As with other people in government or those highly visible in the media, Anthony Scaramucci was the focus of some criticism during his time as White House Communications Director. His first appearance on television after leaving his position at the White House was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on 14 Aug 2017. The interview was an exclusive and unexpected appearance, considering that Scaramucci was the focus of many of Colbert’s jokes during his time at the White House.
The interview is significant for several reasons.
- Balance. It’s unusual for conservative or liberal leaning programs to invite as a guest someone from ‘the other side’ to the show and treat them well.
- Forgiveness. It’s equally unusual for someone who has been the brunt of jokes to pick their most vocal critic as someone to meet with.
- Respect. The interview is a good example of people who hold to many opposing viewpoints being able to meet and have a respectful discussion.
- Length. It’s an example of a ‘long-format’ interview where a person is able to more fully explain their beliefs and positions which often don’t fit the preconceived ideas we may have of that person. Sometimes, in the media, politicians are portrayed as fairly one sided. Any quotes or data that fit the narrative are broadcast far and wide. Any facts about the person that don’t fit the narrative are ignored. So, in long-format interviews people can become more three dimensional and often don’t fit the stereotypes we have of them.
- Restorative. The interview was important because at a time when the ‘media’ had been perceived as one sided by poorly treating ‘the other’ and not giving them a platform to speak. It was an opportunity to show some measure of cordiality, goodwill, respect, and balance.
Here’s a quote from Scaramucci during part one of the interview at 1m 43s:
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve tried to own up to those mistakes…. What you don’t want to do is morph yourself or change yourself. You want to be yourself, and if the good lord put you in a direction or a stream where things are going the right way, great things will happen and if it doesn’t happen, I’m totally okay with it, I’m totally cool with it. I mean this guy [Colbert] has been hitting me for three straight weeks and I’m sitting here. Right? So, it’s fine. At the end of the day, you’ve got to accept what your fate is. You’ve got to do it without any bitterness, and stay humble.”
The ability to admit mistakes, take responsibility, and not hold grudges are some rare character virtues that we unfortunately don’t see as much as we should.
Below is the announcement, and then the interview in two parts.
Interview – Part 1
Interview – Part 2