her. Nobody gets a pass.

Do you think Obama has a good sense of humor?

He'd better get one.

This show could have just as easily played on Comedy Central, HBO or BET. Why CNN?

They made the best offer. We originally had offers from all those people you named, but CNN had never been involved in anything like this, and that makes me excited and nervous. We've got a lot of advantages and an abundant amount of information. I can talk to so many people around the world. Last week, I interviewed some comics in Kenya. For CNN, it's no big deal. They've got a lot of tools I can play with.

On the other hand, we don't have a writers' room. We work in the middle of a pit, surrounded by anchors and reporters. We don't get to rehearse anything. We've got no crafts services, no wardrobe, no PAs [personal assistants]. It's really stripped down.

Sanjay Gupta CNNVariety posted the following comment made by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta about growing up watching movies.

It isn't brain surgery. Yet, watching movies can mean a lot to a second-generation Indian American growing up in small-town America (Chelsea, Mich.), where the name Sanjay Gupta is about as exotic as it gets.

"I love the rah-rah movies like 'Rocky' and 'Remember the Titans.' They're the classic underdog stories," says the Atlanta-based neurosurgeon, who moonlights as a health correspondent for CNN. "In Philadelphia, I've run up the 'Rocky' stairs."

Some Oscar-winning movies get better over time. Gupta saw Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful" when it was released in 1998 and once again more recently. "I found it even more emotionally powerful now that I have two kids of my own," he says. In the film, "The father endangers his own life in the World War II concentration camp so that his son can survive. That's the ultimate for any parent."

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1 comment:

Cyn said...

Those are great interviews, BA. Thanks for posting them!