I fought through insane amounts of traffic on the 10 on Wednesday morning to meet up with the BBC World Have Your Say crew to do the 2-hour show. The Venice Beach circus was in full force. I’m not sure Ros and the gang were quite expecting the passersby to be so colorful.
I sat at a table with the head producer Ros Atkins; Mark Sawyer, political science professor at UCLA; editor Ted Johnson from Variety (who had been arrested during the protests outside the RNC); and a reporter named Maria Joyouspirit who has a show on KPFK. We all wore headphones and shared a couple of microphones. Ros choreographed the entire show like a maestro, with instructions coming down between our ears from Madeline, the “M” of the whole operation back in London, as text messages, calls and emails flew in from all directions.
We spoke with an array of fascinating people from all over the world — like Lance Price, who’d been Tony Blair’s spin doctor, and a French MP (whose name escapes me). The topic was about style and spin, and whether they’ve destroyed our trust in American politics. Towards the end I actually got to ask Lance a question directly. But the best part was when the producers pulled in a ridiculously hot surfer named “Ben” from the waves. Bare-chested “Ben” was dripping with brine water and hairless. Of course, I’m not sure I actually heard whatever Ben said, but I do believe he said something into the microphone.
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