The Sal and Bob Show

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Smith and Wollensky with Josh Mankiewicz
Oct 7, 2019

A unique and very special episode with a funny and entertaining interview with our favorite Dateline NBC reporter, Josh Mankiewicz! (@JoshMankiewicz) Coming to you from Smith & Wollensky in Columbus, Ohio, the One Hit Wonder is a nod to Dateline, Haddaway’s “What is Love,” or “Baby Don’t Hurt Me.”

Sal and Bob are huge fans of Dateline, and Josh’s reporting, so they ask questions they think other fans want to know the answers to. Josh talks about why Dateline is so compelling, quoting his colleague and fellow Dateline reporter Dennis Murphy, that “It’s not about the murder. It’s about the marriage.” Josh talks about the “CSI Effect,” which highlights how today’s jurors are affected by crime science portrayed on television, saying that OJ would probably be convicted today.

Bob asks if Josh has a favorite episode that resonated with him and gave him personal satisfaction. Josh shares one where a wrongfully convicted man was helped, in part, by Dateline’s dramatization of the facts, and was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing and freed from prison.

Sal and Josh talk about how there's an art to the interview process, and how families of murdered loved ones want to tell the story of the victim, and how Dateline helps them do that. Josh talks about the challenges in interviewing law enforcement officials. People have asked Josh if he’s scared when he interviews murderers, and his response is that he is not. Partly because it’s in a prison where the fight has gone out of the killer, and partly because the murderers want to tell their story, too.

All the guys laugh about Bill Hader’s impression of Josh, and Sal wonders how Dateline gets the “pensive” shots of the guilty drinking coffee by a window. Josh says one of the trickiest parts of the show is to keep the secret of someone’s guilt or innocence until the right time in the story. They wrap things up by agreeing to meet for a steak dinner at The Golden Steer, The Met, Michael’s Gourmet Room, Manny’s Steakhouse, or somewhere else road warriors meet. What a fun, entertaining, and insightful episode with the very gracious and funny Josh Mankiewicz.

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