'CBS Evening News' Anchor Jeff Glor Is Reporting From the Battle Lines (Q&A)
On Monday, he covered clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank: “We were right in the middle of the two sides.”
CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor guessed that he took his gas mask on and off a dozen times while covering skirmishes between the Israeli military and Palestinian protestors in the West Bank on Monday. (More than 50 Palestinians were killed by the military.) A day later, sans riot gear, Glor sat down for an interview with Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu that will air on Tuesday’s night’s show.
Sensing that it was going to be a big story, with wide-ranging consequences for the region, Glor requested to cover the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on Monday — and the resulting backlash — on the ground. His bosses were supportive when he made the ask a few weeks back, he said.
By being on the scene, Glor is keeping with the vision he laid out for his tenure as anchor of the evening news show he took over last December. “The goal is to get out as often as possible,” he said.
After interviewing Netanyahu, Glor spoke with The Hollywood Reporter from Jerusalem on Tuesday. He’ll arrive back in the U.S. tomorrow, a few hours before his Wednesday night show. This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Has this become a bigger, more consequential story than you imagined?
I think our team recognized that this could be a consequential week in the Middle East a little ways back, and I asked if I could go, and I was grateful that they sent me.
Was it a big “ask” (to CBS News management) for you to travel to Israel for the story?
They always say “yes” when we’re asking them to commit significant resources for international travel … It’s always an ask, but it’s never something that they discourage us from asking. I know the commitment that this news division has to international news, to hard news in particular, and they’ve shown in the past they’re willing to commit to hard news and international stories and I think you’re seeing that this week and you’ll see it next week and beyond.
Did you ever feel unsafe while covering the clashes in the West Bank?
We were right in the middle of the two sides. I mean, literally in the middle of the two sides as they came into conflict. The goal was to protect the team as best we can while also trying to get a sense of the story as best we can.
On a nightly basis, how do you handle this evergreen question of trying to fit in all the news that’s happening — international, domestic, Trump-related — into just 30 minutes?
My goal is to put together a broadcast that is both comprehensive and concise at the same time. Are we interested in stories out of D.C.? Of course. Are we interested in stories out of Kansas and California and the Koreas, as well? Yes. … It’s a constant discussion during the day to figure out what we can put in the broadcast and where we put it.
You’ve emphasized on-the-ground reporting in your first five months anchoring the show. Why has that been a priority?
Any time we can go out and get in the middle of the story on the ground, we are going to try to take that opportunity. I’m going to try to take that opportunity. Whether it’s in the Middle East, whether it’s after a hurricane, whether it’s after a mudslide. It is important to learn about what’s happening on the ground. It’s essential. And, so, the goal is to get out as often as possible. And, to focus on hard news and big stories, and in this case an international story, as often as often as we can.
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