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Bestselling Author and Journalist AJ Jacobs

On this week’s episode of Media Mayhem, Allison speaks to Esquire’s Editor at Large and bestselling author A.J. Jacobs. Allison and A.J. talk celebrity interviews, the nature of investigative journalism and how alternative media has changed the way journalists work. Allison and A.J. also discuss his best selling books and laugh about some of AJ’s particularly interesting encounters.

Guest Bio

A.J. Jacobs is Editor at Large at Esquire magazine and author of three bestselling books: The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically and My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself. A.J. has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and New York magazine. He has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. A.J.’s latest book Drop Dead Healthy will be released in April 2012.

Episode Breakdown

00:00-01:40 Introduction: AJ Jacobs

01:40 AJ’s style of Journalism.

02:35 When you interviewed Ellen Degeneres, did you hesitate to interview and make fun of her in prose?

04:00 If you think you won’t be interviewing someone again, will you “have at it” with them?

05:00 When you do a “write around” do you feel like you have to be more careful?

06:10 When you interview a celebrity are their lines you can’t cross and do you discuss those with them before the interview?

07:45 Has anyone ever told you that you’ve gone too far?

10:05 Have things changed in terms of interviewing celebrities?

14:40 Do you think there are more attempts to control what journalists put out by publications?

18:25 Do you find that there are very few other journalists who like to come out from behind their desks and do real investigative journalism?

19:25 How can you not consider yourself an investigative journalist?

20:30 Do you think other journalists tend not to get out there?

21:50 Kardashian coverage.

22:50 What is your reaction to it?

25:10 Have you ever thought about getting involved in television?

28:00 Ever consider having your own reality show?

29:55 Did you get a lot of negative feedback from “The Year of Living Biblically”?

32:09 Tell us about your experience with the Amish.

35:40 VIDEO: Today Show with AJ living biblically.

36:50 MEDIA MAYHEM segment with Producer Nick.

37:25 Headline 1: Scarlett Johansson Nudes.

39:10 Headline 2: “One Year of Prison Costs More Than One Year at Princeton”.

40:35 Have you found educating yourself is more useful than the education you received in college?

42:05 Headline 3: “Cane Faults Perry as More Allegations Emerge”.

43:10 Do you see any of the candidates today acting appropriately according to Washington?

44:07 Do you think Obama’s civility gets used against him? And are politics something you find interesting to write about?

45:30 Headline 4:  Just How Many Explosions Have Michael Bay’s Movies Had Anyway?”

46:40 Headline 5: “U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners”

48:25 Headline 6: “Time for John McCain to Retire… This Joke”.

49:45 Do your family remembers mind being in the books?

52:20 Wrap up

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Guest Bio

A.J. Jacobs is Editor at Large at Esquire magazine and author of three bestselling books: The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically and My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself. A.J. has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and New York magazine. He has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. A.J.’s latest book Drop Dead Healthy will be released in April 2012.

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