Gretchen Carl­son


The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY JAY BOBBIN

How did your ar­range­ment with Life­time come about to do doc­u­men­taries such as “Be­yond the Head­lines: The Col­lege Ad­mis­sions Scan­dal With Gretchen Carl­son,” which run ad­ja­cent to dra­ma­tized TV-movies about the same sit­u­a­tions?

For me, this is my fa­vorite thing to do. I love go­ing to real-life movies or watch­ing them on TV, then I’m con­stantly on my phone or my lap­top say­ing, “Is this re­ally true? Did this re­ally hap­pen?” I’m al­ways want­ing more in­for­ma­tion; my in­quis­i­tive mind and cu­ri­ous soul are why I’ve been a jour­nal­ist for more than 25 years, but I specif­i­cally like this genre.

What are the chal­lenges of do­ing such doc­u­men­taries, which have to co­or­di­nate with other Life­time pro­gram­ming and also re­main timely?

These come to­gether very quickly, and there are also many other en­ti­ties in­ter­ested in fo­cus­ing on these sto­ries that con­tinue to de­velop. I think the col­lege ad­mis­sions scan­dal is just at the tip of the ice­berg right now. That would be my per­cep­tion as a jour­nal­ist, and I wouldn’t be sur­prised if there were many other scan­dals that came out of it.

We speak to a col­lege coun­selor who doesn’t stick to the talk­ing points. She re­ally lays it on the line and tells us what’s re­ally go­ing on in the ad­mis­sions process, and I think it’s ex­tremely valu­able in­for­ma­tion. It’s kept so hush-hush as to how the process ac­tu­ally works.

With many of the prin­ci­pals caught up in le­gal­i­ties re­lated to the col­lege ad­mis­sions mat­ter, how did you find other peo­ple to in­ter­view?

Only a very few peo­ple have been sen­tenced, so lawyers prob­a­bly aren’t go­ing to rec­om­mend that (their clients) speak be­fore they have more fi­nal­ity to their sit­u­a­tions. How­ever, we do talk to a fam­ily whose son is a gifted swim­mer, and they at­tended sev­eral meet­ings with (The Key founder and CEO) Rick Singer, who was al­legedly re­cruit­ing fam­i­lies to work with him.

This fam­ily was not able fi­nan­cially to do it, and we have a very emo­tional dis­cus­sion with them. To a cer­tain ex­tent, they’re re­lieved that they weren’t caught up in the process ... though at the time, it didn’t feel so good to them, sim­ply be­cause they didn’t have the means.

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