I got to the theater and saw The Queen, which I loved. I am a big Helen Mirren fan, so I also watched her latest Prime Suspect, the final installment. I did see the James Bond [Casino Royale]. Nothing is up to the standard of Sean Connery, but I think [Daniel Craig] is great. It was a little bloody, but there was an intelligence behind it and I thought it was well written. I love HBO. I was a total Sopranos junkie, and Six Feet Under [fan].
I watch a lot of C-SPAN. Obviously, Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, and the competition as well. The other thing is Jon Stewart and Colbert. That is a nightly addiction. I don't think there was a better depiction of everything that's wrong with jazzing up television news than Samantha Bee's recent piece on The Daily Show about the English-language [offshoot of] Al Jazeera.
On summer holidays I really like to return to Henry James and Jane Austen. But like everyone else in Washington, at least, I'm reading a lot about Iraq. Imperial Life in the Emerald City, most recently [by Rajiv Chandrasekaran]. It's a terrific reporting job on how much patronage was involved in the decisions by the Provisional Authority. It wasn't just ideology. It was raw Tammany Hall politics....
If you want to complete the stereotype – it's almost a caricature. I spent Saturday night listening to a Birgit Nilsson [performance] of "Die Valkyrie," which is one of my favorite operas. [I use my] iPod, and now that we have digital TV, I listen to CDs and also to the opera channel [on a home-theater system]. How dorky is that? I do listen to a lot of chamber music: Beethoven, Razumovski, Schubert, Mozart. I have a favorite Mitsuko Uchida Beethoven piano concerti.
• Andrea Mitchell's memoir "Talking Back: ... to Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels" (Penguin) is out in paperback.