Tuesday, November 22, 2005

In Her Own Words: The Linda Moulton Howe Interview

Linda Moulton Howe
Phenomena Magazine

     A lot of men don’t like strong-minded women – they’re just too intimidating and they can’t mentally handle them. Linda Moulton Howe is one such woman, but then again, she’s had to be. You rarely get anywhere in life pussyfooting around and as it’s still, predominantly, a man’s world, you have to play hard to achieve anything.

     And Linda has certainly achieved. Twenty six years in journalism and TV reporting and producing that has resulted in a list of awards for her work that won’t fit on just one mantelpiece, she has forged a path in a wide diversity of subjects from science through to animal mutilations. And on more than one occasion she has so overwhelmed America with what she’s produced that if you had touched her, you would have burnt your fingers. It is reasonable to describe her as a very successful journalist.

     Success naturally attracts criticism and sniping and there’s certainly been a bit of that. Occasionally, Linda has made genuine errors of judgement but she wouldn’t be alone by a very long way. But, hypocrisy is a much-valued human trait and we wouldn’t want to detract from her critics.

     I found this interview interesting. I did want to make the point in our discussion that she wasn’t just known for one topic and that she had successfully covered a number of different topics. That point is indeed made during the interview, more than once by Linda herself and yet I was very surprised, once we started talking, just how quickly we came round to animal mutilations. This subject is still very, very close to Linda’s heart and one on which she speaks with great passion.

     SM: You went to Stanford and got a Masters degree in communication. I presume from that that you had it in your mind, when you went to college in the first place to eventually go into journalism?

     LH: Yes, I wanted to do what I did, which was to work in television, non-fiction, in documentaries and public affairs.

     SM: You’ve specialised in a number of different areas, in science, in the environment, and obviously in Ufology, etc. Is there…

     LH: No, I didn’t specialise ever in my life in the word “Ufology”. It’s really irritating to me. I have always been a television producer, a documentary filmmaker, and an investigative reporter. That’s my work. And one of the subjects that I investigated and produced a television show about was the animal mutilation phenomena affecting the United States, Canada, Australia and other parts of the world, in the summer and into the fall of 1979. That’s the film A Strange Harvest. Prior to that for eleven years, I had received a National Emmy nomination, and other Emmies and a Peabody and a lot of awards for the work that I was doing in science and environmental reporting, which is what I had done before A Strange Harvest. . . .

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