Yes, I let a City Pages reporter spend the night in my home. More accurately, my wife let a City Pages reporter spend the night in my home.
It’s hard to talk about the City Pages story on me without seeming egotistical. Which, if you read it, is one of the central questions of the story. Am I a giant egotistical jerk? Or to coin a phrase, am I a “bulbous” egotistical jerk?
You can read it and decide for yourself. In my view, Jesse Marx is an excellent journalist. His story paints an extremely accurate and nuanced picture of my personality. His questions gave me the unique opportunity to examine why it is that I do what I do. It was therapy, without having to pay for a therapist!
In the spirit of the “4 things you need to know” we end our WCCO Morning show with every day, here are the 4 things you need to know about this story:
Why did you let a reporter spend the night in your home?
Jesse wanted to do a “day-in-the-life” style piece. My day starts at 2:30 a.m. Well, read the article, you know it starts at 2:28 a.m. He went to an event with me on Thursday night, and logistically it made sense for him to drive home with me and wake-up with me the next morning, rather than knocking on my door at 2:30 a.m. We have a guest bedroom. We provided clean linens.
The story opens in my bathroom. Jesse was not there. I did email him pictures of my toothbrush/toothpaste (you can find Marvis brand at Martinpatrick3), and of the bathroom so he could paint the word picture.
My wife is a saint for allowing a stranger into our home overnight. Oh, and when: “he pauses and casts his gaze across the row of houses in Maple Grove and up to the stars. It’s too dark for witticism. Maybe in another hour.”
Truth: I was really just taking out the garbage can, and looking up.
Why did City Pages do another story on DeRusha?
The email came to me from Jesse on August 30th:
I know you’re busy at the MN State Fair, but would you have a few minutes in the next week to talk? I’m a reporter with City Pages.
He asked, and I said yes. Indeed, I’ve been the subject of some interest for local journalists in the past. The last real profile on me was in July of 2010, more than three years ago. (the story doesn’t appear to be online, but the video extra still is)
Why am I interesting? Beats me. I think I put my personality out there more than other anchors and reporters, I immerse myself in the community and events and people, and I “come to play.” I give genuine quotes, I don’t serve up a lot of BS. This is scary to my bosses, but they are awesome and supportive.
Is that your bathrobe?
No, the art director bought it at Target, and then returned it. Sadly. I think I want to buy it now and snuggle with it at night. She was great – Emily Utne was inspired by this Conan O’Brien cover. The photographer, Tony Nelson, is awesome. The last scene in the story – we were discussing these amazing fine art projection photographs. Wow.
Lime green walls and orange coaches sound gross! What are you thinking?
Our living room was featured on HGTV’s “Decorating Cents” in 2007. I love the lime green walls, and the cool wallpaper, and our funky orange couches!
The whole process was a lot of fun for me. I really appreciate all the people who spent time with Jesse to talk about me: Jamie Yuccas spent an hour with him, Neal Justin talked with him, David Brauer wasn’t quoted although Jesse tweeted that he said: “There’s a lot of genuinely charming things about him and he’s made himself accessible.” Plus, “He’s not a dumb sh*t.”Also: Amy Gustafson, former news directors Jeff Kiernan and Scott Libin, Don Shelby, Julio Ojeta-Zapata, Tim Vetcher, Frank Vascellaro, and my current ND Mike Caputa. Oh, and C.J. I love her – and I love the banter we have back and forth.
That’s a lot of people interviewed for context and background information. Jesse spent about 6 weeks with me. I pitched him three other stories while we were working together, things I thought would be more interesting than me. But I’m honored to be profiled, just like I’m honored to have a job that lets me do all the fun things that I get to do.