Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire.
We caught up with FOX News Channel’s Martha MacCallum right after the Iowa Caucuses, the State of the Union Address and President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.
“It’s been such an intense news cycle,” MacCallum says. “I don’t think it’s going to end anytime soon. Obviously the impeachment vote happened, but from everything we’ve seen, I would say that this battle goes on and on.”
Now, the battle goes on to the New Hampshire primary. Beginning at 6pm ET Tuesday on FOX News Channel, MacCallum joins cohost Bret Baier for the two-hour Democracy 2020: New Hampshire Primary special from New Hampshire to break down the real-time election results as polls close.
On the subject of a different battle, MacCallum is releasing her first book, Unknown Valor: A Story of Family, Courage, and Sacrifice From Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima.
“The impetus for the story was letters that my mother’s cousin wrote to her as an 18-year-old in World War II. He was killed at 18 at Iwo Jima,” MacCallum says. “I ended up finding through our research two men who are still alive — one is in Pennsylvania and one is in Florida — who were with him on the island on that day, on March 13, 1945.” Unknown Valor is set to release on Feb. 25.
MacCallum hopped off the news cycle to answer our “5 Questions”:
1. What has been your strangest or most interesting fan encounter?
We have very enthusiastic fans and we’re grateful for them, and I see them all over the country. But this one was funny. I remember this one woman kind of looked me up and down and said, “No! You’re small! You’re bigger on TV!”
2. Can you tell us about a time you were starstruck?
When I was a waitress on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, working one night at Pasta And Dreams restaurant, on a rainy night this very handsome guy came running in out of the rain with this other woman who was older than him. I looked up from my waitress station and was like, “Oh my gosh! It’s John Kennedy!” He sat at the bar and had a glass of wine. I was so starstruck. I thought, “You know, it just makes sense that I’m standing here in my waitress uniform with tomato sauce on my apron, and all of a sudden I run into John F. Kennedy Jr.” … We saved the wine glass that he drank out of, and I think I had it in my apartment for several years.
3. What’s a movie you can watch over and over again?
Goodfellas. It has so much rich texture. I love Martin Scorsese. He’s my favorite director. There are just so many stories there. The acting is so authentic and real.
4. What’s your favorite sports team?
My favorite sports team is a complicated issue. I root for the New England Patriots, which is not a popular team to root for when you’re living in New Jersey. But we are part-time Cape Cod-ers. My mother’s family was from Boston, and I have been a Patriots fan for many years. I did root for the N.Y. Jets when I was a little kid, and I still sort of quietly cheer for them to someday get their act together and make a comeback.
5. What other jobs did you have before TV journalist?
I worked in a cheese shop where I learned to cut 200-pound wheels of Jarlsburg and Swiss cheeses with a small knife and a wire. You sort of wedge one corner through the wire, it gets underneath, and you kind of have to put your foot up against the counter and pull it all the way through, then cut it all up into smaller pieces. Which I think is a good skill to have. And I waitressed a lot. I waitressed on Cape Cod. I waitressed on both the East Side and the West Side of Manhattan. I think waiting tables is one of the great learning experiences in life. If you can manage five or six tables for a whole night, I think you can pretty much do anything.