Christiane Amanpour: ‘This Week’ to be ‘Competitive,’ ‘Bring Different Perspectives in’

By Alex Pepper

Jul 29, 2010 2:58pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Our ABC News Sunday-morning program “This Week” gets a new host – and a bit of a new look – on Sunday with the debut of Christiane Amanpour as host, after Jake Tapper wrapped up a four-month run as the show’s interim host.

We were honored to mark her ABC News debut today on ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line,” as Amanpour prepares to interview House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Defense Secretary Robert Gates – both exclusive gets – for her first show this weekend.

“I am exceptionally excited,” Amanpour told us. “This is a big story — America. You know, I've spent my whole career traveling the world in a quest for understanding and explaining the world, and now I've landed in a place where there's a massive story, and it has been so for a few years, and I think it's really peaking right now. And so this is a great time to be here.”

We asked what her “This Week” will look like:

“It's obviously going to be competitive, because it is a Washington-based show talking about the politics and talking about elections that are coming up,” she said. “But it also — from my point of view, I am fascinated by the policy, by the principles of the US government, by the way the government works, by ‘Can it actually meet the needs of the people?’ I'm always fascinated by, ‘What does all of this mean for the people?’ ”

“So I'm really interested in the policies of this country, and I'm fascinated also in exploring the nexus between domestic American policy and foreign policy. Because the truth of the matter is, this is the most important and powerful country in the world, but it is no longer an island. Everything is globalized now.”

As for changes to expect:

“What I want to do is bring different perspectives in. This Sunday, you're going to see two stellar members of the American body politic: The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — by all accounts, the most powerful woman ever in the United States — the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who has a huge and complex job — running two wars and dealing with all the complexities of the Pentagon and arguments over what kind of weapon systems and this.

“And today, there's a report out talking about the stress of the American military, and I've covered that firsthand, seeing how members of the United States military on multiple deployments are really having a tough time, particularly when they come back. These are going to be solid interviews on the matters that matter to the US and to the world.

“We will also have the regular roundtable — who your viewers have come to know and love — but we also want to … eventually start adding and increasing the different voices and the different perspectives. … You'll see the familiar faces, but you'll also have more, to draw on more perspectives. And I've always thought, ‘Our job is to provide a window.’ It is to provide a window on the world, and on policy here, too.”

And for those who’ve been asking, the “This Week” live-Tweeting will continue. I’ll be in the Twitter saddle starting at 10 am ET Sunday: twitter.com/rickklein.

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