“You have to be competitive and want to break the story before anyone else does,” she said. “What goes hand-in-hand with that is being diligent and making sure you’re being fair, making sure you’re reaching to people, and making sure you’re right.”
With that said, Collins is keen to share the names of past women of the White House press corps she admires, like Helen Thomas, who blazed the trail back when the West Wing was populated solely by men. “Now if you look, all the chief White House correspondents are women,” she said. “It does make you think of what it was like for those who came before you and paved the way.
Thomas was a trailblazer, all right, but in her later years, she became overtly partisan.
Collins said she was trained by Trump: “He wants to intimidate and bully [the press] so you don’t ask him what he doesn’t want to get asked about,” she says. “You have to remember to focus on the question and get an answer.”
Speaking of which, Collins insists she’s going to be “vigorous” with the new Democrat president and “keep the scrutiny up.”
“I just hope going forward that I can continue to cover things vigorously, and important things that people care about,” she says. “That’s my goal right now, just to cover Biden the best I can and to keep the scrutiny up.
But her last press-conference question for Biden came from the Left, pressing for an end to the filibuster: “President Barack Obama said he believed the filibuster was a relic of the Jim Crow era. Do you agree?” Biden said yes. “Why not abolish it, if it’s a relic of the Jim Crow era?” That doesn’t seem like the “perfect question” unless you’re oh, AOC.
“Being known for your reporting is the highest compliment,” the newest subject of our Badass Women series says. “I always feel the most confident when I break a big story or ask the perfect question. It doesn’t always happen, but that one moment is worth the hundreds of frustrating moments.” When thinking about her legacy, she cites prolific newswomen who came before her, like Christiane Amanpour and Barbara Starr.
While many reporters have to work in the trenches for decades before making the prestigious White House beat, Collins began there with the Daily Caller at the dawn of the Trump era, and then CNN came calling. “I had no experience being on television,” Collins said. “I didn’t know how to put the mic on. I didn’t know ear pieces. All these things look so easy, but it’s so much more complicated.” Now she simply reports from the liberal line of CNN.
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