Michael Kosta – On Covering Conventions from Your Couch and Silver Linings
Nominated for six Emmys, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is in their satirical element with extra coverage of the DNC and RNC. But these conventions are very unusual this year. With COVID keeping people from gathering, and empty sound stages, how does a correspondent from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah cover these weeks? I got the chance to chat with Michael Kosta, one of the newest correspondents to join The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and he shed some light on the ins and outs of covering a convention from your couch.
First, the big question, how to politicians respond when they are getting these not-so-serious questions asked of them? "You know, politicians are happy to have their face on TV. I think politicians, must like stand-up comics, follow the adage of 'If I'm getting a headline, it can be spun as a positive.' I was in the debate spin room at CNN last year after one of the debates. People always think they're going to run away from us. They're actually very happy to see us. Most people are asking them very difficult, very serious questions. Now, we usually get to those questions, but we start with some comedy and often times they appreciate it."
There are so many differences with holding a convention virtually. Kosta explains, "What's different is, as a correspondent, we are watching these conventions in my own home in Brooklyn, getting on a Zoom call trying to figure out how we can cover it. It is strange, strange times. I've actually been impressed with how the speakers have increased their energy, have projected their voice, have sold these speeches. They're doing it in a vacuum. No one is around, I mean their standing in front a green screen or in some totally empty edifice. I've been anxious to see how both conventions would respond to having nobody around. They've done okay. Do I miss big groups of people? Of course. As a correspondent it has made our lives trickier that there is nobody there."
These are changes we've all seen in our own lives. But Kosta sees a silver lining. "It's been challenging for all of us. But I think one thing that's been amazing to see from every industry, from every business during this time, is how well people adapt. Look, are we all anxious? Yes. Are people eating way too much and drinking way too much. Yes. But in general businesses have had to find a way to make this work, and that's been pretty impressive in my opinion."
For the complete interview with Michael Kosta, click below.