Earlier this month, John King did the CNN Diner segment of State of the Union in Denver, Colorado. The Denver Post talked with him while in town:
Make that salsa verde with extra economic stimulus and a side of Afghanistan.
CNN's John King, the longtime level- headed presence on CNN who is about to be rewarded with a nightly centerpiece newscast, was in Denver last week. He enjoyed hefty vegetarian burritos at Denver's Blue Bonnet Cafe, saying afterward he'll have to spend an extra hour in the gym paying the price.
Burritos were the backdrop for a discussion with three locals about the issues of the day in the "diner" segment, a refreshing break from Washington- ese that is a regular feature on his Sunday talk show, the four-hour marathon "State of the Union with John King." The Denver segment is due to air Sunday. He's traveled to 48 states so far, taking the pulse of Americans beyond the Beltway.
"They speak a different language from those of us in D.C.," King said.
In addition to discussing the diner segment, they also asked King about his new program:
King, perhaps best known for digitally pushing, pulling and expanding mountains of data on his "multitouch" screen, has spent the past year delivering a straight-ahead Sunday show that steers clear of typical cable news rant and sticks to information. The program has hit its stride, just as King is about to be elevated to an even more prominent role.
"I'll miss it. It's great real estate," he said of the Sunday slot.
The format for King's forthcoming weeknight show is still being developed, but the plan is to give news junkies something they didn't already know after a day of Internet, radio and TV news.
King will avoid the hyperventilating, opinionated styles of MSNBC and Fox News anchors, in favor of more even- handed reporting.
"I have nothing against what I call the business model of Fox or MSNBC. But these are business decisions." He rejects them for his network. "There are times," he said, "at CNN when we worry too much about what they're doing. That's less and less the case. Maturity has helped us focus on who we are." The rest, he said, will take care of itself.
On King's weeknight hour, "We'll empty our notebooks out and then have a feisty segment, where it's an anchor steering the debate, not telling people what to think."
He knows he's not the incendiary personality type, like Keith Olbermann or Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity.
"I hope I have a little bit of personality, but my opinions don't matter," King said. "Am I going to set myself on fire? No. I don't view that as my job."
... to read the full article: CNN's King makes his rounds in Denver
Photo credit: Jeremy Harlan, CNN. From left: Erica Shine, Joe Lecci, CNN's John King and Ira Crump at Denver's Blue Bonnet Cafe
Here's the video clip from the CNN Diner segment that aired on the December 13, 2009 State of the Union: