Check it out. Here's Tyra Banks interviewing Alaskan/accidentally famous person Levi Johnston:
On the handful of occasions I've seen Tyra Banks interview someone, I've been struck by how good at it she is, better than many journalism school graduates I've seen. I think it's because she makes it much less complicated than it needs to be. She doesn't try to develop a theme, she doesn't necessarily seek out an arc to the interview, she just listens to what the person says and then persists with the most obvious question that occurs to her. I'm not saying she's dumb, I don't think that simply because you're a model you're dumb, but she approaches it with utter guilelessness. A bad interviewer, like when most celebrities get handed talk shows, often seems uncomfortable with the practice of genuine conversation, like they're looking for the door half the time. Tyra just sits and listens.
The interviews never become transcendent, a higher truth is never arrived at, but the thing you've been wondering about regarding the guest is almost always answered. In the clip above, she clamps on to this idea of the state of the Johnston family in relation to the Palin family and she nails all the proper follow-up questions.
I twittered yesterday how Tyra was so bad she was kind of awesome. I think I was wrong about that, maybe she's just good.
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I will be the first one in line to mock Tyra Banks, but you're right--this is a really good and informative interview. She was very respectful and actually got them all to talk.
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