The questions don't do the damage. Only the answers do.
I saw a large, red dried swath that I immediately identified clearly as blood. I covered the war in Vietnam. I saw a lot of it [blood] there.
And really, the basis, I think, of achieving some success in what I want to do today comes from my mother's push to get me to read and to make something of myself from the standpoint of an education.
Let's face it many on the political right believe this President ought not to be there. They oppose him not for his policies and political view but for who he is, an African-American.
So when I cover the president, I try to remember two things: First, if you don't ask, you don't find out; and second, the questions don't do the damage. Only the answers do.
Call me a braggart, call me arrogant. People at ABC (and elsewhere) have called me worse. But when you need the job done on deadline, you'll call me.
It was kind of exciting being on the radio. Not everybody was on the radio.
I'd rather work with someone who's good at their job but doesn't like me, than someone who likes me but is a ninny.
But in 1941, on December 8th, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, my mother bought a radio and we listened to the war news. We'd not had a radio up to that time. I was born in 1934, so I was seven years of age.
The President's very shrewd
I was a typical farm boy. I liked the farm. I enjoyed the things that you do on a farm, go down to the drainage ditch and fish, and look at the crawfish and pick a little cotton.
If you sent me to cover a pie-baking contest on Mother's Day, I'm going to ask dear old Mom why she used artificial sweetener or stole the apples!
You really get the most out of sweet corn if you pick the corn off the stalk and rush it to a pot of boiling water. The longer you wait, the more sugar you lose. But if you get it in the first half hour, that is the sweetest corn ever.
Some days the competition would beat me and I'd go home thinking awful thoughts, want to hide under the bed, depressed. But of course, in the news business, when you're working a daily news broadcast, you get your victories and defeats every day.
My mother gave me a push. If I hadn't had her, maybe I wouldn't have had the push. If I hadn't gone to military school, maybe I wouldn't have decided to get with the program. Maybe I'd be running a bulldozer, rather than going on and doing something more.
My mother did all she could to control me, but at age 14 she sent me to a military school.
It wasn't until the late '70s that a lot of people knew me.
I didn't come east of the Mississippi for the first time in my life until I was 26 years of age, but I knew. I read magazines, I listened to radio, I watched television. I knew there was something out there, and I wanted a part of it.
News conferences are the only chance the American public has to see Ronald Reagan use his mind.
My personal opinion is that guns kill people.
If you have a setback, and you're not doing well and then you overcome it somehow, it always sticks with you. You know it could happen again.
And from a military school which taught me that to fit into society, you can't just do anything you damn well please because it will suit you. And that it's much better to be with the winners than it is with the losers.
I don't know many people, if any, who have had some straight line toward success. I mean, they start here, they work hard, they've got what it takes, and they just go straight to the top over some number of years. Most people get a little failure.
In 27 years of reporting from Washington, I've never heard a President admit he made a mistake.
As I went to college, I went into radio and television. Now I suppose most people think that's one step ahead of basket weaving as a major in college, but it was part of the journalism department.
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