Secretary Clinton's Indonesian TV Show Appearance Simply "Awesome"

Posted by Tristram Perry
February 19, 2009
Secretary Clinton on the Set of \œDahsyat\

About the Author: Tristram Perry serves as the Public Diplomacy Officer covering broadcast media at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.Watch the "Dahsyat" interview on YouTube.

It's an hour before show time, and I'm backstage at the "Dahsyat" ("Awesome") studio in the Four Seasons Hotel, talking to supermodel, actress and host Luna Maya. "I'm so nervous!" she exclaims. It's not every day that the host of the highest-rated youth TV show in Indonesia is jittery about interviewing a guest. But then again, Secretary Hillary Clinton is no ordinary guest. Used to chatting and joking with famous actors, singers and other celebrities, the idea of talking to the 67th U.S. Secretary of State leaves Maya and her co-host, news anchor Isyana Bagoes Oka, visibly shaken.

I try to reassure them, but it's our Information Assistant Dian Agustin, who points out the irony of someone so famous being so star-struck. Both co-hosts laugh at this and visibly relax. Even so, there's an air of tension and excitement and everyone from the stage crew to the station executives are anticipating Secretary Clinton's arrival on set.

A daily celebrity- and music-focused variety and talk show, "Dahsyat" draws millions of viewers and is very popular with youth, enjoying many times more viewers than even the number-one national news program in Indonesia. Broadcast live on top-rated national TV station RCTI, the program is a mixture between the Tyra Banks Show and MTV, featuring celebrity guests and performances by major Indonesian recording artists.

Suddenly, we get the signal, and everyone snaps to attention. Secretary Clinton enters the room a few moments later and I introduce her to Luna and Isyana. The Secretary greets everyone and walks around the set, shaking hands, warmly greeting the crew and posing for dozens of photos before putting on her lapel microphone. The co-hosts take the stage, to introduce their special guest. The music swells, and right on-cue, Secretary Clinton walks on as the audience applauds.

Questions alternate from policy to personal, with Isyana tackling Gaza and U.S. relations with the Muslim world, while Luna is more interested in Secretary Clinton's taste in music. "When I work, I listen to classical music, because I find it very soothing," said Secretary Clinton, "but I am someone who loves the music of my youth...for me it's the old standbys, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones..." and the entire studio -- including crew -- erupts into cheering and clapping. Later in the program, Secretary Clinton discusses the situation in Palestine, pointing out that "President Obama and I have promised that the United States will get re-engaged in trying to help in the Middle East," and cites Special Envoy Mitchell's appointment and her upcoming trip to Cairo as examples of their renewed efforts.

Soon, the interview ends, and the Secretary thanks her hosts and departs the studio, pausing for a round of photos and even signing a book for a fan. The studio crew is euphoric, and the crew begin congratulating each other. They can't believe that the Secretary is so friendly in person, and how well she connected with the young people in the audience. Later in the car back to the embassy, my phone buzzes with dozens of text messages from friends and colleagues who saw the show, remarking on how good the interview was, and wishing our two countries continued good relations.

Comments

Comments

shisosocial
|
California, USA
February 19, 2009

S in California writes:

Where's the video clip?!

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
February 19, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Tristam - Thanks for the post. I saw the video this morning, and she was great! Of course she won the hearts of many young people stateside during the election cycle, so it's no surprise that these young people liked her.

She loves to keep up with people of all ages, and I love watching her work. She is awesome.

I am very proud of her. She is doing a great job on this tour.

Sue
|
New Hampshire, USA
February 20, 2009

Sue in New Hampshire writes:

Madame Secretary,

Great job in Indonesia, and, indeed, in office. You handled the questions from these young ladies very well.

Thank you for setting the example for putting aside differences and working for the common good.

renee
|
Pennsylvania, USA
February 20, 2009

Renee in Pennsylvania writes:

Secretary of State Clinton,

It is so refreshing to see you in a natural state communicating with our global countries. You are a breath of fresh air. Not stuffy, there for business but also for relationship building. I am proud to have you represent our country during these tough times. If anyone can promote unity it will be YOU!

Paul
|
Florida, USA
February 20, 2009

Paul in Florida writes:

Sec. Clinton, this interview was really neat!! I am so glad that your our Sec. of State!! You are making us very proud! Thank you for everything your doing for the United States and the world! :) God Bless You!

renee
|
Pennsylvania, USA
February 20, 2009

Renee in Pennsylvania writes:

Hillary clinton you are awsome for this job. No one can do it better than you. You have captured the hearts and minds of all generation of peopleregardless of race,ethnic backgrounds and views. you meet the needs of all representing America firmly and proudly!

earthkeeper
|
New Hampshire, USA
February 20, 2009

E.K in New Hampshire writes:

To meet Hillary is truly inspiring and an honor. We are blessed she will be representing the people of America.

Secretary Clinton will give her all and the rest of the world will know (if they don't know all ready) why we love and trust her heart and word. She is a Universal Woman meant to do great things.

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
February 20, 2009

Patrick Maryland writes:

I'm glad to see you had time on your trip to de-stress.

By doing an Interview on an "Awesome" tv show.

I watched it on YouTube and thought it was pretty Good.

I hope your trip to China is just a good. Keep :) things are looking up.

Cya :)

Wendy
|
California, USA
February 20, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

How delightful & inspiring -- both Sec State Hillary and the fabulous young Indonesian women. I hope everybody watches both clips so they see the whole thing which will just make you so proud. And hopeful for the future.

I loved the way Sec State Hillary wove in the reminiscences of Prez O into her interview.

William K.
|
New York, USA
February 20, 2009

William in New York writes:

Miss Perry,

Please inform your superiors that the current operation of the State Department Web site is far inferior to how it was under the Bush Administration. And the same can be said of the White House Web site.

Finding information is far less intuitive, videos of press conferences are being posted without English translation [is there something wrong with this picture?], and videos, photos and text of the same events are not linked up.

Come on folks, this is the 21st Century Obama Administration!

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
February 21, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

@ Sue in California -- The link is under the picture. ;)

Mary
|
Canada
February 21, 2009

Mary in Canada writes:

Great post! Thanks for the info. It is truly amazing to see Hillary Rodham Clinton's humanity and compassionate intelligence at play. She's truly a wonderful human being whose dedication to Public Service shines through every one of her actions. She has a remarkable way of connecting with young (and old!) people. And last but not least, we love her....bellylaugh! It's the bellylaugh that not only connects us to her in a very personal, human way, but it's one that can melt the Arctic in a split second!

Thanks, Hillary, for showing the world that there are politicians out there who belong to the World....You're simply the Best. You go, girl!

Nenden
|
Indonesia
February 23, 2009

Nenden in Indonesia writes:

Yes, it was awesome..amazing ! Great job Tristram.

Maureen S.
|
Wisconsin, USA
March 11, 2009

Maureen S. in Wisconsin writes:

Better late than never to post a comment, but thank you for sharing!

I was really hoping I would already be back in Jakarta during Hillary's visit, she's definitely one of my favorite politicians. Well, I wasn't there. So this blog added to other (more serious) news I'd read... Good job, Tristram! :-)

Cute H.
March 17, 2009

C.E.H. writes:

How exciting to be part of the show! It's great opportunity for both of countries to have better understanding of each other.

Mustafa Y.
|
Turkey
July 8, 2009

Mustafa in Turkey writes:

...Secratary of State ,Hillary Rodham Clinton Great Lady ever...Because USA. is Great country of Great people ... Life is art of people harmony and the meaning of life is to save that harmony...
president Barack Obama AND Hݓ ADMݎݓTRATݏN will arrieve to create some peaceful harmony around the world for the world and for the Powerful future of USA and to Prove that AMER݃AN DREAM atmosphere come back for USA. and for the world people...

Ramesh
August 10, 2009

Ramesh writes:

Hi there awesome post!!!

.

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