My Interview with Amanda Carpenter

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I had the pleasure of interviewing political reporter Amanda Carpenter of Townhall recently. She is bright, determined and tenacious. Conservatives are lucky and privileged to have her on our side.

If I were a liberal working for the Jayson Blair Times, here is how I would doctor the interview to mislead the readers:

Eric: Is it ok if I let everybody know that you and I are happily married with two perfect children?

Amanda: That would be difficult since we have never met.

Eric: We have corresponded by email. It depends how you define the word “met.”

Amanda: You and Bill Clinton have a lot in common.

Eric: Thank you. So should we even discuss the Clintons after all this time?

Amanda: Of course. The truth needs to be told.

Now for the doctored version of the above fictional interview:

Eric: Is it ok if I let everybody know that you and I are happily married with two perfect children?

Amanda: Of course. The truth needs to be told.

Given that truth and integrity are vital to virtually everything in life, below is my actual, unabridged interview with Amanda Carpenter. She is a serious person, which is important given the serious times we live in.

1) What led you to Townhall, and what is your mission with regards to your contribution to Townhall?

I really admired what they were doing in terms of incorporating video media and talk radio into Townhall.com. I thought I could bring something to the table in terms of delivering news conservatives want to hear about, which sets me apart a bit from a traditional commentator.

 

2) Who are your top 3 political heroes in terms of actual politicans, and who are your top 3 political contributor inspirations that are not actual politicians?

Hmm. I admire conservative politicians who do their jobs well and with class. So, for that I’d have to say I really admire Sen. James Inhofe from Oklahoma and Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL). Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) is also a great one to have up there in the Senate. I admire other politicians, but with the nature of my job I can get closest to senators so I’ll put those three at the top of my list.

For those in political life, but who haven’t been elected to it, I would put my former editor at Human Events, Terry Jeffrey, at the top of my list. He’s certainly the most principled man I’ve ever met. I’m also wowed by Bob Novak’s reporting record over the years. There are also a number of reporters who do outstanding jobs like Stephan Dinan at the Washington Time and Lynn Sweet at Chicago Tribune who I make sure to read every day.

 

3) Given the plethora of books that treat Hillary Clinton in a less than flattering light, what do you contribute to the conversation about her that is new?

When I began writing my book I made an explicit decision to only discuss things that happened after 2001 when she entered the Senate. I felt there was a good deal of material there to work from, especially regarding Iraq, Bill and federal money she had routed back home. I broke the story about Bill Clinton earning millions of dollars in foreign money that could legally be used to fund her campaign. After I wrote it, other publications like the Washington Post started picking that story up and I think we’ll slowly be hearing a lot more questions asked about what Bill has been up to internationally while Hillary has been working in the Senate.

 

4) What separates you from the many conservative authors in general? Do you have a special niche or theme?

For now, I pretty much cover the 2008 elections and Capitol Hill. Like I said before, I’m not a commentator. I’ll give you the news you want straight. And, I love reporting on the democrats, so by reading me you’ll be sure to get all the news the mainstream media leaves out. You’d be amazed at what kind of things people will say in a news conference that doesn’t get picked up. For instance, in the second Democratic debate Hillary Clinton said “we’re going to take things away from you” to fund her global warming programs. No one reported that. I put it up the next day and you’d think I was the only reporter who heard her say that and thought it was important enough to write about. A few weeks ago Nancy Pelosi told reporters in a press conference to “just forget the word earmark” because she was sick of answering questions about them. I put that in the lead of my story the next day, but no one else did. It’s crazy what other reporters won’t publish.

 

5) In general the media are seen very unfavorably. Do you believe this reputation is justified, overblown or even understated? If not overblown, what can the media do to improve itself?

I think the media has such a great impression of itself it doesn’t matter what other people think. To be a reporter by nature I think you have to have a little bit of arrogance and cockiness—who else but you could decide what is important enough for everyone else to know? And, to add to the cockiness, I’ll say that the mainstream media could be improved by putting more reporters like me front and center.

 

6) Do you belong to any religious faith, and does that faith play any role in either your career or the stories you cover?

I was raised Catholic and actually have been “church shopping” since I came to Washington, DC. I’ve been praying and asking God to find me a good church home. Send some prayers my way on this. I’m not sure religion plays a huge role in my reporting. I am pro-life but I don’t believe anyone has to be religious to be pro-life although the two certainly do go together. Lately, I’ve enjoyed reporting on how the liberals are trying to tie religion and global warming, though.

 

7) Given the liberal bias in education, how do you or anybody get through to the “South Park Conservatives” before they get indoctrinated? What is the key?

I became a conservative in college because I had to pay my own bills. Most of my friend who got fat students loans and blew it on cars and computers, partied their way all the way through and basically leeched off the system were mostly liberal. I think if more students were forced to recognize the true costs of education, that isn’t subsidized with government funding, they’d wise up faster. College has just become an extended play period for high school kids without parents, curfews and access to alcohol. I had my fair share of fun, but it’s ridiculous that college kids feel like it’s their right to go to school for four years for the purpose of sleeping in, binge drinking and taking philosophy.

 

8.) Do you believe that “infotainment” should be banned from the nightly news? Should the news only be “hard news,” with celebrity stories relegated to shows such as Access Hollywood? Is the news harmed by infotainment stories, or is that overblown?

Nah. I’m free market. Sure, it’s annoying to me sometimes to see Paris Hilton all over the place, but that’s why I don’t watch a lot of tv news. I love print because you can filter all that kind of stuff out. Then, if I want the other stuff, I just go online to read the gossip blogs.

 

9) If you could write the history book for the George W. Bush Presidency, what would be the main points you would want people to know and understand about him?

I’d really like to explore what he calls “compassionate conservatism.” With a Republican Congress and White House for so long I do think we squandered opportunities to really cut back on the size of government that would fundamentally alter things. But, I do believe he is sort of a big government guy. How else do you explain the Medicare drug bill and No Child Left Behind. Now, “compassionate conservativism” is really just a code word for big government, embodied by programs like this. We lost a key opportunity to tackle big things like Social Security and tax reform that I think we’ll regret for quite some time.

 

10) What are your thoughts on the 2008 elections? What makes 2008 important to you?

I’m scared. Hillary, unless she makes a big mistake soon, is probably going to be the Democratic nominee. She has a team that has won the White House twice before and the GOP has no apparent front-runner with this kind of ability to run in a national race. I am deeply worried about another Clinton presidency.

11) What are your views on the Bush Doctrine of preemptive military force? Do you feel we are headed in that direction with Iran? Should we consider that?

I’m okay with it. Obviously, something has to be done about Iran. I don’t think we should negotiate with them, but there has to be some lower level diplomacy things we could do to try and make some inroads in there. But, I am not a foreign policy expert and we’ve clearly got to get Iraq stabilized before we go venturing anywhere else.

 

12) If you were given five minutes to interview General David Petraeus, what would you ask him? What would you say to him? Are we winning in Iraq, and are we winning in the overall War on Terror?

I would want him to tell me about the victory’s we’ve had in Iraq so far. I would want him to tell me about how many Iraqi children have been saved and how many roadside bombs our troops have intercepted. I would want him to give me as much good news as he could in five minutes so I could write about it and let people know why it’s so important we see this thing out. My brother was formally discharged from the Marines last week after four years of service. He had pictures he brought home from Iraq that showed cars containing bombs in the back seat he had seized in roadside stops. This sort of thing happens every day, every hour there. Our guys are doing great work and they are getting no credit. They are true, American heroes and no one seems to like to write stories to celebrate them.

 

13) If you were given five minutes to interview President Bush or Vice President Cheney, what would you ask them? What would you say to them?

I might take Cheney over Bush for five minutes just because I think he’d be able to speak a little bit more freely. I’m not one of those reporters that tries to make a point and tell the interviewer what I think in the course of asking a question so I’m not sure I’d tell him much. But, I would want to ask him about what can be done now by the Bush administration to prevent the expansion of government that is certain to occur with the Democratic-controlled Congress and possible (if there is) a Democrat president in 2009.

 

14) Given that there are many liberals in America, why are they failing in some segments of the media from a ratings, and more importantly, a financial standpoint? Are Air America and the Jayson Blair Times anomolies, or typical of a larger problem?

I think it’s just market saturation. The mainstream media is liberal. Period. It’s television, it’s the New York Times, all the celebrities and every fashion magazine you pick up. It’s all just so repetitive and predictable.

 

15) Are the many Clinton scandals involving Hillary such as Travelgate, Filegate, The Pardons, Whitewater, and the Commodities Trading, fair game for the 2008 election? Even if it is fair, is it politically wise? Do you think it would hurt Hillary or have a boomerang effect that will hurt republicans?

Of course it’s fair game. The key, I think is talking about them in a fair way, meaning you don’t just scream “Travelgate! She’s a liar!” You have to be able to talk about it reasonably in a way that makes sense with current events. Otherwise, you are just bringing up old dirt. For instance, how does Hillary’s handling of travel office staff predict how she would make appointments as President? If people choose to talk about old scandals in a way that allows Hillary to play the victim, of course it could have a negative effect. But, her past is certainly the best indicator of how she would govern in the future and it can’t be dismissed. That’s a perfectly fair way to begin thinking about broaching those topics.

 

16) Are the Clinton scandals specifically related only to Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual crimes fair game for the 2008 election? While Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky involved consensual sex, should people be reminded that Kathleen Willey accused him of sexual assault and Juanita Broderick accused him of rape? Is this a politically wise move, or do you think it would boomerang back and hurt republicans?

Sure, but again the key is approaching this in a reasonable manner. Would Bill Clinton be entertaining unscrupulous guests in the White House as First Gentleman? Would this be a distraction for a wartime President Hillary? These are better questions.

 

17) What do you think have been the most positive achievements of the Bush Presidency, and what has left you most disappointed?

The Bush tax cuts and his Supreme Court Justice appointments are undoubtedly the best. I just wish the tax cuts weren’t scheduled to sunset soon. The most disappointing is the failure to privatize Social Security.

 

18) You, Amanda Carpenter, are President on January 20th, 2009. What are the first three things you do? What is your hundred day plan?

I would kill as many government programs as I could, compress the tax code into 10 pages a fifth grader could read and destroy hurtful regulations that infringe businesses like Sarbanes Oxley. And, if I had some time left over I section off a state like New Hampshire—mainly because I love their state motto “Live Free or Die”—and make it a free-market experiment zone with no regulation or taxes. The economy there would sky rocket and then I could brag to everyone about how great it works and make it a model for the nation.

 

19) If you have five minutes on O’Reilly or Hannity right now, what do you talk about? What do you want people to know?

I’d talk about how Hillary has played politics on Iraq and why she’s not credible on this subject—one of my favorite parts of my book.

 

20) What do you want people to know most about you? What do you want most out of this world?

I’ll half jokingly say I don’t want anyone to know anything about me except that they love to read my columns on Townhall.com.

With regards to Amanda Carpenter, I would like everybody to tell her brother, “Thank you, and welcome home.” Amanda, I personally want you to offer him a hearty handshake from me.

As for Amanda Carpenter, although I am normally in favor of allowing people to live their lives freely, her columns should be mandatory viewing.

Much success to you Amanda, and may God find you the perfect place of worship.

eric

8 Responses to “My Interview with Amanda Carpenter”

  1. She’s determined, tenacious, and beautiful!

    Her comments on Hillary Clinton’s likely nomination, and no GOP frontrunner, are right on target!

  2. Ron Holland says:

    The Free Market is always superior to top down government and political actions.
    We are very pleased to announce the creation of The Free Market Hall of Fame where members of the Freedom Movement will have the opportunity to initially vote on individuals contributing most to the success and advancement of free markets and free people around the globe during 2007.
    Nominations for the Free-Market Hall of Fame are open to the public and can be made by anyone by e-mailing ron@freedomfest.com Individuals can vote for or nominate individuals who they believe should be in the Free Market Hall of Fame. Write-ins are permitted.

    The categories will include the following:

    1. Academic economists
    2. Journalists and writers
    3. Business leaders
    4. Legislators and government officials
    5. Think tanks

    A select group of economists and other free-market supporters will make the final decision and vote on upcoming Hall of Fame members.

    For more information on the Free Market Hall of Fame go to http://www.freedomfest.com/hofhome.htm
    “It’s time we honored all the great teachers, writers, business leaders, legislators, and think tanks that have advanced the cause of liberty,” Mark Skousen
    Ron Holland, Editor
    FreedomFest News http://www.freedomfest.com/news.htm
    Author of the online book: “The Swiss Preserve Solution”.

  3. How do you get these interviews?

    I can’t even get arrange a screener DVD for a conservative documentary without it taking 6 months, phone tag, forgetting the name of my web site, and ultimately “it’s in the mail”…that was back in 2006…my mail must be really delayed.

    Great interview though.

  4. Skul says:

    Nicely done Ty. That young lady has a knack for common sense.

  5. arclightzero says:

    You’re a lucky lucky man. I am a rabid Amanda Carpenter fan, and am crazy-jealous of you now, Eric!

    Either way, great interview. As always, a great contribution to the blogosphere.

  6. the Grit says:

    Hi Eric,

    You managed to utter coherent sentences in her presence? I am impressed!

    the Grit

  7. Lord Nazh© says:

    Ok, I’ll be honest….

    I didn’t read a bit of this post and I loved it 🙂

    She’s good-looking (hot) and a conservative… I want one 🙁

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