“Does your phone have flash?” asked the celebrity journalist.
“No…It’s a low-end smartphone,” I said sheepishly.
“What kind is it?”
I don’t actually recall what I said next because every other journalist in the area went from professional to shameless fans in seconds just as my friend and I did.
Blitzer was headlining the ICFJ 2013 Awards Dinner in DC November 7 where honors were given to foreign correspondents like Richard Engel — who I also met — shared their experiences in covering events on international soil.
Writer and author Mary Ann Sternberg, who is a member of the ICFJ board of directors, graciously invited us as guest to this occasion. We (my professor, two partners and myself) were in DC to interview FBI supervisors and study FBI documents in archives for a Field Experience course.
I offhandedly mentioned the opportunity of getting a photo with Blitzer with my friend beforehand, but we honestly didn’t expect it to occur. I mean, it’s unlikely that CNN’s lead political anchor has the time to chat with an aspiring journalist.
We nonetheless found ourselves in the restroom when Blitzer came in just as I was leaving. Admittedly I laughed at myself outside the restroom with mixed emotions.
I figured no one else in the area would ask to take a picture with him like some groupie at a Beatles tour, but I also couldn’t deny his notability in journalism. I spent so much time thinking about it that he actually passed me by and I reflexively asked if we could take a picture together.
So…I guess the moral of the story (if you can humorously find one in this post) is every that culture — from religion to journalism — has its celebrities.