Speak Eagle

A Risky Interview with a Seattle Radio Station

When I was a teenager, I took risks. Like perching precariously underneath a train bridge to see what it felt like when a train went over. Not one of my wisest moments. But now that I’m older and so much more mature, I take “calculated” risks. Like agreeing to be interviewed by a Seattle radio station.

I was out of town when my cell phone rang. The area code was from Washington. My heart skipped a beat as I answered. Was I ready for this?

I was expecting a call from reporter Brian Calvert with KOMO News Radio in hand-977641Seattle. Although I had practiced what I might say if he asked what I thought he would ask, I really didn’t know what he would ask so I really didn’t know what I would answer. Risky.

Yet, I was thrilled that a news radio reporter in Seattle would be interested in covering the Heart Perception Project- the project my liberal friend Kellie and I started in response to the political divide in our country following the polarizing 2016 election. Kellie had already been in the KOMO studio in person for her part of the interview; mine would have to be by phone from across the country.

iphone-518101_1920“Hello?” I answered. “Heidi! Hi!” Calvert was warm and friendly. I didn’t know which side of the political fence he occupied, and while I was curious to know, perhaps not knowing would keep me from putting him in a box and being defensive off the bat.

My biggest fear was that he would skew my words and make me out to be someone I’m not. Having worked in radio and television, I knew the risk of giving a reporter free reign to snip and twist and shoot holes in whatever theory he wanted to disprove. And I didn’t want to give him any ammo. Once it’s aired, there’s no road to recourse.

But Calvert seemed worthy of a chance. He asked innocuous questions concerning the history of my 30-year friendship with Kellie and what led to us starting the Heart Perception Project. He then queried about Kellie’s recent visit to Nashville to lead our first session together to help people find connection workshop photo croppeddespite stark disagreement. “What was that like?” he asked. I tried to paint a picture of our session- how the Nolensville Town Hall that night was filled with multi-layered people, with stories and tears that have led to their values and decisions. And while most of the participants were conservative, there were also non-Trump supporters in the room.

When I hung up, I breathed deep. I had no idea which of my thoughts he would put on the air. But I prayed he would be fair.

When I was finally sent the link to the story, it was a bit nerve-wracking to push “Play.” Overall, I did think he was fair. He didn’t take what I had said out of context, and he told the story well.

However, out of the gate, Calvert said I had posted “victorious cheers” on trump-2042378Facebook over Trump’s win. Sigh. That wasn’t true. His remark further entrenched the assumption that all people who voted for Trump were hooting and hollering at his victory. In truth, some of us, while very thankful Hillary didn’t win, were a little apprehensive about Trump, even though we voted for him. Calvert also assumed that Kellie was the only liberal in the building of the Nolensville Town Hall. That wasn’t true, either. And I’ll admit I cringed a bit when Calvert accidentally called Kellie by my name when he asked, “Heidi, you didn’t succeed in turning anyone liberal?”

I suppose media interviews always feel a bit risky. city-skyline-693502Maybe that’s why some people opt out of them. However, as risky as this phone interview felt for me, on April 13th I’ll up the ante and fly to Seattle in hopes of engaging conversations and leading a Heart Perception Project session with Kellie, in person. Thankfully, I won’t be going alone, as my friends Lindsay Watson and Joy Patton have decided to take the risk with me. And with my friends going with me, it doesn’t feel quite as risky.

It’s not a train bridge after all, it’s a conservative Christian who voted for Trump going to Seattle. And that’s a much more calculated risk.

Just don’t ask me if I’m good at math.

Listen to our Radio Interview Here.

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