tv QA CSPAN October 25, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
each case, written by tony morrow and published by c-span in cooperation with cq press. for $8.95 plus shipping. ♪ announcer: this week on "q&a," amy chozick. she talks about her career in journalism prior to joining "the times." brian: amy chozick, how would you describe your beat at "the new york times?" amy: i have the hillary beat.
people say, "you cover one person?" but it is the entire universe from the foundation to the donors to the super pac's. it is a giant world. i used be a business reporters are think of it as covering a sprawling corporation. brian: when did you first get this beat? amy: summer of 2013. i am glad i started so early because i had time before the chaos of the presidential campaign to really think about my subject, to get to know the world outside the crush of breaking news. brian: back in 2013, richard burke, who used to be at "the times," and carolyn moran, were talking about this beat.
[video clip] >> hillary clinton left the state department think she wants a normal life. there she was in chicago giving a policy speech, how normal is that? >> it is not a normal life for a westchester grandmother to be. bill loves to fawn over her publicly and tell the world what a wonderful president she would make. >> she is acting coy the whole time. brian: how does that work? amy: caroline is great. if you ever watch "friday night lights," i think of caroline as coach taylor. i think i'm exhausted, can deliver another story, and she just knows exactly what to say to get it out of you. brian: who decides what you cover and when?
amy: most of it is reporter driven. i think the editors at "the times" know we are the ones out in the field and that most of the ideas know that they come proposing stories. i would say most of the story ideas are reporter generated, something great about "the times." brian: what is the best training you have so far to have this beat? amy: i was at the "wall street journal" in the white house to cover hillary's campaign in 2008. i knew very little about american politics and saw her go from the front runner to losing. politics can turn on a dime, the country can change its mind, and that was eye-opening to me.
brian: i've seen you quoted saying that you write for your mother instead of gawker. amy: i really do think my mom in texas as sort of my focus group. she was a first grade teacher. we had a very middle-class, comfortable life in texas. she doesn't look at politico. she is not consuming politics in the way that we are and the way people in washington and new york do. she sees hillary on "the ellen show." i travel with the campaign often and i like to talk to people at her rallies, the housewife in ohio. i think it is important that we keep in mind who is going to be influencing the selection. i want my stories to resonate with people who aren't just the ones behind the campaign, i just want to be like a good story that people relate to. brian: you mentioned "the ellen show" and we have a clip from that. i want to describe what this
means in reporting. [video clip] ♪ brian: what would your mom react to there? amy: i think that looks like a grandma trying to dance and i think a lot of people relate. interestingly, that didn't play so well among african-americans on twitter. i think it is a mixed bag. on one hand, people have a cynical take on hillary clinton. she is trying to dance to relate, she never did that before. to others, it came across as kind of clumsy or to use another word, authentic. brian: how many followers do you have on twitter? amy: 20,300 or something like that?
brian: what is the difference for somebody who is not on twitter like your mom and the younger generation who is there all the time? amy: in terms of what kind of news they are consuming? brian: the difference between what they know. amy: it is interesting you play the ellen clip. on one hand, she has her audience of people at home during the day to watch television. either they are stay-at-home moms or they have untraditional jobs. then she has this whole viral audience. that clip that you played when -- went all over social media and reached people that don't watch "the ellen show" in the middle of the day. so, i do think there are these audiences.furcated
brian: when you get information in the course of reporting, how much do you put on twitter before it goes in the paper? amy: i think twitter is a tool to drive people to "the new york times" and our articles. as much as you can hold off on tweeting to put it in a story -- and even if it is just a quote, it is necessary to have that link and ultimately drive people back to my employer. brian: over the last several years ago reporting politics, what dating remember where you are at your end of your rope, exhausted, and couldn't believe this was going to go on much longer? amy: there was a build-up. there was a build-up period where we were waiting for her announcement to come. we were getting any guidance on when this was happening and it was sort of an exhausting few days. do we have our story ready? do we not?
it was exciting; i had been covering her since 2013. brian: what is a normal political day like for you? amy: in this job, there is no normal day. i get hillary clinton's schedule a couple days in advance so i often don't know what my day will look like, whether i will go to iowa to hear a speech or run over to the clinton global initiative happening in new york right now. or, did some bomb drop in the morning where you have to change what you are working on. on a normal day, i get in around 10:00, probably check e-mail and go through things before then, and then stay until 7:00 or 8:00. a lot of times, i am not in the office, working remotely or from
whatever hillary is. brian: how do you go about gathering the information? you write notes, shorthand, on your computer? how do you do an interview, gather information on a story? amy: i think it depends on the person. if i am talking to voters at a rally, it makes them uncomfortable if i hold my voice recorder in their face. i try to take notes in those cases or maybe just quietly hold a recorder so it is not shoved in their face. if you're scribbling intently, they might get nervous. it depends on the person. if i am interviewing a washington insider or someone who is very well-versed in the press, i would record that. at the same time, sometimes you don't have time to transcribe. if i am doing interviews on the phone, i have my headset and i am incredibly fast typist. my husband says that if journalism doesn't work out i could be like a court stenographer. so, i basically type while the
person is talking. them to hear want you typing because that is distracting. brian: what does it do to an interview? amy: i have been in interviews where i can hear the person typing it makes me uncomfortable. brian: there was a big interview about you and with you in "cosmopolitan." what impact that have on your professional life? amy: it was fun. i thought, interviews make me nervous but no one i know reads "cosmo." twitter can be a very mean place but i heard a lot from young women, young journalists thanking me for sharing how i got there. very positive feedback. brian: where did you go to school? amy: university of texas at austin. brian: what did you study? amy: english and latin american studies.
brian: how did you get to new york city? amy: i always wanted to move to new york since i was 12 and came to new york on my middle school trip. texas was the best option to go to college but i always had an eye to move to new york. i moved to new york with no job, just some clips from a newspaper. i came here three months before 9/11. brian: what were those early months like and what kind of a job as you have? amy: it was really hard. i don't know what was harder, trying to find an apartment or find a job. it was really difficult because no one wanted a roommate if you didn't have a job. i got a job at conde nast.
they call me a rover, you move around from different magazines doing temporary work. then i got a job as an editorial assistant at "house and garden" magazine. i was pretty out-of-place in that building. they publish "vogue" and all these fancy fashion magazines. i felt out of place. i had never paid more than $30 for a pair of jeans. then i got a job at "the wall street journal." brian: how? amy: a friend of mine at conde nast had been at "the wall street journal" and was moving to hong kong and put me up for the job. brian: you are a reporter and you can write. amy: when i was at "the journal", i was technically an assistant. i was so bad at my assistant duties because i wanted to get bylines. it worked out because they made me a reporting assistant.
i think it is all about clips. i had a day job, i worked six days a week, so i can write on my day off and get stories in the paper. i think it is one of those really great industries where it doesn't matter where you went to school or your fancy internship. if you have the clips, people will be impressed. brian: what is the difference and working at "the wall street journal" and "the new york times?" amy: it is pretty different. i worked at "the journal" before and after rupert murdoch bought it. after, there was a perception that there was a conservative plant. certainly, the editorial page's more conservative but i think the news coverage is as unbiased as any. i think "the times" is more of a
reporter's paper, a writer's paper. when jill abramson was talking to me about "the times" and she said, think of it as a buffet. review, aite a book investigativean piece. brian: what was your reaction when jill abramson had to leave "the times?" amy: i think a lot of women my age were surprised by it. i still reported to carol and ryan, so my daily job was pretty much the same and i had tried to stay focused on what i had done before which was write the stories. brian: how about the public's reaction? which paper has more power in the political discussion? amy: i think it depends on the topic.
i remember covering hillary clinton and obama about financial topics. that was a period where "the wall street journal" was incredibly important. global financial crisis, you want to talk to "the wall street journal." i think "the times" definitely does drive more of what cable news is talking about then at "the journal." brian: what are the difference in covering hillary clinton at "the journal" and at "the new york times?" when was the last time you had an interview with her? amy: a sitdown interview, 2008. i think the difference is readers perceive me to be conservative when i worked at "the journal" and readers perceive me to be liberal when i work at "the times." brian: what does that say about readers? amy: i think there is a
simplistic breakdown in consuming news based on your own biases. of course, it is more nuanced. brian: do you feel any politics in the two different newsrooms? was there any influence to the conservative side at "the journal" to the liberal side at "the times." amy: no, i think i am lucky in that both of the papers i have worked for, the news asides have been independent from the editorials. the bias is to a good story, i think brian: what is your favorite story you have ever done? amy: ever or on the beat? brian: the beat. amy: planet hillary. brian: explain the david brock thing after we run a clip of david brock on msnbc. [video clip]
david brock: i am a hillary clinton advocate and supporter but that doesn't mean that my facts are wrong. i lay out a very an institutional bias against the clintons by "the new york times." you have to start with benghazi, a failed investigation. republican operatives colluded with "the new york times" to create this e-mail scandal. let me tell you why. it is brilliant, because this is a liberal paper, the gold standard, the paper of record. it is the perfect host body for the anti-clinton virus.
brian: wasn't too long ago he'd be saying this from the other side. explain david brock. amy: i don't think i can explain david brock. i certainly think he is an effective communicator, defender of all things hillary clinton. i'm surprised he started with benghazi, i thought he would have started with whitewater. a lot of the clinton conspiracies about "the new york times" to start with whitewater. there were decade-long grievances between the two camps that date back to whitewater. the clintons taking this was sort of an infected scandal. all kinds of drama. i think there is a lot of history there that david brock and cindy blumenthal certainly believed to be the case. brian: kyle raines used to be the executive editor, man from the south, hasn't been there since you have been there. then there is the other side of this. monica crowley talking on fox news about "the new york times."
[video clip] >> the question is, how damaging could this be for her possible presidential run? i think the reason you saw this on "the new york times" is not because they want to hurt hillary clinton's chances but they want to help her. they want to get the negative stuff out early so that they can claim it has all been covered and it is old news. secondly, they can say, if there are dirty dealings going on at the clinton foundation, it was all going on before she joined. remember, her name was just plastered on to the foundation. they can say, it was all going on before she was on board and she is there to help. brian: what is it like to listen to that? amy: i have forgotten about that theory. very interesting. this is an extreme form of media bias. i think one of the gifts of covering the clintons is that everyone has an opinion and it is exciting as a reporter to write something that everyone has an opinion about. the flipside is that there are going to be all kinds of
theories by all types of people. i think that we know that scrutiny comes with the territory. i used to cover business. i covered rupert murdoch phone hacking in the u.k.. i felt this was a huge scandal in very few people cared about these tabloids in the u.k.. to cover something with such extreme opinions on both sides is sort of a blessing and a curse. theit comes with territory. brian: you heard david brock there, completely flipped, now runs fund-raising operations plus media matters. what impact does any of these
things have on reporters at "the times?" amy: i think david brock is influential in the democratic party. he is a big fundraising power. he is also very close to the clinton apparatus. i think you do have to pay attention to him. you also pay attention to people on the other side. everyone has an agenda but it doesn't necessarily mean we don't have things in our cupboard we have to be careful about. brian: if you listen to the talk shows, they all talk about "the times" is a out to get her or out to get someone to feed on the other side. is there any truth to any of this and what would you advise the public when they listen to this kind of stuff? amy: i would say the only bias both places have is towards a good story. brian: you've never heard a conversation inside "the new york times," when they say we have to set this up to get the bad stuff out now? amy: never. if you talk to any number of politicians, they would take issue with our tough coverage of them. rubio, we wrote about his luxury speedboat and it became a big conspiracy about how "the time""
-- his wife's speeding tickets, and it was that "the times" was trying to take down rubio. so i think it is the nature of our coverage. brian: what is the difference in the relationship that you have with hillary clinton's campaign now versus the way it was in 2008? amy: then, i was a lot younger. i was a traveling person, not any senior role. and i also, you know, when you are traveling all the time -- i felt like i got to know her pretty well because she would come back in the plane. but i did not have the access to
the sort of high-level people that i have now. i do not know whether that is a function of being at "the times" or being in just a senior role. brian: how many are new to the campaign and how many of the old faces you saw back then? amy: to their credit, i think they sort of collective people -- they sort of collect people. and they have built up decades of loyalists who are around. i would say her core group have had to get a lot of new people. she has brought a lot of obama people, a lot of younger people that i didn't know before. so i do think she has a lot new faces around. that said, the old loyalists are still helpful to talk to, not only because of the context. what happened in 2008 to or they are still helping to get her elect did anyway they can. brian: planet hillary, published when? amy: january 2014.
i actually saw the graphic has -- during the super bowl last night, some people were tweeting out the hillary clinton moon face that ran on the cover of the hillary clinton story. the magazine story. brian: that was the magazine? what was the purpose? amy: i think the big question, a lingering question was sort of what to do with this disparate group of people. i think it is almost unprecedented in american politics. they have a big group of supporters and loyalists, and on one hand that is a huge advantage. on the other, in 2008, there was a lot of infighting and a lot of people thinking they knew what was best. it was hard to keep the noise out. and so i think a central , question as she looks at 2016, was, how do you organize that sort of sprawling group of
people. i do think it was unique in american politics. bill clinton, it was literally his kindergarten friends that were behind her. brian: where was her headquarters in 2008 and where is it now? amy: it it was outside washington in 2008 in now it is in downtown brooklyn. the clintons live in new york now. their personal offices in midtown. i think putting it near where they live. it is funny, because people said they live in hip brooklyn now. but, it is in the least hip part. brian: i will rate back to you some of the things you said and get your take. people close to bill clinton have told me repeatedly -- told to -- that to it irks them that democrats do not talk about
down, sofied, slim to overhead former president with the same reverence that republicans give a ronald reagan. amy: yeah. brian: how often did you hear it? amy: i hear it all the time, people who are close to bill clinton. it drives them crazy. you say, he was impeached. but to them, that was a drummed up scandal by his political rivals. i think there is a lot of thinking about president clinton's legacy that he doesn't get the reverence he deserves in the party. brian: explain what that means, reverence. he has a $2 billion foundation. is that reverence? amy: absolutely. but the way you have a republicans talk about ronald reagan, he is the gold standard. they had the debate at his library in front of his plane. everybody wanted to brag about how well they knew ronald reagan. i think that bill clinton people think, he came in after a failed administration, after carter, he had to assemble a completely new team. in a lot of ways, when obama
came in, it was a financial crisis. he did not have a lot of time. he tapped into a lot of the clinton people. i think that bill clinton's people think they don't get enough credit for the statistics, the 24 million jobs he created, the economy. there is a lot of, he came in during the tech boom. brian: it sounds like a lot of these politicians never get it all. president, $2 billion foundation, but they want more. how often do you see that? amy: i'm sure that is the case. nobel prize, for instance? brian: you did cover barack obama in 2008. amy: i covered her into when it looked like she was losing. i have to say, everyone said she was a better candidate than.
but then i covered the inauguration. brian: really? amy: i mean, yes. can really hear people say she doesn't have his political gifts but he doesn't have her attention for the policy details but she loves to get in the weeds of policy. i think it is an interesting question. they are interesting -- they are a joint entity when it suits. bill clinton is out helping her find raise now. i think he will be a great asset to in that. on the other hand, i think she had people who support her want her to stand on her own and that is what she has been trying to do in the campaign. you have not seen bill clinton around a lot.
he was only at one of her big rallies. brian: the reason i said "really" is because i member how much coverage you had two for one. the co-presidency. amy: that is true. -- n: the role of chelsea amy: that is true. i think a lot of longtime clinton aides saw her as a kid. now she is effectively running the sprawling clinton foundation. she is a much more public profile. she just wrote her first book. certainly, some people think it is amazing, she is great. but there are people who grumble about that or feel threatened come at their place in the universe, who is closer to the clintons they in their own
child? no one. brian: as a reporter, what does it look like up close on the campaign trail? how close do you get to any of these people? we remember the scene of hillary clinton walking down the street with big ropes around her so you cannot get close to her. amy: she has been doing a lot more press, so much so that it does not may news anymore. she talks to the press on a regular basis. thinking back to 2008, by the time there was a campaign plane, and we were in the same quarters, it was easier to interact with the candidate. i think they have done away with the rope into that parade in new hampshire. we do not have a lot of interaction. brian: in "planet hillary," you wrote about betsy wright. controversy all woman it ansible for calling
bimbo election. why did you write about her? amy: i tried to find her. i went to her house in little rock, left a note on the door, talked to her friends. i was fascinated by betsy because she was incredibly close to the clintons. i mean, there are a lot of arkansans who love the clintons who say he would be a lawyer in little rock if it was not for her. she was one of the first people to talk about that period. i wanted to talk to her bed yeah, -- i wanted to talk to her, but, yeah, she never came around the brian: people like this are not going to be available during the campaign, you don't think? amy: i think it depends. brian: how old were you in 1992 when bill clinton first ran? amy: i was in high school. brian: were you interested in politics then? amy: i grew up in texas, where
most people were republican. i did not grow up in a political family. i do not remember having debates about politics around the table or anything. but i was always very interested. i remember my mom taking me to meet ann richards, the firebrand governor, and being excited by the whole thing. i certainly remember the clinton years. the clinton years are in my formative years. brian: your mom was a teacher? what kind of teacher? amy: first-grade teacher. brian: what about dad? amy: it dad is retired. he had his own law practice. brian: the new york times reporter covering the hillary clinton campaign is a dream job, but it sounds like you did not even intend to do that when you came out of school. amy: i think it absolutely is a dream job. i do not think it was something i could envision myself having. i was dropping off clips
with security guards in lobbies of these places at and getting ignored by security guards. i am really grateful, but it was not something i envisioned. i don't know. i always wanted to be a journalist. brian: how often would we have seen you dropping off your resume with security guards? amy: it was those first few months when i moved to new york. brian: how many times? amy: i got rejected from a lot of jobs. i interviewed at women's magazines and places like that, where they did not want to hire me, which worked out because i do not think i would have been a great fit at those places anyway. i dropped off my clips at time and newsweek. anybody who would have them. brian: do you know many people who have gotten callbacks from dropping off resumes? amy: no. i do not know what i was thinking. you have to know somebody. i mean, to be honest, those first couple years at new york's
before i got to the journal, i really did feel like there was this conspiracy and the only way to succeed was to have rich parents or to have gone to harvard and have a network and people helping you. you know, i really for a while, , i got very discouraged about it. brian: if somebody came to you and you were the mentor of somebody who wanted to do what you do, what would you tell them about being a political reporter that they would need to know before they get in trouble? amy: i would say have very thick skin, for one. you just get beat up over everything. i think i do not have the thickest of skin, but i am trying to develop that. brian: they yell at you. amy: of course, you get sources unhappy, but that comes with the territory. you get very nasty responses from e-mails, twitter. you can feel like the world is a very negative place. you just have to stop looking. it just gets vicious, criticism from all sides. brian: what else would you tell somebody?
gathering information, what worked? how do you get new sources? how do you get confidential sources? amy: i am a big advocate of, you know, a colleague of mine calls it lunch-based reporting. just developing relationships. people do not like it when they constantly feel used or only get calls when you want some information. i would not go so far as to say make friends with sources, but there is a certain element of being -- you know, laying the groundwork for a long relationship, being responsive, you know or just calling to check in and catching up when you do not need something. i think that is really important. brian: what else would you say to somebody? amy: write. just write. a lot of people say, i got offered this job covering commodities or energy, but that is not what i'm want to do. i mean, i guess you read the clip but i covered the japanese auto industry when i was based in tokyo, which is something i
was not interested in. but i found really resonating stories, wrote for the front page a lot, got to travel across northeast asia. you can not to be picky. you cannot say, i want to cover hillary clinton's campaign, not energy. brian: when you were on the hollywood beat, what is the difference doing that compared to politics? amy: after 2008, i still wrote about the obama administration into 2009 and i did not want to move to washington as a tv beat. for the journalists, covering television was an industry. ," coveringe journal television was an industry. it was a fascinating world to be in, to sit in on writers' rooms and think about what america exports, entertainment, television. it is a changing industry right now with everybody watching on netflix, what traditional tv means. it was really interesting. i would sometimes feel like he
did not have the stakes that politics had and i miss that. certainly, some of my favorite stories i did, covering television. brian: who has thinner skin, people in television or politics? amy: good question. both of them. what was interesting, hollywood was a very myopic world. i like talking to my hollywood friends now about the campaign. i ran into a well-known reality tv producer and i was asking him, just for kicks, what should hillary clinton do to be more authentic? their world is to make good television. they do not follow prescription drug policies the way we do. it is fun to get their reaction. especially with trump dominated
-- dominating on the republican side. a lot of my hollywood source friends see this as television. brian: did you had that sense, covering the 2008 election, which way this was going to go? amy: certainly not. i should not have any expectations at this point. hillary clinton is also trying not to seem entitled after what happened in 2008. i think there are a lot of variables. will joe biden get into the race? i think hillary clinton, in some ways -- i think the e-mail stuff is not going to doom her, but how does she get past that? how does she break through some of that noise? brian: by the time this runs, we may know whether joe biden is in the race or not. this is video of somebody i think you admired and has a story that is like yours but not from this part of the world.
unfortunately, he is decreased. i want to ask you what impact he had on you and why he was so -- unfortunately, he is deceased. i want to ask you what impact he had on you and why he was so popular. >> went to the editorial office in downtown minneapolis. they let me in and the guy who was sitting there, brian lambert, still someone i know, said that your newspaper has not had any real news on it. i have a story that will crack the police department wide open. i kept talking and talking and he just sat there and went like this. i need a story. give it to me. i just wanted to explain why the story was so important, how i had gotten it. he read it and said, i think it is good. it needs some work, but yes. we're going to go with it. it will probably be on our cover in a week or two.
i just about peed my pants. i grew up on the newspaper, which unfortunately no longer exist. he used tod carr, have a monday morning column. died of lung cancer, i believe, also wrote about a serious drug problem. why was he so successful and popular to the new york times? amy: he was such a great mentor to me and brian and tim and you could go through the list of young times people who he really championed. he was a special person. there was a perception that, by the time you are a fancy columnist -- i mean, the guide -- the guy is famous. we were both covering the media business and we would go to these hbo premieres, parties, and the crowd would part when david carr came in. and he was still, at the end of the day, he loves to be a reporter. he would come downstairs -- he sat upstairs and would come to my desk and the like, what do you know, what is going on?
whenever there was a big story, he wanted to dive in. the night he died, he was in the newsroom at 9:00 at night. he was never, i will just write a column once a week and do the documentary. he loved the daily grind of reporting and it showed. he was also sort of a moral compass at the time. there are not that many people like him, he was not afraid of any of that. brian: how often, when you write, do you see the process? it comes out the night before online and before you know it, the story goes right through the television networks and you sit there watching everyone talking about what you wrote about. amy: it is awesome. sometimes it will be two weeks later, on a sunday show and they will be talking about something that i wrote. sometimes it will be instantaneous on the morning shows. but certainly we are trying to , see things and think about them differently in terms of putting stories online, even if they are not in the paper until
the next day. brian: why would you do that? amy: there is this whole appetite on the web, driving the coverage. and we have also found there is a different readership for the paper that does not necessarily see throughout the day online. brian: the times can be bought all across the country now in print form and around the world on the web. where do you see the most impact? amy: i mean, i think, it yeah -- our subscribers are a different -- i think sunday readership is different than weekday readership. for instance, i wrote a story over the weekend about bill clinton's interview with cnn. he was defending hillary, saying the e-mail stuff was created by republicans and her political opponents. i wrote a blog post about it. it got linked to drudge and it was the number one read story on the internet all we can.
weekend. website all i think what drudge did, god bless him, driving it readership , is a completely different audience than the times subscribers who get their papers delivered to the doorstep. it is expensive to get a paper and it is a certain segment of the population likes to hold that printed paper. brian: what do you and your colleagues think about what will happen to the printed "?rsion of the "new york times will it last? amy: i 100% think it will, especially the sunday times. i have a particularly intimate relationship with the sunday times. spread it out over brunch. i think that will certainly last. brian: we talked about the older people versus younger people with twitter. what do you find in people your age and younger about their interest in politics now compared to when you were growing up? amy: it is a good question. i mean, i was sort of -- it was
actually, you know -- being in new york, you are surrounded by people who lean liberal. sort of the opposite of the way i grew up, where everybody voted for bush and thought more in the republican camp. and so, it is sort of an interesting question to think about. we're surrounded by different caps. camps.erent in terms of interests, i think the interest in politics has certainly shifted. i think you see the big money in politics in recent years sort of change people's ideas about democracy and who is really driving democracy. that is the sense you get on both sides of the political aisle. brian: how much have you covered the clinton foundation? amy: the conspiracy theory you played was one of the first stories i did about mismanagement at the foundation. i certainly have been covering the clinton global initiative. but once the campaign existed,
, there was much more news, and sort of digging into just that. we do have investigative reporters who are still following things related to the foundation. brian: what impact have these stories about the foundation, you think, had on her campaign? amy: i do not think any. if anything, it is the e-mail stuff that has been more a distraction than the foundation. brian: what responsibility do you have to cover that? amy: to cover the e-mail? i mean, i have a responsibility to explain to readers what is happening. and also to explain to readers how the campaign is interpreting that. brian: in the 2008 campaign, you covered 20 debates. how did you do it? what was your way of covering a debate? amy: it was exhausting. and i think, i think even now, you have to rethink covering debates. why does anyone need to know
that jabs were thrown last night when you get it all instantly? we cover debates differently than what we did then. the way reporters cover debates is you are in a big center watching on giant screens. you are not in the room. it is a funny dynamic. why am i watching on tv surrounded by a bunch of reporters? when, you know -- brian: what about the atmosphere where everyone is in the same room together? do you all think alike? amy: that is a good question. how does everybody not write the same story? in some sense, there is value to the news of the day and you have to get that out. you also have a look at not getting into the pack mentality. brian: who do you consider to be your chief competitors? amy: certainly, the washington post, the wall street journal, politico, the ap. there are so many new ones now. there is a lot
of good political reporting. they are all sort of competing. brian: you have been at the new york times for how many years? amy: four years. brian: what is your goal? amy: my goal is to get through 2016 and then we will see. brian: in your own life, do you want to write books, do television? do you think you will be happy at the new york times for 25 years? like some of the old-timers have been? amy: something that is great about the new york times, you look at someone like frank, the political reporter, then he was a restaurant critic and now he is a columnist. i do think people can spend their whole career at the times because they offer you that kind of opportunity. you look at andrew ross sorkin, who has his tv show on showtime that is coming out soon. he has written books and developed our whole conference series. the times has allowed reporters to be creative and do their own thing, which is a great blessing. brian: alexandra pelosi, the daughter of nancy pelosi, has done documentaries.
she talked about what it was like to be on the campaign trail in 2005. let's watch. [video clip] >> as a journalist on the campaign trail, i felt that the relationship between the press and the candidate was very complicated and something that you never get to hear about when you are watching c-span. and it is -- you know -- traveling with a presidential candidate is -- it is a very elite fraternity. and, a select few get this kind of access. it is a very expensive venture. hbo had to pay around $10,000 a tok up to $20,000 a week keep me on the road. you understand it is a very close-knit community of working journalists. like any other complicated ecosystem, it -- along the way, the rules of engagement, there sort of are all sorts of -- just like a fraternity, there are hazing rituals and all sorts of
experiences that you share that you do not get to read about when you are reading the paper. brian: do you agree? amy: i do think, yes, complicated traveling with the press. i think that there -- if i remember, she was sort of an embedded capacity. there are different ways to travel. it is hard not to get in the pack mentality when you are constantly on the road. in 2006, i think it was 46 dates or something like that. what are the stories you can get out of that without telling the same story? brian: did you go through what she suggested was a hazing period in the early days when you are at the wall street journal? amy: i would not say people were mean, but i felt out of place. i had gone from being a tokyo correspondent who basically went straight to des moines.
not only a culture shock of just being back in america. i thought americans were huge. i had to look up what a caucus was and how it works, which a clinton person joked with me, that is ok. we did not know what a caucus was either. i felt very intimidated by the other reporters. sort of i felt like they knew , everything about politics and i did not know anything. but at the same time, my editor, , who had put me in that position, thought a fresh perspective would be good. and i do think, for the same reason, the same editor put me in japan when i did not know much about japan. is that, you know readers do not , know the intricacies of politics or being on the road or being in campaigns. and so bringing a fresh perspective to coverage does help in some ways. brian: how expensive is it now? that was back in 2005. when alexandra losey said it was very expensive. alexandra pelosi said it was
very expensive. amy: it is already expensive and i am traveling on my own. once you are footing the bill for your portion on the plane, it is incredibly expensive. i think news organizations are having to rethink travel. it is not just the campaign much traveling on air force one with obama. sending a reporter to asia with obama was like $80,000. that is the salary of a junior reporter. you do have to really think, what is the benefit? what do we get out of this for our return on investment? brian: what is your normal day like when it comes to where you get your information? amy: that is a good question. i roll over and look at twitter, i have to admit. i look at playbook, politico. mostly, i use twitter as my aggregate. what are people i follow talking about? whether it is a link to something -- that is really where i get my news. brian: how do you follow that? do you follow other tweeters? who do you follow? amy: i follow all my colleagues, my competitors, influencers.
you mentioned the echo chamber of a campaign boss. i also think there is an echo chamber of twitter when you are following each other. but it can also be informative. i remember being at the journal, i always had the newswires up. to me, twitter is like my newswire and i can see what is happening and what people are talking about. brian: what has been the biggest change compared to when you started in the business when it comes to outside source. the way you get your information. that seems to be a huge difference. a lot of older people would not think of going to twitter first thing in the morning. amy: well, i should also mention that i get the print new york times delivered to my doorstep every day and i read the print paper every day. and i find things that i would never find elsewhere. i think of the front page of the new york times still as the ultimate aggregator.
i just read what i needed to know about putin and syria and the republicans and boehner and the abuse of prisoners at rikers. old-fashioned as it may be, it is the ultimate aggregator. and you see that coverage across all platforms. it has certainly changed. when i worked at the old wall street journal, it was supposed to be a newspaper with no news. it was like a daily magazine with the little dot drawings. you would dive into one of those front-page stories and it had absolutely no news, but it was a really rich, deeply-reported feature. it has completely changed. brian: do you have people that you most admire that you read all the time? amy: yeah. you know, i read our columnists. i am trying to think. i tried to read things that have nothing to do with politics as often as i can, whether it is the new yorker, or i subscribe
to texas monthly. it keeps you sane to what is going on in other worlds. brian: where did you meet your husband? amy: he is from ireland and i met him at an irish pub on st. patrick's day. brian: how long ago? amy: october will be six years. brian: where do you live? amy: the lower east side. i wrote a real estate story about the lower eastside because my ancestors came over from poland to the lower east side. and he started peddling on the railroad and the railroad stopped in texas, the oil town. so he opened a general store and that is how part of my family got to texas. oldso now, we bought an rabbi's place on the lower east side and renovated it. it was the full circle of moving back to the lower east side. brian: what kind of work does your husband do? amy: he is in finance.
brian: what are you most looking forward to for the rest of the campaign and will you stay with the campaign until the end? amy: i think i will be covering hillary until whenever that may be. i am really looking forward to getting closer to when voters make their actual decision. there is always talk about the latest poll or the latest sentiment, trust numbers, all of these things. none of it matters until the rubber hits the road and the iowans go caucus or the people in new hampshire go to vote. i mean, i am just looking forward it to that. is, when wer thing get closer to those things, people will be more engaged and it will be interesting to talk to people across the country. right now, we are excited about it but people are not paying that much attention. they are busy, they are raising kids, they do not feel the intricacies of what we are writing. they will be tuned in next year and that will be exciting.
brian: there are a lot of debates to go on both sides. what do you recommend for people to look for in the debates that matter? amy: hillary clinton has some incredibly substantive and detailed policy ideas. voters should look at, ok, this sounds good. how are they going to pay for it? what does it mean for me? how practical is this? we have a lot of coverage of issues. i always said we should have some fact check covering these issues, like, how likely are these to happen? that is a likely component. brian: so the next day, when you see the clips on the morning shows, do they matter? amy: do the morning shows matter? brian: in other words, these soundbites. is there a danger in being misled as to what the value is of these debates after coverage? you would write how many words
after a debate? amy: the knight story is 1000-1200 words. brian: in television, it might be 50. amy: yeah. i mean, i also think we need to -- we put a lot of emphasis on the debates because they are important, defining moments. and certainly, you know i think , back to 2008, when obama said to hillary, you are likable enough. that really made her sympathetic. she ended up unexpectedly winning at that debate. there are definitely important moments. at the same time, this many months out of an election, to put too much weight on a debate is not necessary. brian: amy chozick, reporter for the new york times. thank you for joining us. amy: thanks so much for having me. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪
>> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about his program, visit us at qanda.org. "q&a" programs are also available as c-span podcasts. week'sou enjoyed it this human day interview, here are some other programs you might like. about theson talking editor of the new york times. photographer doug mills talking about the challenges of being the white house photographer. you cannot watch these any time
or search our entire video library at c-span.org. hillam c-span's capitol producer. i usually covered the legislations. in the other key events on capitol hill. where committed to covering the hearings gavel-two-gavel. we have covered all of the hearings by the select committee on benghazi. this is one of the next in the series we have covered. i got there at 7:00 in the morning. ,he crews were already set up the cameras were in place early in the morning for our morning show, washington journal. it was there before anybody was getting there. i was starting to tweet things that were starting to happen inside as well as outside the room. how the committee was setting up.
we made sure we were as close as possible, getting the key moment when she came into the building and then she went into a the reporters were assigned de sks they could report from. a lot of the people from the public said it was a historic moment. it was interesting to hear from them. eeted out a fisher showing mrs. clinton talking to other members of the house. , who appeared to be sweating at the time, seemed to be happy to be leaving the room. i thought the most interesting thing was the conversation that did not get captured on camera. i mentioned chairman gowdy