The final card in the Great ABC News Personality Deck-Shuffle of 2009-2010 got played yesterday morning when Christiane Amanpour took over the helm of the network’s Sunday-morning political talker This Week. If you need a reminder of how exactly she got there, here’s the general flow chart: Diane Sawyer left the Good Morning America host chair to helm the network’s nightly World News telecast; This Week‘s George Stephanopoulos then snagged Sawyer’s GMA post; and a vacancy was left at This Week, which was filled by…Amanpour.
The L.A. Times’ Show Tracker blog makes the astute observation that Amanpour’s “hallmark is rather an almost inelegant, even partisan urgency, with a tendency to personalize politics — that is, to make it about people — born possibly from all the years she has spent in distressed places under fire. ‘Is America going to abandon the women of Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan?’ she asked Pelosi.”
I particularly like the way Amanpour knows when to let an interview subject have the floor — it seems like she’s interested in getting real, substantive answers rather than simply sexy soundbites — and also when to interrupt a guest to stop the flow of a prefabricated talking point. Note how in the interview with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi embedded below, Amanpour demands visceral responses on subjects of the war in Afghanistan and the president’s spokesman publicly worrying about the Democrats losing their congressional majority in the fall elections — “What does your gut tell you?” “How did you feel about it?” — when Pelosi veers toward tiresome, scripted responses.
Did you catch Amanpour’s This Week debut? How do you think she fared? And will you be back for a second helping? Sound off in the comments below!