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基思·亨尼西(Hennessey)的博客

美国前国家经济委员会主任、乔治·布什的首席经济顾问Keith Hennessey

 
 
 

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在白宫西侧厅下工作经验谈(二)   

2009-06-09 08:12:34|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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在白宫西侧厅下工作经验谈(二) 北草坪上的访谈节目

 

这是第二篇关于在白宫西翼工作的具体情况的文章。我描述的是布什政府下工作的一些细节。也许跟奥巴马政府会有些不同。写这些琐碎的细节似乎有些傻,但是鉴于第一篇帖子得到了积极的反馈,我决定继续写下去。

 

2008年初,我做了我升职后的第一个电视采访。一开始我感到很有压力,花了一段时间才逐渐适应了。现在我已经不为白宫工作了,偶尔会为CNBC, FOX, 或者CNN做一些采访。 今天我想谈谈在白宫北草坪做电视新闻采访的例行方法。 尽管在出镜采访前我已经在白宫工作了五个多年头,但是事实上那时我对采访的事还一窍不通。

 

今天是就业数据发布日(Jobs Day): 这个月的第一个星期五,劳工部会发布这个月的就业数据。总的来说就业数据是一个月中最重要的经济数据。一些财经新闻媒体(如CNBC,彭博咨询,和福克斯财经频道)都会对其进行报道。他们一般都会邀请一些政府人员对数据进行评论,从中分析经济情况和政策的走向。我看到副总统的经济顾问贾里德?伯恩斯坦(Jared Bernstein)正在接受CNBC的采访。在08年,我和白宫经济顾问委员会(CEA)主席爱德华·拉泽尔主要就负责接受采访这块。

 

就业数据于每周五上午8:30发布。在所有的经济数据发布的同时,政府官员被禁止在数据发布一个小时内发表公开言论。这就给市场充分的时间在不受政府观点影响的情况下分析这些数据。

 

凡是有节目要在上午9:30播出的广播电视公司,其制作人都会和白宫新闻处(press house)的职员沟通。负责跟我们联系的是艾伦·维奇(Eryn Wicher)。 他是一个一流的专业人员,他曾在电视新闻媒体工作过,现在在斯坦福大学胡佛研究所担任传播主任(the communications director)。 艾伦负责与制片人联系,然后安排我或爱德华,或者两人一起参与访谈。

 

爱德华和我会在数据发布的前一天晚上讨论应该在电视节目上说什么。在数据发布之前就有数据报告的政府官员并不多,我们就是其中两个以便于我们能给总统提供建议。爱德华和他的幕僚也凭着这些数据来准备每天的“经济数据备忘”然后在早晨提交给总统。

 

我们通常会准时(早上8:30)收看CNBC的实况报道以防我们有什么遗漏,同时我们也借此观察下市场的初步反应和专家的分析。预备工作通常由皮尔斯·斯克莱顿(Pierce Scranton)来做。他是爱德华的幕僚长。他在猜测我们将被问到什么问题上很有一套,并会帮助我们如何给出简明扼要的答复。副秘书长托尼·弗拉托如果没有其他紧急事务的话也会参加预备会议。

 

上午9点过后会有人来我办公室帮我上妆。9:15左右艾伦和我(或者艾伦和爱德华)会走到北草坪。采访时, 我们被要求戴上适合上镜的领带(样式简单,不要带有复杂的图案),穿着标准领的衬衫(我常常因为穿着纽扣领的衬衫而挨骂),还得别上美国国旗的胸针。之后,我会带上我自己准备的耳机。这样我就不用戴被很多人戴过的耳机了,还有一个好处便是我不用担心在访谈中没有耳机用。

 

北草坪上,靠近从宾夕法尼亚大道到西翼入口处的车道的那一侧,摆着一溜各家广播电视公司设置的摄像机。从1998年莱温斯基丑闻开始,这些广播电视公司就在那设置了长期的工作室。而那块砾石铺成的地区被称为圆石滩。在布什执政期间,这块地被翻新了,摄像机和三脚架在不用时被用绿色的帆布盖住。现在它被称为“巨石阵”,两者间隐约有些相似的地方。

 

这些摄像机一字排成一长溜。 每个机子被设置在特定的位置以保证画面中人物的背景能包括从北边入口处到白宫的所有景象。而因为每个摄像机的位置不同,他们拍白宫的角度也有些许差异。在收看晚上的总统演讲时,你不妨试试快速的转台,你将看到不同角度拍出来的影像。

 

以下是CNBC的粗略的地图。你可以点击查看大图。

 

 north_lawn_stonehenge

 

 

左下角(西南方向)的长方形的建筑就是西翼。 右下角的建筑是白宫。这些是宾夕法尼亚大道上空的景象。

 

蓝色的方框里是摄像机组成的“巨石阵”。 当你参加CNBC台节目录制的时候就是站在红点上,而面对着在橘色点上的摄像机。黄线表示摄像机的角度,捕捉了从北边入口到白宫的所有景象。

 

如果你仔细看, 在蓝色方框的右边(东边)你能看见一条面向南边,从西北预约门(the Northwest Appointment Gate)一直延伸到西翼入口的车道。在西翼预约过的来访者会沿着这条路往前走,有时候会看见他们跟在某个接受过采访(尤其午间新闻)的人后面。在电视屏幕上如果他们从左往右走那么他们正往西翼走,如果是从右到左那么他们正要离开。

 

大约上午9:15艾伦和我会到“巨石阵”去。我们与摄像师和制作人打招呼,而我已经带好了麦克。所有我见过的制作人都很友善并且专业,而所有摄像师都很棒。我将站在红点上面对着摄像机。我的听筒线会夹在外套的领子上。 摄影师将音频线接到听筒线上。我腰上还挂着一个能显示音量大小的小盒子。最后他将一个小麦克风安在我的翻领上,至此我便全副武装好了。

 

接着摄影师开始调摄像机,而这时我通常都会看着摄像机下面的监视器,确保领带没歪,国旗胸针没偏。(跟镜子里相比左边和右边要反一下。这需要一点时间去适应。) 9:25左右,我会通过耳机听到节目的音频, 然后会听到有一个声音:

 

声音1: 汉纳西(Hennessey)先生,我是CNBC总部的鲍勃(Bob)。能听到我的声音吗、

我: 是的。鲍勃

声音1: 你能听到节目的声音吗?

我: 是的。

声音1: 太好了。请数到十。我们需要做下音频测试。

我:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,……

声音1: 非常好。谢谢你。

 

过了一会,我会听到负责我这块节目的制作人的声音:

 

声音2:汉纳西先生,我是汤姆(Tom). 接下去是广告时间,大概两分钟之后,我们会切入你的访谈。 采访你的是(艾伦(Erin)/马克(Mark)/艾伦和马克)

 

: 很好。谢谢。

 

在刚开始的几个采访中,内容部分对我来说并不难。之前我已经做了十三年为负责人准备采访、写谈话重点的工作,而现在我只用负责谈话就可以了。 对我来说比较难的是面对镜头的勇气和一些对肢体的要求:

 

·          看着摄像机镜头。眼神不要飘忽不定。

·          微笑。

·          尽量不要老说“呃……”或“你知道”

·          放慢速度

·          放轻松。

还有就是电视节目的节奏比较快。冗长的回答在这里并不适用,所以我必须训练自己把答案从原来的四五句压缩到一两句话。(这对我来说很难。)如果你的回答过长,主持人便会打断你并继续下一个话题。等你反应过来,已经为时已晚。

 

采访过后,你拿下麦克,向摄影师和这做人道谢,然后就算结束了。如果你还有另外一个访谈,那么你就继续然后重复刚才的流程。如果没有,那就回到屋里,卸妆,打开E-mail查看来自同事和朋友的对于这次电视访谈的反馈。

我只参加了一些演播室的访谈节目和CNBC的由嘉宾主持的“财政扬声器”(Squawk Boxonce)。对于主持人同时执行多个任务能力以及他们快速的思考、应变能力,我佩服地五体投地。当一个主持人在对着摄像机说话的同时,另一个就查看市场上的新闻或者电脑屏幕上的数据,或者快速浏览邮件。他们一边要兼顾制作人通过耳机对他们的指示,一边又要跟拍档和嘉宾进行访谈。协调、反应速度、随机应变能力以及主持人和制作人之间紧密的团队合作都太棒了。从那天起,我对那些主持现场快节奏财经谈话类节目的主持人充满了敬意。我连做一小节五分钟的节目就已经够呛了,他们却要在每周的五天里每天做上2-3个小时。

(翻译纠错。读者发现任何翻译错误请发邮件给我们,谢谢:caijingblog#126.com 将#改为@)


英文原文(地址:http://keithhennessey.com/2009/06/05/working-in-the-west-wing-doing-a-tv-news-interview-on-the-north-lawn/):

Working in the West Wing: Doing a TV news interview on the North Lawn

Posted Friday, June 5th, 2009, at 4:27 pm

This is the second in a series of occasional posts about the nitty gritty of working in the West Wing of the White House.  I am describing things as they were in the Bush Administration.  YMMV in the Obama Administration.  Again, it seems a bit silly to write about such trivial details, but given the positive feedback on the first post in this series, here goes.

I did my first TV interview at the beginning of 2008 shortly after being promoted.  At first it was stressful, and it took me a while to get used to it.  Now that I’m on the outside, I do an occasional interview on CNBC, Fox, or CNN.  Today I’d like to describe the mechanics of doing a TV news interview from the North Lawn of the White House.  Even though I had worked in the White House for more than five years before my first on-camera interview, I did not know any of this until I actually had to do it.

Today is Jobs Day:  the first Friday of the month, when the Labor Department releases the monthly employment report.  The employment report is generally the most important economic data point of the month, and the business news channels (CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business) always cover it.  They always ask for someone from the Administration to comment on the data and what it means for the economy and the policy agenda.  I see the Vice President’s economic advisor, Jared Bernstein, is doing CNBC now.  In 2008, CEA Chairman Dr. Ed Lazear and I typically did this duty.

The jobs report is released at 8:30 AM on Friday.  As with all economic data releases, Administration officials are embargoed from talking about it publicly for one hour after the release.  This gives the markets time to process the data without the Administration’s viewpoint.

For each show broadcasting at 9:30 AM, a network producer negotiates with a staffer in the White House press shop.  For us it was Eryn Witcher, a top-notch professional with prior experience in TV news who now works as the communications director at Stanford’s Hoover Institute.  Eryn would negotiate with the producers and set Ed and/or me up with interviews.

Ed and I would talk the night before about the upcoming data and what we might say about it on the air.  We were among a handful of officials who got the data reports before they were released, so that we could advise the President.  Ed and his staff also used that data to prepare the daily “economic data memos” that the President received each morning.

We would generally watch the CNBC commentary immediately after the data release (at 8:30 AM sharp) to see if we had missed anything, and to take a temperature check on the initial market reaction and expert analysis.  We would generally be prepped by Ed’s chief of staff, Pierce Scranton, who had an uncanny ability to predict what questions we would be asked, and coached us on how to give a short effective answer.  If he wasn’t fighting other fires, Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto would also sit in the prep session.

A little after 9 AM someone would do my makeup in my office.  Around 9:15 Eryn and I (or Eryn and Ed) would walk out to the North Lawn.  You need a good TV tie (no busy patterns), straight collar (I was often scolded for button down collars), and American flag pin.  After a while I got my own earpiece that I would bring out with me, so I wouldn’t have to use the common one that everyone else uses.  It’s also nice to know you won’t lose the earpiece during the interview.

Each network has a TV camera set up in an area on the North Lawn next to the driveway from Pennsylvania Avenue to the West Wing entrance.  The networks semi-permanently set up shop there in 1998 during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and the gravel-filled area became known as Pebble Beach.  It was refurbished during the Bush Administration with slate and the cameras and tripods are covered with heavy green canvas when they’re not being used.  It is now referred to as Stonehenge, to which it bears a vague resemblance.

The cameras are in a long line next to each other.  Each is set up so that the person on air has the north entrance to the White House residence in the background.  Because of the different camera positions, each has a slightly different angle on the White House.  On the night of a big Presidential speech from the White House, try quickly switching channels and you can see the different angles.

Here’s a diagram for CNBC (roughly).  As always, you can click on the picture for a larger view.

north_lawn_stonehenge

The West Wing is the square building in the lower-left (southwest) corner.  The residence is in the lower-right corner, and that’s Pennsylvania Avenue up top.

The blue box surrounds Stonehenge with all the TV cameras.  When you’re on CNBC you stand at the red dot, facing the camera at the orange dot.  The yellow line shows the camera angle, extended to capture the north entrance to the Residence in the background.

If you look closely, to the right (east) of the blue box you can see the driveway that heads south from the Northwest Appointment Gate to the West Wing entrance.  Visitors with appointments in the West Wing walk up this driveway, and you can occasionally see them passing behind someone being interviewed on TV (especially on the evening news broadcasts).  If they’re walking from left to right on your screen, they’re arriving at the West Wing.  Right to left, they’re leaving.

About 9:15 AM Eryn and I would walk out to Stonehenge.  We would greet the cameraman and a producer, and I’d get miked up.  All the producers I met were friendly and professional, and the cameraman are universally great.  I would stand at the red dot facing the camera.  My earpiece cord would clip to the back of my jacket collar.  The cameraman would connect an audio cable to that cord, and there’s a small box at about waist high with a volume dial.  He attaches a tiny microphone to my lapel and I’m all set.

The cameraman then adjusts the camera for the shot.  I’m generally looking at myself on a monitor below the camera:  tie is straight, flag pin is upright.  (Left and right are reversed from what you’re used to in a mirror.  That takes getting used to.)  Around 9:25, I’ll hear audio of the show in my earpiece, and then a voice:

Voice 1:  Mr. Hennessey, this is [Bob] at CNBC headquarters.  Can you hear me?

Me:  Yes I can, Bob.

Voice 1:  And you can hear the program?

Me:  Yes.

Voice 1:  Great.  Can you count to ten for me, please, so we can do an audio check?

Me:  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,…

Voice 1:  That’s perfect.  Thank you.

After another minute, another voice, the producer for my segment of the show.

Voice 2:  Mr. Hennessey, this is [Tom].  We’re going to a commercial break, and will be going to you in about 2 minutes.  You’ll be interviewed by [Erin / Mark / Erin & Mark].

Me:  Sounds great.  Thank you.

During my first few interviews, the substance wasn’t that difficult for me.  I had been prepping principals for interviews and writing talking points for more than 13 years, now I just had to do the talking.  The hard parts were the nerves and the physical mechanics:

  • Look at the camera lens.  Don’t let your eyes wander.
  • Smile.
  • Try not to “um” and “you know” too much.
  • Slow down.
  • Relax.

Also, TV moves very quickly.  Long answers don’t work, so I had to train myself to make my point in one or two sentences, rather than four or five.  (That’s difficult for me.)  If you go on too long, you’ll start hearing the anchor trying to jump in and move things along.  And before you know it, you’re done.

After the interview, you unmike, thank the cameraman and producer, and you’re done.  If you have another interview, you move down the line and repeat.  If not, head inside, take off the makeup, and get feedback from your colleagues and friends who email that they saw you on TV.

I only did a few in-studio interviews, and guest hosted CNBC’s Squawk Box once.  I was blown away by the ability of the anchors to multitask, and how quickly they think and react.  While one of them is talking on camera, another is checking market news or data on their screen, or scanning email.  Their producers are talking to them in their earpieces, and they are talking on camera with each other and the guests.  The coordination, reaction times, ability to adapt and improvise, and teamwork among the anchors and their producers are amazing.  Beginning that day, and ever since I have developed tremendous respect for those business news anchors hosting live fast-moving discussions.  I have enough trouble doing a single five minute segment, and they do it for 2-3 hours five days a week.

 [点击查看Keith Hennessey的英文博客]  [Keith Hennessey的中文博客] 

 

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