Monthly Archives: December 2014

Don Van Natta, ESPN investigative reporter

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For the second-straight week, the MTTS welcomes a multi-time Pulitzer Prize winner. This time, we have ESPN.com’s Don Van Natta, who’s won three (!) of those awards. In our chat, we talk about how Van Natta could take notes in the midst of a 165-mph hurricane and then churn out a 1,400-word story that helped his newspaper win the Pulitzer, why he turned to sports writing after so many years as an investigative newshound at the NY Times, how over-reporting can help and hurt his stories, and how an investigative reporter spends his days.

Plus, we recount our experiences trying to report and write separate biographies of Sid Gillman at about the same time, and we talk about how tough the book-writing world can be.

My favorite quote from the podcast on how Van Natta operates: “You have to report with insecurity, and you have to write with overconfidence.”

Interviewed on 12-1-14

Here’s the Comfort Inn/Hurricane Andrew story from the Miami Herald we referenced early in the podcast.

And here’s where to sign up for Van Natta’a weekly Sunday Long Read choices.

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Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial cartoonist

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The first Pulitzer Prize winner joins the MTTS, and it’s an honor to have him — particularly since I grew up looking at his fantastic editorial cartoons. In our discussion, we talk about how Luckovich’s brilliance is, in some ways, inspired by fear and procrastination; his daily work schedule (hint: he doesn’t get in to the office until noon (!)); and how long it takes him to get from the genesis of his idea until the last cartoon is colored.

Plus, we discuss why Luckovich likes the image of the pearly gates when he’s drawing a cartoon on a celebrity who’s just died; why people feel comfortable asking him for free drawings; how he deals with cartooning controversy; and how he came up with a cartoon the day of 9/11.

Luckovich’s quote on his job: “I friggin’ still love it.”

Check out some of his work here, including the Lewis Grizzard obit, the 9/11 firefighters reaching the top, and the 2000th soldier dying in Iraq.

Interviewed on 10-10-14

Here’s something similar:

In Episode 17, I talked to Mack Williams, one of the original animators on FX’s Archer. Like my conversation with Luckovich, Williams and I talked about the inspiration that was Mad magazine and we discussed the problems of plagiarism in the cartooning world.