How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts and the literary world, to hear their answers. This is drawn from a conversation with Jenna Lee, co-host of Happening Now on Fox News.
The first thing I check in the morning are blog postings by Chad Pergram at Fox's The Speaker's Lobby blog on my BlackBerry. He'll file great political stories out of DC at about 2 or 3 a.m. When I get out of bed, I'll check my news alerts from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press. I'm kind of old school, so I like to read the wires first thing.
By the time I get to work a little after 6:00 a.m., I check my websites: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance and Financial Times. I'm usually doing a quick cross-comparison of the headlines to see who's got exclusives. A must-read for me is Mike Allen's Playbook as well as Politico's Morning Score. At 8:00 a.m., I'm through with my editorial meeting with the team and I'll narrow down the sources I'm reading for my show. Once the show hits, all bets are off. We're doing breaking news so we'll often turn back to the news wires.
I love Twitter. I'm following Nouriel Roubini, Kris Jenner, The Weather Channel, and one of my favorite car blogs Jalopnik, The Washington Post, KTV out of San Francisco, an L.A. murder detective I recently befriended, John McCain and a number of others. I think there's a tendency in news that we like to talk about what the American people want but we don't talk to the American people so much. In some ways, I think Twitter really helps with that. If there's good guidance from someone over Twitter I'm not afraid of taking it.
I'm a huge magazine reader but most of them aren't going to win any awards. I have The New Yorker by my desk to make me look smart. Vogue is here, The Economist, People, Lucky magazine, several other interior design catalogs. I usually have a pretty big recycling bag full of magazines.
Obviously I've been following the Herman Cain story closely since Politico broke the story. We were fortunate enough to get the first interview with Cain after the story came out. We had booked him weeks ago knowing that he would be in DC for two events. But when the story broke we knew we had to be prepared for either a shifting timeline or a cancellation. I think coming on our show, they knew exactly what they were going to get. We are a news show so our capacity for doing a 30-minute interview wasn't there. We were going to get the news and move on. Our team of bookers were in constant communication with them and to Cain's credit, he held up his side of the bargain. What I don't think many people know is that a few weeks earlier, I had met Cain when he was at Fox for a separate media appearance. I was in my sweats, still getting my makeup done with my hair in Velcro rollers and I introduced myself. We kind of developed a small relationship from there.
That interview and his comments on sexual harassment really moved the story forward. Politico obviously deserves credit for breaking it. They are, in my mind, a very well-respected entity. But I always feel uncomfortable taking a story further without seeing the primary document. They're still the only ones who have seen the documents from the National Restaurant Association. Some of those documents are going to be crucial to fact-checking the story.
Before bed, I read an internal note from Fox on my BlackBerry, which I know many sleep experts would advise me not to do. I try to read longer-form articles at night. The other day I read an article about Diane Keaton's new biography in Vogue. Other times I'll try to read something that's totally off. I've been known to dive into a CBO report every once and a while. The last two books I read were Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and The Help. My husband is trying to get me to read David McCullough's 1776 but I think I'm going to need something a little lighter than that.