CNN’s Barbara Starr: A ‘massively shy’ Coachella fan who fears cruise ships
© Courtesy of CNN

She’s reported from conflict-ridden countries including Iraq and Afghanistan and embedded with troops in the Horn of Africa, but there’s one locale that truly strikes fear in Barbara Starr: cruise ships.

Chalk it up to that 1997 blockbuster, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent says, admitting the fear began “ever since I saw ‘Titanic.’ ”


We wanted to know more about the “massively shy” reporting pro who has been working her beat for CNN since 2001, so we asked her these questions.

Grew up in: Los Angeles

College attended: California State University Northridge

What did you want to be when you were a kid? Nurse, social worker, speech therapist. But then discovered the journalism major required no math classes and I was hooked!

After work, you’ll find me: Honestly, probably on the phone.

Most embarrassing moment/most memorable moment: My embarrassing, I will never tell, but it involved spilling on a white silk dress in public, and that is all I will say. 

My most memorable moments surround all of the troops I have met over the years, every one of them.

Favorite band: I was thrilled to be at the first Desert Trip concert [last] year at Coachella. [Bob] Dylan, Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Paul McCartney and The Who all performed over three nights. It was incredible music and fabulous bands with 75,000 people sitting under the California desert moonlight.

What you like/dislike about D.C.: I love museums, I dislike the traffic.

Something that few know about you: I am massively shy.

Biggest pet peeve: It’s a long list, but they’re all petty. So, I tell myself — get over it!

Best advice given: Learn to give yourself a break in life from stress.