Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Exclusive Fitzgerald Interview.... (post updated twice)

Exclusive Fitzgerald Interview!... er, unfortunately not with me. And, morevoer, well, not with the New York Times or Washington Post either.

The exclusive was scored by one Joseph Santo, a senior at Regis High School, a Jesuit college-prep high school on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Via Dan Froomkin, Santo scored the exclusive interview in part because Fitzgerald is an alumni of the school. High school kid beats the national press! Timely story, too, with Rove before the grand jury today and all.

Alas, Santo, however, wasn't able to get Fitzgerald to spill the beans on the Plame probe. Not the kid's fault: Fitzgerald is inscrutable even for more experienced journalists such as--er, myself. (What is a blog for except to talk about yourself?)

And Fitzgerald shows once again he is adept--even when he speaks--at not saying much of anything at all. He told Santo: "Every day is new and every day is interesting. I love being a prosecutor; it's a great job, and it's very engaging."

Update, 4:21 P.M. Even though I myself have never scored an interview with Patrick J. Fitzgerald, I will be getting an interview with the kid (my competition) who broke the big story. Haven't talked to him yet. But the principal and president of his school said that J.R. has to do it, and having once been in high school myself (a public school, albeit not a jesuit school, but still knowing the fear of being called to the principal's office...), I know what that is like.

Some background on the school: Father Philip Judge, the President of Regis, told me (or is telling me... I am blogging as I interview him, what a medium blogging is!) that Regis is an all scholarship Catholic boys school, founded in 1914.

Father Judge actually knew Patrick Fitzgerald slightly; who was two years ahead of him in school. Fitzgerald was-- no surprise here-- on the debate team. Father Judge was on the speech team. Among other things, the school, Judge pointed out, won its 17th State Speech championish this year: "Our kids are kinda geeks," he said, "Not very good at sports, but good at things like speech and debate."

Second Update, 8:48 P.M: As it turns out, this school has graduated some very distinguished journalists, among them Pete Hamill and Mark Mazzetti, who just left the Los Angeles Times to cover intelligence for the New York Times. In addition, a recent graduate of Regis, a Harvard student, was one of the reporters for the Harvard Crimson who has broken the story of the alleged plagiarism of Harvard student novelist Kaavya Viswanathan.

All right, enough about this. Back to my own reporting. Plus if he we give this kid too much attention and positive re-inforcement for his story, he might choose journalism for a career instead of something... more admirable like say medicine or law... or for that matter just about any other profession undertaking.

Hey, Josh Gerstein [he works for the New York Sun, and has broken some very good stories on the CIA leak probe, including scooping me a couple of times] you got beat on this story dude!

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