The Week the Shutdown Ended

The Week the Shutdown Ended

The week the government shutdown ended was another busy one in Washington. Once again, I was able to tag along for the ride.

 

On Monday, the day before a bill reopening the government was passed, I was able to watch one of our CBS This Morning live shots from Capitol Hill.

 

We had Mick Mulvaney, a Tea Party congressman from South Carolina, on the program to talk about his stance on the Affordable Care Act and the shutdown. The live shot was done from the balcony of the rotunda in one of the congressional office buildings. It's a neat space because the journalists working there can just pull legislators out of their offices to interview them if they have time.

 

A congressional reporter's view from the Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda.

 

 

The CBS set-up on a balcony at the Russell Senate Office Building.

 

A day later the government reopened, but not until after CNN had converged on the city en force. Everyone, from the anchors of CNN's New Day to Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper were doing their shows from the Hill. Anderson did his live shot from the same spot where I had been for CTM only a few weeks earlier, and a whole crowd gathered to watch him at work. While we were shooting the CTM live shot I mentioned, one of the CNN producers came up to me and gave me her card without me even saying anything to her. I think she thought I was more important than an intern but I took it anyway. You never know, it might come in handy someday.

 

A blurry Anderson Cooper reporting from Capitol Hill.

 

Wednesday was hectic as soon as I walked in the door. I arrived at 10:00 a.m. on the dot and was immediately informed President Obama would be speaking about the government reopening from the White House. We would be breaking into regular programming to do a special report. My job was to run around and help out with odd tasks like printing run downs and scripts and answering phones. Overall, the most stressful part was waiting for the President. He tends to be late to scheduled events and the waiting game is only more intense when you have to pick a time to break into a show that's in progress.

 

The control room during the special report.

 

Sunday was the start of a new week, but it seemed more like a continuation of the previous one. That's because I went into CBS to watch a live broadcast of Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer. I was lucky enough to sit in the studio right next to Bob's teleprompter operator. I've heard people say this before, but it really is a lot smaller than it looks on television. Much of the show's crew is crammed into a space not much larger than an average person's living room. The area you actually see on television is a little smaller than the basement of a small house. I was given an earpiece or IFB so I could listen to the parts of the show that you could only hear in the control room. That included a live interview with Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Virginia Senator Mark Warner was also on the show but he was with us in the studio. Afterwards, I got to take a seat in Bob's chair and had some pictures snapped with other visitors who were at CBS for the day.

 

Striking a pose on the set of "Face the Nation"

 

Stay tuned for my next blog because it's all about my visit to The White House!

 

Cheers,

 

Dustin

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