Ask Aspen: What's Your Most Embarrassing Experience?

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At the Aspen Ideas Festival, we're asking the jet-setting attendees one big question a day. Today: What's your most embarrassing experience?

Bob Schieffer, moderator of CBS's Face the Nation.

"We were live on air during a CBS morning show and I spilled coffee on Maria Shriver's lap. She gave out a scream and I said, 'Oh my God!'  I thought the Governator was going to kill me. I think that was back in the '70s."


Maria Bartiromo, anchor of CNBC's Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo.

"It was the one and only time I got fired. I was 17 and just starting out in the world at Kleinfeld's wedding dress store in Brooklyn. I was supposed to be the stock girl who went and picked up all the dresses after the brides tried them on and I was supposed to put them back. But I used to try on all the wedding dresses and dream about my own wedding. So my boss kept catching me with all the wedding gowns and veils on and she fired me. I'll never forget! It was the best wedding dress store on the planet. I came home crying and my mom said 'Don't worry, you'll get another job.'"

Elizabeth Diller, designer and founding principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (projects include Manhattan's High Line Park and Lincoln Center). 

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"We got fired. It was around 2000 and we were working on the Tivoli park in Copenhagen. We were so immersed in doing a great job—so overly immersed that we actually missed the deadlines and then were consequently fired. That was really bad. It was a year of work up in thin air. We were so immersed in inventing and producing and designing we never pulled ourselves out of it. It was the only time we were ever fired."

Joe Klein, Time magazine columnist.

"I had just started as a journalist. I was assigned to cover the Peabody, Massachusetts City Council. Walter Winchell had once said 'if you want to know what politics is all about, go to Peabody, Mass.' So I'm at my first city council meeting and the council votes to have a birthday party for one of their members: John 'Silver Fox' Tierney. So I wrote this outraged piece in the newspaper the next day about corruption in the city council. Turned out, he was dying of cancer."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.