By John Ensslin | April 25th, 2011
We taped a very good episode of Studio SPJ on April 23. I would say it was our best to date.
Val Hymes of the Maryland Pro SPJ chapter interviewed Del Quentin Wilber, a Washington Post reporter who has written a new book called “Rawhide Down – the Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan.”
Aside from the fact that Wilber has written an amazing book, what made the interview click was the fact that Hymes covered the assassination attempt for a Washington television station some 30 years ago. She also covered the trial of would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr.
Hymes focused her interview on the reporting methods Wilber used to get so many previously undisclosed details about the events of that day.
In this excerpt Wilber talks about how he located and interviewed David Adelberg, a surgical intern who assisted Dr. Benjamin Aaron, the main surgeon on the team that worked to save the president’s life.
“David Adelberg reaches his hand inside Reagan’s chest and cups the president’s beating heart in his hand and gently nestles it aside to give the main surgeon more room.
“Think about it. This 31-year-old surgical intern was holding Ronald Reagan’s beating heart in his hand. And this room is surrounded by Secret Service agents…just surrounded…armed to the teeth…ready to pounce on anyone that makes a move on the president and this guy literally held Reagan’s life in his hand.
“That’s like one of those moments as a reporter when you’re like, “Holy cow.”
To hear the entire 30 minute program, click here.
Achenbach interview postponed
We experienced some technical difficulties during a scheduled April 22 interview with Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach, who has a new book out titled “A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea – The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher.”
We are working to reschedule this episode, which is sponsored by the Alabama Pro Chapter of SPJ. Stay tuned.