Evan Smith: You’re notoriously press shy. You didn’t give a lot of interviews while you were in the public sector, and certainly not since leaving your last government post.
Joe Allbaugh: That wasn’t my job. I wasn’t hired to be a press person. If they were going to hire a press person, it would have been someone a hell of a lot prettier than me. Most times there was no reason to step forward. There are a lot of people in the world who are talkers and a lot of people who are doers; I consider myself a doer based on what I’ve done in my professional life and the way I was reared on a farm in north-central Oklahoma. Every morning you got up, itemized the chores to be done, and got after it until the sun went down.
ES: That’s a reasonably neutral answer—in other words, it’s not one that reveals any hostility toward the press.
JA: I’m always leery of the press because we’ve reached a point in America where professional journalism has slipped a notch or two. The work that goes into good journalism is hard, and yet so many people take the easy path out, citing other articles instead of doing their own research, or Wikipedia, which is 99 percent wrong. I mean, my bio on Wikipedia is trash.
ES: Take the opportunity to correct