NPR’s Terry Gross: inquisitive, incisive... savage? One of media’s best interviewers was interviewed herself on last night’s episode of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and when Fallon asked her, “Do you have any stories where an interview just didn’t go well?” she shared this lovely anecdote:
Oh yeah, that happens and people have walked out on me too... Most famously Bill O’Reilly walked out on me. I asked him a few challenging questions about whether he used the microphone to settle scores or to get even with people. Before I was even done with the question, he accused me of throwing every defamation in the book at him and then made a little speech about, “This is NPR, I know what this is. I know what you’re doing. Thirty minutes of defamation.” And then he said, “If you think that’s fair, Terry, you should get out of this business.” And I’m thinking one of us still has a program.
Gross’s interview with O’Reilly aired October 9, 2003. National treasure, that Terry Gross.