Dear mteal: Yes, Oriana Falacci would be a good match for the reporter, possibly early in her career. She was very influential in the time Welles was writing and trying to produce THE BIG BRASS RING. She interviewed many celebrities of all sorts and had an uncanny ability to get out of them little known facts about them, and corners of their character.
When I was working fairly recently on a review of Kubrick's SHINING, I found an interview she did with Shelly Duvall which cleared up a great mystery about the ending of the film. (And sent me off on an interesting odyssey):
Afraid, I'm doubly chagrined that I keep losing this reply, and that I can't cite you a reference to the inspiration Gore Vidal gave to Welles in writing THE BIG BRASS RING. I'm not in the habit of indulging in fantasy here, and the detail in my review seems so sure and positive, there has to be a source. Unfortunately, the notes from which I wrote those reviews were lost long ago in a couple of "sick computer" incidents. The Intenet resources, which I spent much time revisiting, were no help, but you know how the passing of a couple of months can turn a google pages upside down. My book references don't have it either, and the only thing I can suggest is that, although it seems awfully late, the attribution occurs in This Is Orson Welles, either in the book or on the tapes, which I no longer have. Perhaps, The Magic World of Orson Welles might have it, which I've lent to someone.
I too wish that George Hickenlooper, who once seemed so promising, had shown some of Welles' expansiveness in his version of THE BIG BRASS RING. As I note at the end of my review, the film as it stands has taken on an uncanny relevance to the present political situation. Think what it might have been, had he projected the protagonist onto a National and World stage, as Welles would have done! The re-make of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE pales to insignificance.
[Note what I turned up in my research, that Hickenlooper, as I might have guessed, is the grand nephew of the long-time conservative U.S. Senator Bourke Hickenlooper, and that his collaborator Feeny was a speech writer for Jerry Brown in his Presidential bid. They have earned their political chops from both sides of the aisle.]
We are on the money, I'm sure, about the primal origins of Hickenlooper's . . . BRASS RING in the difficult, dysfunctional relationship that Welles had with his brother. Perhaps, Oja Kodar may have added some details of that relationship. She seems to have been the closest woman confidant Welles ever had. She would have appreciated his most private angst.
I wonder why she has never written a book on their longtime relationship?
Anyway, I hope this helped.