What I Wish I Knew: CNN’s Dana Bash
Posted at 2:36 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2014
“Understand that people you are dealing with are human and to treat them that way, especially the staff. Aides to politicians don’t sign up for doing damage control on a sex scandal.”
Today’s “What I Wish I Knew” feature is with Dana Bash, CNN’s chief congressional correspondent and a familiar face for many Capitol Hill press secretaries. (A word to the uninitiated: It’s pronounced “Dan-nuh.”) A lightly edited transcript follows.
Q. What was one of your earliest experiences?
I was a college intern for NBC news in New York and got to help out at the Democratic convention. I still remember walking around the press areas in awe seeing all the journalists I admired. I was hooked. I knew then that was what I wanted to do.
My pinch-me moment was getting on an elevator with my idol Katie Couric (who was with Jeff Zucker — ironic since he’s now my boss. I never told him this story).
Q. Best advice given to you?
The “3 B’s” from Candy Crowley. When Candy’s sons called at work and she was busy she had the 3 B test. Was it broken, burning or bleeding? If not, she told her sons she would call back soon. I will add a fourth B — brilliant!
My son is only two-and-a-half, so I haven’t used this yet, but I’m holding onto it for the near future.
Q. What I didn’t know then but I do know now:
Take setbacks or unexpected change in stride because that “one door closes and another door opens” saying happens to be true.
Q. What pays off in the long run?
Understand that people you are dealing with are human and to treat them that way, especially the staff. Aides to politicians don’t sign up for doing damage control on a sex scandal. For them, it’s personally emotional, disappointing and confusing. Understanding that — while pressing politely for answers — can get you further than badgering with attitude.
Q. Fill in the blanks in this sentence:
“Don’t waste your energy reading mean tweets from people with 5 followers sitting alone with nothing better to do, but do put the extra effort into doing the best self-respecting work you can.”
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