Sunday, May 01, 2011

USAT | How to interview your dinner party guest

[Cox, Arquette]

Anyone who thinks USA Today's Hollywood coverage is overly fawning should take note of its story about last night's White House Correspondents' Association dinner, where two celebrities were among the paper's invited guests: husband and wife David Arquette and Courteney Cox.

Understandably, Cox was a no-show; after all, the two have separated. Addressing the elephant in the room (no, not Donald Trump!), USAT's Cindy Clark zeroed in on the couple's split, and Arquette's boozing. Here's his response:

"I just think everybody must be sick of (hearing about) it. I made a lot of poor decisions when I drank, so that's why I choose not to drink now. I'm really enjoying life and getting to know myself and coming to terms with myself and really understanding myself and having a level head about being able to make decisions that affect my life and my relationships with my wife and daughter."

Earlier: USAT Editor Hillkirk draws choice seat next to President Obama. Plus: Why White House fete could have been worse. And: Politics vs. the Red Carpet.


  1. Anyone else out there getting really sick of the media taking advantage of other people's misfortunes? Maybe there's too much coverage of success, but I think there is over-coverage of how other people deal with problems in life. Perversely, there seems also to be too much joy extracted out of the miseries of others. This is truly sick.

  2. Was this the equivalent of paying Arquette for an interview? Was Hillkirk able to get some insightful and objective copy from his conversations with Obama? Does the expense of this event have any real business justification?

  3. I think I'm a pretty tough interviewer. That said, I don't know how comfortable I'd be grilling an invited dinner guest about my failed marriage.

    I suppose that would be the question on readers' minds, however. And I suspect the reporter discussed this in advance with her editor.

  4. This paragraph just mystifies me. It is not news as he points out, and do I as a reader really care? I have never heard of Arquette before, was unaware of his marriage (to a woman I also don't recognize), and don't understand why he was invited to what is a political dinner as opposed to a Washington politician or political operative. Perhaps a reporter would put a politician in these straits on the spot with this sort of question, but why a guest brought in from Hollywood?

  5. If they paid $2,245 for a table, what are they going to do with it now? Does the table go to the Newseum or the Crystal Towers?

  6. Denigrate the genre or not, that was good, tough celebrity reporting, and the depth of his answer showed he knew it was coming nd was ready to discuss it.

    Whether those people should be at the dinner is another issue entirely, but given the circumstances hard to criticize the "fluff" of it all and then criticize a reporter for trying to make "news" if she could.

    Good for Cindy!

  7. Celebrity?

  8. Tough celebrity reporting?: So where were the questions about Jasmine? If we are sinking into the sewers of Hollywood, why stop at the boozing.

  9. To be clear, I admire Cindy Clark for not throwing softballs.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.