Matt Frei is Keen on U.S. Politics

Sep 30, 2007  •  Post A Comment

“BBC World News America” anchor Matt Frei comes to the assignment with the sort of international experience U.S. newsmen seldom have the luxury to accrue.
The German-born 43-year-old has covered Asia for the BBC, as well as the first Persian Gulf war; he also shuttled back and forth from war-torn Bosnia and Kosovo to Rome, which was then his home base.
He’s reported from hot spots including Burma, where he was arrested and held for several hours after interviewing Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader who has spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest. That interview took place on the very day in 1999 she learned her husband had died. Because Mr. Frei had the foresight to protect the videotape of the interview, it could not be confiscated by authorities.
His most recent foreign posting, in Washington, began in 2003.
He has come to regard this country as “one big show-and-tell experiment. No American will say, ‘I can’t comment.’ People are so confident verbally. Americans do amazing things with English,” said Mr. Frei.
He admits to recently raising eyebrows at home when he began using a word he’d picked up from one of his daughters: “Whatever.”
“It’s one word that says so much,” Mr. Frei said.
He especially enjoys covering politics — an assignment that will be a particular focus of the newscast’s Washington correspondent, Katty Kay.
Mr. Frei also is a fan of the short setups American news anchors utter to convince viewers why they should watch the coming story — stories he said he often finds “perhaps a bit obvious.”
His favorite American newscast is ABC’s “World News With Charles Gibson.” Mr. Frei credits Mr. Gibson’s ability to convey great authority without affecting “the voice of God” persona. He also admires CNN’s Anderson Cooper for getting out and about.
“I want to do some of that,” he said.


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