NEW YORK — Connie Chung is the winner of the Gary Condit interview sweepstakes.
The ABC News star has nabbed the much-sought-after first interview with Rep. Condit (D-Calif.) since intern Chandra Levy disappeared. The half-hour interview, which will be taped but unedited, will air this week on a one-hour “PrimeTime Thursday” show entirely devoted to the subject.
“PrimeTime Thursday” is co-anchored by Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson, but Condit’s advisers selected Chung to sit down with the congressman. They declined to say why they chose Chung, who is on a roll after recently landing an interview with Rev. Jesse Jackson’s mistress.
All the major news outlets have been pursuing an interview with Condit, who has been under pressure to speak out since Levy disappeared on May 1. Many believed Dan Rather had the inside track on the interview since he has only covered the story once on “CBS Evening News,” unlike other news orgs, which have focused on it for weeks.
ABC News said no ground rules had been set for the interview, which will take place in Condit’s district of Modesto.
“From day one, Congressman Condit has cooperated with law enforcement authorities on the Chandra Levy investigation,” Condit’s press advisers said in a statement. “He will respond publicly this week to questions regarding her tragic disappearance.”
The statement went on to say that Condit will speak with other media after the interview with Chung airs, but his advisers declined to specify with whom.
Chung, Sawyer and Barbara Walters were aggressively pursuing an interview with Condit, but the Alphabet web said there were no hard feelings among the ABC News stars.
“All of our journalists are very competitive,” an ABC News spokesman said. “Diane and Barbara are on vacation this week, but I’m sure both of them are very happy that the interview has gone to ABC News.”