Question: What's the matter with media?
Cynthai McFadden: You know what I think is most important? I think the worst television is put on the air by people who put their finger in the air and try to figure out which way the wind is blowing. That’s unwatchable television. It’s pandering. It’s talking down to people. If you try to sit in your living room and think what that wonderful, 18 to 49 year old woman in Iowa wants to see on the news that night, you are going to just bore the tears out of her because it doesn’t come from any real place. You know I hate to quote my mentor Fred, but Fred used to say to us, “Put on your passion.” Hire people who are passionate. Hire people who care about the world, who see the world in a way . . . Put their pieces on television. And after a while, if the public doesn’t want to watch those pieces, fire them! But don’t try to just smush everybody down into sort of a bland vanilla. You know we . . . I think the networks do way too much of that. It’s very, very hard to break out of vanilla. The beauty of “Nightline” is that we have enough time. And because of the time we’re on at night . . . We both have the length of time in the pieces and the time slot that allow us to experiment. And sometimes things go horribly wrong, and sometimes they go very right.
Recorded on: Jul 7 2007