Photo: Coburn Dukehart/NPR
"Please allow me to introduce myself ... "
If you're old enough to immediately know the song that line is from — and old enough to remember hearing it on AM radio — you've got an idea how long I've been around. And, I suppose, you've now got an idea about three things I like a lot:
(Sympathy for the Devil is, after all, a song that combines all three.)
But in the interest of full disclosure, or something close to it, here's a bit more about me:
— Small-town kid. Little Valley, N.Y., to be specific.
— Youngest of six. I was the "spoiled one," my siblings say.
— Husband and father. My wife, Carol, is a journalist too. Our children, Erin and Matt, are both in college.
— Long-time reporter, columnist and editor. Up to now, almost all my career (1984-2009) was at USA TODAY. There, I covered economics and politics, and did some foreign reporting as well — including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003. Over the years, I had the chance to interview presidents and pop stars, proud parents and grieving families. My travels took me to most of the nation and literally around the world.
— Blogger. The past three years at USA TODAY, I helped launch and produce three hard-news blogs: On Deadline, On Politics and The Oval. The give-and-take of a blog reminds me of my early days at a small newspaper in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. There, you got to know the people you wrote for. It's the same with a good blog.
Now, as James Stockdale famously asked, "why am I here?"
To bring you the news as it happens. To scan the news media universe for the best stories. To add value to the reporting done by NPR correspondents, by the staffs of Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. To be serious when it's time to be serious and have fun when it's time to have fun.
To boldly go ... (oops, showing my age again).
But that's enough about me. The Two-Way isn't about Frank or Mark. We're just the hosts. This blog is about the news and about the conversations it will hopefully inspire among you, the readers, and those of us at NPR. (Feel free, by the way, to follow my occasional thoughts and observations at twitter.com/MarkMemmottNPR.)
I hope you join us. Welcome to the show.