I’m not sure which is more terrifying: Going on TV for the first time or watching yourself on TV for the first time.
Both are new experiences for me. I’m a writer, not a talking head. But at the urging of my wife, I recently accepted the opportunity to appear on David Ushery’s WNBC weekly show, The Debrief. Each Sunday, Ushery explores a newsy issue relevant to New Yorkers, or as he puts it, “the story behind the story.” After Hurricane Sandy, climate change became a topic of national conversation, due in no small part to statements made by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. I have written about that and the larger public dialogue playing out in the past few weeks, which Ushery and his producer read. Hence the invite to appear on the show.
three of the four taped segments posted online. For some reason, they’re missing the introductory segment. (I think there’s a technical glitch.) When they put it up, I’ll make sure to paste it in. (All fixed–the show can be watched in full below.)
I’m the telegenic natural (not!) sitting in the middle, between NBC meteorologist Chris Cimino and David Biello, an editor at Scientific American. Both of these guys were terrific and more polished than me. To my surprise, however, I didn’t melt into a hyperventilating puddle and even managed to hold my own. Beyond an initial jitter, I didn’t really feel nervous. I have no idea why this is so. (I think the easy-going, conversational format was a big part.)
What’s more impressive is that a substantive discussion on climate change took place on local network television–for 30 minutes. How often does that happen? So kudos to David Ushery, Chris Cimino and David Biello for elevating the dialogue on one of the most important and contentious issues of our time. I’m sure people will quibble with some of the things said by myself and the other two guests, and in retrospect, I wish my brain and tongue were more in sync. But overall, I’m pleased with how the show turned out. I look forward to hearing your feedback.