If you read through the James Beard Award winners you might have been surprised that Matt Viser didn’t get one for his brilliant probe into coffee culture—and that’s because the guy has been on a bit of a winning streak lately. Viser clinched an award at the White House Correspondents' Dinner earlier this week for his story looking behind-the-scenes of the Iran talks.
Viser joined Boston Public Radio to discuss the award, his take on the current state of the presidential race, and more. Highlights include:
On whether or not he believes Donald Trump expected to win the Republican nomination
I don’t think he did. I don’t think anybody did. I think that’s why last night was such a monumental moment for the party, for the country really, to have a figure like this as the almost certain nominee for the Republican Party. I don’t think Trump expected it. I don’t think he expected last night to happen the way that it did. He knew a little bit beforehand that Ted Cruz was dropping out, but in his remarks for the first 15 minutes he was speaking as if Cruz was still in the race. It was kind of bizarre. Almost as if he were prepared for a different moment than he got…It was a little less valedictory from Trump than you thought it would be, given that Cruz dropped out.
On what Trump is like in real life versus in interviews
I don’t think, as his adviser says, he’s playing a part. I don’t think he’s playing a part, but I think he dials his personality up six or seven notches when he’s in front of a camera. He’s easy to talk to. In this case, I’m bringing up all these allegations…and he’s kind of, you know, he gets it. He calls and says, ‘what do you got? What is this?” and we sort of go through the list. He’s kind of denying everything up and down. But he’s more pleasant than you would imagine, even when confronting him with all these allegations.
On what it was like to win an award at the White House Correspondents' Dinner
It was amazing. It was really a thrill. I didn't know that Jason [Rezaian] was going to be the one introducing this until I got to the side of the stage. I had never met him, so that was an added bonus. It was even more poignant because the story was on the Iran talks, and during that period Jason was forced in solitary confinement in Iran and he had been covering those talks the previous ear. There was an added element of that for me and him. And the president being there, and in addition the Globe had the Spotlight…This year we had the Spotlight cast and producers and reporters there. …It was really a nice night all around. There was a reception beforehand too with Obama, and Biden was there. I went with my wife—as well as Rachel McAdams—to the VIP reception. Not my average night.
To hear more from reporter Matt Viser, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.