November 2000

Fiction from a media mogul

By Larry King
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Backstage and on the page with the King of television talk. For political junkies and devotees of behind-the-scenes drama, a new book by CNN's Larry King is a dream come true. Viewers of Larry King Live know that all kinds of drama and melodrama take place backstage and out of sight during commercial breaks. If only we could get a peek! With Anything Goes! What I've Learned from Pundits, Politicians, and Presidents, King pulls back the curtains on those hidden anything goes moments.

There is often a wide gap between what the public sees and what takes place beyond earshot, especially when it comes to politics. That's part of the game, King said in an interview, pointing to a recent incident in which George W. Bush used an obscenity in referring to a New York Times reporter. It's a classic example of what goes on behind the scenes. They look out and they are smiling and waving, and at the same time they are calling someone a [derogatory name]. With that, King laughs: Of course that is not exclusive to the Republicans or to Bush. King's book details behind-the-scenes encounters with a wide range of politicians and celebrities, including Marlon Brando, Ross Perot, Bob Dole and others, but some of the most riveting moments involve President Clinton. On one occasion, they were 20 minutes into a live interview, when King asked if the president could stay an additional 30 minutes. Clinton said that would be fine, but during the next commercial break, his aides approached him and told him not to do the extra 30 minutes.

I'm not doing well? Clinton asked, looking annoyed. Do you think I'm handling myself poorly? With the program again going live, the aides stepped out of camera range without answering the president.

He was very annoyed and stayed annoyed, says King. When we ended that show, he looked at me and said goodnight, then he said,

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Anything Goes!

Anything Goes!

By Larry King
ISBN 9780446525282

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