In response to a question about the challenges of getting people on the record, veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk — who was discussing hour two of our financial epic “Money, Power and Wall Street” in a live chat today — nailed an important point I think is too easily forgotten:
The reasons people subject themselves to interviews are as varied as the individuals themselves. Often people are willing to talk to us because we appeal to their better nature—an obligation to help define the historical record. Some, of course, have other reasons—revenge or a desire to influence an ongoing public debate. Others are happy to have their names attached to important television discussions. It’s the people (especially government officials) who REFUSE to talk that always amazes me—I personally feel they have an obligation to take responsibility for their actions…yet to my regret sometimes they will not talk to us. It’s a shame.