Question: Whom would you like to interview, and what would you ask?
Cynthia McFadden: Well of course Osama bin Laden is on the top of all of our lists. My former colleague, John Miller, in fact interviewed him as the only western journalist to do so. Yeah. There’s not a journalist alive, or perhaps not a person alive who wouldn’t like to sit down and try to understand how he sees the world. "Why? You took credit for the World Trade Center. Why?” I mean I’d like to understand his . . . what his thought process is, how he feels he’s making the world a better place. You know the simplest questions are usually the best questions, aren’t they? I mean the simplest questions are the ones that you get the other person . . . There’s a real tendency in what I do for a living to . . . I wouldn’t say over prepare . . . I would say overanalyze the question. It’s really about making yourself the star of the interview and not the other person. So often if you just ask the simplest question – why? You know what makes you feel that what you’re doing is making the world a better place? You know of course you have to be prepared. And of course you have to know all the specifics. And of course you have to have the follow-ups; but usually it’s in those very simply questions you get the most insight, I think. He’d certainly be high on my list."
Recorded on: Jul 7 2007