TMM Guest Host Day 2: Travyon Martin's Killer Charged, Summit of the Americas, Inspiring "Scandal" TV Show & The Voice


Whenever you see a newscast, hear a radio show, see a movie, you see the finished product--no "work," just the perfect dress--no seams, no stitches sticking out.  That "perfection" is possible only because of all the hard work, at times Herculean efforts, of a team.  If you are lucky, everything works out perfectly--your "A" guests say, yes, Viviana, you will be my #1 interview, always before Wolf, Brian, and Megyn.  The world will stay still and not blow up your rundown.  You're able to pre-tape segments so they can be masterfully edited, threading pauses, music, laughter, all the things that happen in real life and make an interview sing.

But life's not perfect, is it?  Will the mujeres and men stand up?  Kids, just sit in that corner and don't move.  ¡Caramba, I said, don't move!

The TMM team called, vetted, pre-interviewed, confirmed, booked studios, lines, researched, printed out articles compiled into research packets, wrote, tweaked my scripts, recorded, then edited.  I'm sure I missed some steps.  Don't forget the live conversations, where you're covering information, probing new angles, pushing the story ahead, all while you keep an eye on the clock.

The last thing you want is:

Viviana's red velvety smooth voz: "As China's presence grows in Latin American, isn't the region's dependence on the U.S...

[Insert theme music gradually being dialed up]

As my friend since 1998 veteran NPR producer Jeff says: you have to be in the moment, but three steps ahead, all while avoiding running into a time post.

¡Amen to THAT sister!

TMM Guest Host Day 2 featured a live segment with legal expert Paul Butler on George Zimmerman's charge of second degree murder in the killing of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. Heavy stuff.  Plus a wide horizon-of-a-range: Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson calling for calm after Zimmerman's charge and arrest, what the legalese means, what's at stake for President Obama when he heads to the Summit of the Americas,  the woman who inspired the new ABC drama Scandal, Dayna Kurtz's simultaneous release of two albums, and honoring National Poetry Month with tweet poems.

Take a listen to Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson explaining her community's reaction to the arrest and charge of Trayvon Martin's killer and why many parents are scared for their children:

George Washington University Law Professor Paul Butler explains why George Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder and not manslaughter:

Time Magazine's Latin America bureau chief Tim Padgett and I are together again after appearing on Univision's Al Punto con Jorge Ramos, talking this time about President Obama's tricky diplomatic salsa dance around calls for drug legalization:

Crisis management guru Judy Smith inspires ABC's Scandal starring Kerry Washington and gives tips on how to avoid and if you can't, deal with a crisis.

Musician Dayna Kurtz is a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n roll, with a good measure of blues, jazz, and folk music and finds inspiration for her two back-to-back albums in the most unlikely places:

To celebrate National Poetry Month, our series Muses & Metaphor series has single-handedly revived the haiku with our tweet poem challenge!

Mil gracias for listening!  What was your favorite segment and why?