Interviewing Jack Abramoff for C-SPAN

C-SPAN’s Book TV invited me to interview convicted ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff for its Afterwords program. The invitation was prompted by this Roll Call article that I wrote on Abramoff’s attempt to reinvent himself with the publication of his book, “Capitol Punishment.”

For past TV appearances, I have always been the interviewee and someone else has been asking the questions. This time I was asking the questions – something I do constantly for print interviews, but which involves different skills in the broadcast medium. Timing is key, including the art of conducting the interview in precisely the alotted time. I found it challenging but enjoyable. Another reversal: When we concluded the interview, I found myself asking Abramoff for his card so I could keep abreast of his “reform” activities. Now he has gone from subject to source. In Washington, it seems, there is always another turn of the wheel.

Watch the whole interview here.