Errol Morris on the art of the interview » Nieman Journalism Lab

by Scott Smith

Because of that, “I can’t interview someone if I don’t like them,” Morris noted. Skepticism is key, of course — “I think skepticism is truly such a wonderful thing,” he said — but respect has to be there, as well. His conversation with Robert McNamara, for example, for The Fog of War — an interview notable and somewhat shocking for its candor and humanity — benefitted from a telling mix of empathy and epistemology. “I’m not a Catholic priest; I don’t want to hear his confession,” Morris said. “I’m far more interested in hearing his story than in passing judgment.”

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