Behind the Scenes at "Morning Joe"

IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe on set and in the green room at "Morning Joe"

by Hannah Warntjes, IOP Student Treasurer

Despite the monsoon-like conditions, there was quite literally nothing that could rain on my parade as I made my way to the MSNBC studios for the Monday morning taping of "Morning Joe". When I arrived at 8:15 am, I met the IOP’s resident pollster, John Della Volpe, at the security desk where we checked in before heading up to the green room for some pre-interview prep. Having been interviewed on "Morning Joe" around 10 times already, John is a pro and seamlessly navigated his way around the studio. When we got up to the studios, I focused on capturing some content for the IOP’s social media channels while John was set up with his microphone, filmed some content for MSNBC’s social media channels and got his makeup done. John’s segment was scheduled for 8:45 am, when we quickly made our way to the studio that was less than 30 paces from the green room.

In the studio, John joined four other Morning Joe correspondents and interviewees at the brightly lit interview table. I stood just off the main set as the camera crew got into position and prepped to go live. Luckily, they gave me the chance to walk onto the set and take a few shots of the set-up before we went live.  

Not knowing exactly what questions Mika and Joe would throw at him, John was prepped to answer just about anything from the IOP’s latest poll. During the interview, most of the questions concerned his surprising finds that two-thirds of Americans are concerned about America’s stature in the world and that, more than anything else, tragedy is the one thing that connects all Americans. He used these findings to stress to the current administration the importance of boosting American morale, something he suggested the General Kelly could help do as he begins his new role as chief of staff in the White House. After roughly 10 minutes of questioning, the interview was over and just like that I was out of the building and hopping back on the subway to return to my internship.

I’ll admit that I expected a much more hectic, stressful environment and was surprised at how quickly and seamlessly everyone transitioned to and from different segments. At a time when news media is subject to a lot of scrutiny, it was an enlightening experience to be able to tag along with John and gain some insight into the inner workings of such a prominent political news show. It definitely made me even more excited to welcome Mika and Joe to campus as Fellows in the fall and get their take on all things news and politics related. Huge thanks to the IOP for giving me such an awesome opportunity – it’s one that I’ll never forget!