tv Civil Rights Act of 1964 CSPAN June 29, 2014 8:30pm-9:32pm EDT
weekend, on c-span3. ago, on july 2, 1964, president lyndon b. johnson signed the 1964 civil rights act. next on american history tv, talks withorian roger mudd and andrew glass. they recall the debate in passage of the most significant civil rights legislation since reconstruction. this event is about an hour. >> good afternoon. it is 12:00. two verywith distinguished guests, veteran reporters who covered the civil rights act of 1964. i way of introduction, we are in one of the most historic rooms
at the capitol complex. now known as the kennedy caucus room, it was the room where the hearings were held, the watergate hearings were held. this is the room where john f. kennedy announced his candidacy for president. the room where a lot of nominees have been grilled by committees. there have been a lot of inquisitions here. today, we are not doing an inquisition. we are doing a conversation. we are very pleased to have andy glass and roger mudd as our guests today. born in warsaw, poland, and arrived in the united states during world war ii. he became a citizen in 1948. he is a graduate of the bronx high school of science and yale university. in 1960, after he completed his military service, he became a reporter for the new york herald tribune. in 1962, he was assigned to the washington bureau. in 1963, he became the chief congressional correspondent.
cityg grown up in new york and read the new york herald tribune, i always lamented when the herald tribune bolted as a newspaper, went out of business in 1966. but his career continued. he worked for newsweek and reported for the washington post. he then came to capitol hill, where he worked for senator hugh scott. he was the press secretary for senator jacob gavin's. and then he went back to journalism. he went to "the national journal." more recently, we are familiar with him because he was the managing editor of "the hill" newspaper and in 2006, he joined politico. that is quite a resume. our other guest today is roger mudd who was born right here in washington d.c. he took a masters degree at the
university of carolina in history. he was studying the relationship of the press with fdr's new deal. at that point, he thought he should get a little experience and see what the press was like. he took a summer job with richmond news leader. it happened that they owned a nj,io station called wr across the street. that station needed a news director. instead of going on for a phd in history, he went on to become a broadcast news journalist. in the to washington dc 1960's for wtop. both radio and television. he was in the same building as the cvs -- the cbs evening news. he moved to the national news in 1961. in 1961, the national news was only 15 minutes.
until 1963 that it went to the standard half hour of programming. in the subsequent years, he became a regular. reporter. cbs senate he was covering political campaigns. he was anchoring whenever walter cronkite was away. he was a regular feature on the cbs evening news. in 1980, cbs had the equivalent of the war of the roses and he went to nbc and then to pbs. any of you are more familiar with him in recent years as the host of the history channel, on many of their programs. he is also the author of a wonderful memoir that i recommend. it is about washington, cbs, and the glory days of television news. andy and roger, i want to
welcome you both and thank you for being here today. you were both members of something called the culture club. could you tell me about what the culture club was and how you found yourselves members of it back in 1964? >> thank you for that kind introduction. we invented the culture club. it rose, phoenix-like, from the ashes. that there was a filibuster. excepthing was happening a lot of speeches. mean we created , but we wereit up like bees going to flowers. flowers were russell, senator
russell, senator dirks, senator mansfield, and others. we went around and ask questions or make comments and said, hey, the majority leader said x. what do you think? at the end of the day, roger had a good story for the news and i had nothing to write for the tribune. that was the nature of the culture club. there were five of us. roger and myself, peter, unfortunately, and ned kenworthy of the new york times. peter was a correspondent for the baltimore sun. ned kenworthy of the new york times. and john hayward, he created and ran, as it were, the culture club. >> everybody is dead now except andy and me. >> and we are headed there. >> we traveled in a pack.
journalism does not prohibit you, to a certain extent, sharing stuff. so we tried to keep independent at a presser, but conference, the sender would say, oh god, here they come, the culture club. it is interesting that not every news outlet, not every newspaper , had a full-time reporter assigned to cover the filibuster in the civil rights bill. not have anybody from "the washington post" with us regularly. robert albright was assigned to the story, but we never saw him. the chicagopapers, tribune, the st. louis post-dispatch, it was not that there were no-shows, it was that they did not think the story deserved its own coverage, which
the culture club was doing. but it was my first introduction to covering something that important day in and day out. and i learned as much about the senate and the vanity of the senate and the dependence on the staff members. some senators were stupid and some were bright. in between, there were a lot of senators. [laughter] but it was an education for me. >> you are looking for conspiracy theories, which i love. a 28-year-old reporter who was getting won by line every day in the new york herald tribune. think about what the herald r tribune was. it was competing with the times, but it was basically a liberal republican newspaper. namedner was this guy
john hays whitney, a friend of resident eisenhower and former ambassador to king james in london. very much interest in seeing this legislation succeed. -- i think herto name was paley. to theter was married head of cbs -- >> bill daley. >> bill daley. -- bill paley. so that he would get a lot of airtime. i wonder now, 50 years later, whether paley's sister had something to do with having all of this happen. [laughter] >> what was i going to add? you have a is
thought and when your time comes, you have forgotten what you are going to say. it will come. out not because of anything i had done especially, because i was the only one. i had no competition. of the three networks, abc was kind of the week sister. -- weak sister. and nbc over cbs, we always called nbc the national biscuit company. [laughter] they sat on their elbows and smote their pipes and did wonderful, stylish stories the second day. they were bad losers on the first day. up a week or been two, row down on the elevator with bob mccormick, the nbc correspondent on the hill. i overheard him sniffing about saying, oure, people are not interested in that.
so i had no competition. >> what were the challenges for tv correspondents to cover the senate? just in general? how easy or how hard was it for eight tv correspondent? >> the main stuff was behind closed doors, as you could imagine. the cameras were not welcome, except in certain places. the cameras did not get into the house until 1979. and not into the senate until 1986, i think it was. i thought when cameras finally got into the chambers, the world of reporting would really change. for the first time, the public would be able to sit in and watch what happens on the floor. as you know, not a lot happens
in the senate. [laughter] so, it was difficult just to know where to go. you could not go a lot of places. you could not go into the chamber. you had to wait before the sergeant of arms would sneak out of the outside committee room and then you would have to grant them as they came out. so it was hard work. times, theyes, most did not want us to give away what was going on behind home -- behind closed doors until they nailed down the changes, title 9 to title 6 to title 2. >> if i could add to that, my clear regulation -- recollection was that roger was an expert at an establishment spot. he would stand in a place where the viewer would know exactly
where he was in front of the senate or on those capitol steps. the day the crunch came, which was in late june of 1964, senator russell made a point that, when roger was going to cover the vote, which was the theial vote that ended 84-day filibuster, he could not do it on the capitol grounds. my recollection was that they kicked you off and you had to go across the street. am i right? >> you were kind of right. , i broadcast from the steps. the southern senators got to build small, my boss, my bureau chief, and said, we cannot have that. so i moved across the street from where the park is, where
the little retaining wall is. that is where i set up. i remember, about the second week, i came down the steps to do the 9:00 feed for the morning television show and there was a crowd of tourists waiting for me. never -- i never -- i never been in a crowd like that. i did not know what they were going to do. they just stood there and did not make a sound, did not disturb anybody. after i had finished, they came up, can you sign my guidebook? andy, it was before the vote that i was moved across the street. , we had a the vote big -- the art department on -- of cbs had set up an easel, a
chart of all the senators and their names. that is how we did the last outing. longestwas one of the debates that took place in the history of the senate. i went back and was reading some of your stories about it. in march of 1964, you started "the talkr stories, begins. all it took to get a civil rights debate going was a two-week discussion about whether or not to debate. that was just to get it to the floor. complications of keeping that story on the front page? >> good question. actually, there were two filibusters. it was a mini filibuster that would decide whether or not to send the bill to the judiciary committee, which was then hidden by james 0. eastland of
mississippi. and it would have died there. or to use some competition -- some complicated formula to get it to the floor, which would be the strategy that senator mansfield and senator humphrey decided on. manner was a debatable -- matter and they debated that for a couple of weeks and they finally brought it to the floor. and then they have, i believe, for the historians in the room, it is still the longest single filibuster in senate history. 84 days. as we said earlier, it was a stretch to try to write about it. , "senator longe always came back and talked --ut part of the bill where
i think it was title 7 about employment. they had to have female priests or something. and so i wrote for the tribune the next day, you could just about get away with this, "senator long, who had dined wiselyut not necessarily " -- went off on that and then i wrote about it. i also had a great advantage over the new york times. it was still arcane, the motion on the floor, the previous motion. the herald tribune was very good about that kind of stuff. "aould just write, parliamentary hassle ensued." and that was the end of it. would really explain
how it all happened. loved congress and their editors hate congress because so much of the story is time tables, moving from the subcommittee to the full committee. you had your report not only once a day, but many times a day. how did that come about that you were on the steps every day and how did you ever find enough to say? by thes assigned newly-arrived president of cbs news, a volcanic man named fred friendly. he thought that the whole issue of civil rights deserved total dawn-to-midnight coverage. so he said, here is the plan. you going to do a report on the news,g news, noon
midafternoon news, cronkite news, good night news, and you are going to do a report on every other hourly radio broadcasting every day until we finish. i said, you are kidding. sounds like a flagpole sitting stunt. he said, no, we are serious. so i say, ok. he came up to me to make it sound interesting when knighted 5% of the story was not interesting. when 95% of the story was not interesting. like he said, a parliamentary hassle. so i wandered around, getting to know people. adding to know staff, senators. some of the senators did not trust me because they thought i was working for a big, liberal
network where they wanted to cut the south back to stature. realizedt until they after a week that i was not pulling my punches, i was doing both sides. the first date we broadcast, i had humphrey out. i made sure, before i ended, tomorrow night, we're going to have richard russell. so it was very balanced. finally, the southerners began to trust me and i began to get calls from their press secretary , do you want to come over and meet? >> i think we could keep the story going and doing profiles of the key actors, senator dirks and senator cagle. you mentioned majority leader mansfield. would always go up
to the white house and tried to get a feel for larry o'brien. , who waspresident accessible on the story. one day, i went to see james. it required some coverage. , it wasay, over 84 days always with senator russell and mr. glass. so i went to see the chairman of to judiciary committee convince myself i was the congressional correspondent of the new york herald tribune. i am sure you know, a big flag of mississippi, american flag. after about five minutes of a monologue, he had a cigar in his youh and said, "sonny,
stick around here for 20 years and maybe you will understand how this place works." that was the interview. later, we became more friendly and he invited me for a weekend to his plantation in sunflower county. had a great time into below. -- in tupelo. so things change. >> i do not think i have ever covered a senator as interesting as richard russell. was a very remote, dignified man. privately, he was as generous a friend as you could have. hetook him a year before called the roger. and he never called me roger in public. it was always private. i would go down to georgia on occasion on political trips. i would go see him before i went
to tell him he was going. he would give me names and phone numbers of people. when i got back, i would get a call, come see me. he was always generous in that way. i never thought -- he told me before the filibuster began, in so many words, that there was not anything else he could do. he knew he was beaten, i think, before it started. , is thered him offer america's black population. he said, all i can offer is hope that we can get through this difficult period. that told me that he knew he was going to get defeated. i thought the main conflict was not between dirks and humphrey versus russell, but between
humphrey and dirks and whether those two leaders could craft a bill that would pull along enough republicans to break the filibuster. >> my take on it was a little different. big 17, thought the whose picture is over there, including john tower and robert byrd of west virginia, honorary southerners -- >> not always honorary. [laughter] >> and then there were also spies. fulbright and matters -- ma these who were going to southern meetings, southern caucus, whatever they call it, and leaking the stuff to humphrey. feeling, and i wrote at the time, was that it was a rope
ope strategy.a-d to hope that the country, very much united that this idea's time has come, would turn because there would be a summer of violence by what were then called negroes, and the country would lose interest in the bill. beings why it was stretched out, hoping that something would happen to change the chemistry. i thought that finally, the real problem -- my real problem was dirksonsober whenever said come in the back room, i want to talk to you. because you would get a buzz on. problem was with the
the senator from new hampshire and others. he was jealous of dirkson, who had a big ego. getting those people to come along was a great hate. the guy who did it was hubert because hubert would go on "meet the press" and say come of this is ever dirkson's bill. nasal,as this sort of iowa accent. he was chairman of the republican policy committee and was not a very good spokesman on television. he resented dirkson becoming the spokesman about anything and everything. i run for the first time i met him, he said, "mudd,
mudd,looper, hickenlooper, i do not know what is worse." he was trying to be funny. theas asking about difficulty of covering. if i may answer the question, for television, it was doubly difficult. as you know, the cameras were not allowed in the chamber. gallerys of the press allowed you to bring in a reporter's notebook, but you could not bring in an artist sketchpad. to get illustrations from the floor, we hired a world war ii combat artist named howard. howard and i would meet every morning in the tv gallery and i would give him the rundown of what i thought i would need to illustrate the report i would be repairing late -- preparing later for the cronkite show. eastland or and
whatever. so howard would come out in the chamber, the gallery overlooking the floor, and he would sit there like this with his hands up to his temples. javitsd laser in on jake and memorize everything he could about javits and then memorize ,verything he could, sketch it 15 minutes later, he would pick up the details about his hair and his chin. that is the way he operated. every night, he had to turn out five or six sketches to illustrate what i was going to write that night for the cronkite show. he was a marvelous artist. he had one problem. he was a california liberal and could not get down on paper j. strom thurmond. >> the great advantage was you could go in the back room with mckinley dirksen.
day, and thisone is a story i have not seen printed anywhere, that he was playing with the house's money and that was important to him. i said, what do you mean? he said, well, in world war i, when i served in the artillery -- he knew truman at the time, me to they assigned balloon corps. it went over the trenches at about 1000 feet with binoculars and a wire. positionsthe german and it made the fire from the guns more accurate. the problem would be
the problem with the balloons as they were filled with hydrogen. the german airplanes would shoot the balloons down. he said the casualty rate in the balloon corps was approximately 80%. they were not injured. if you came down in a balloon, that was it. he said i got out without a scratch. but ever since then, i feel i am living on borrowed time. something i boys remembered about him because i think he meant that. >> who were your best sources? were they on both sides? humphrey was instantly accessible and so was dirksen. mansfield, not so much. dirksen would come up to the
press gallery behind the chamber fairly regularly and bum cigarettes from everybody. he would start spinning these stories. the regular reporter back then isd dirksen before the press like throwing imitation pearls to the real swine. [laughter] there was jon stewart who worked for hubert humphrey. there was neil kennedy, one of .irksen's bombers dirksen had three lawyers from the judiciary committee. cornelius kennedy was the one i used a lot in charlie ferriss senate rector of the
policy. he was mansfield? man.- he was mansfield's i don't think an hour went by when i did not check with charlie because he told us what would be helpful. it was a combination of senators and staff people. with session would begin what we called dugout chatter where the leadership would come down the aisle. it was that moment the press was allowed on the senate floor with notes so we could get in about two or three minutes before the bells rang. if with to get the senators close enough, we could pop some questions to them. that always gave me enough to write a new lead to my 10:00 radio piece. there were a lot of scraps coming out. but doug out chatter was helfer for us to know which way to go in which senators to follow and whether there was an amendment
that was going to be proposed. >> when roger talked about staff, i think it is important to emphasize these were people getting their hands dirty with the bill. they were sitting in meetings. one i remember was pat who worked for senator javits. i had some help there. what was absent at that time were press secretaries. i don't recall ever talking to a press secretary during that whole time. not that i have anything against them. shortone myself for period. but roger and i and other members of the culture club dealt with people who were either members of the senate or working closely. was a goodi had
young legislative assistant for the republican whip of california whose name was, wait for it, leon panetta. so things change that way. i want to tell one story, if i may. >> you have 30 seconds. [laughter] >> bumming cigarettes, i was smoking at the time. dirksen came up to the gallery and said i am like little johnny where the teacher says, johnny, can you spell straight? ht.nny says, straig she says, what does it mean? ale.the ginger [laughter] one day i walked in and he said, andy, you know about delaware,
don't you? i thought he was going to talk about williams. i said what about delaware? one congressional district when the tide is out. no congressional districts when the tide is in. his idea of humor. [laughter] kiko, iame has come up, don't think he is well remembered. a lot of people don't remember he was the republican whip in the 1960's, a very influential senator. i understand he gave you insights. tell that story. whip hads the minority down the hall from the senate a hideaway office. antechambere the for the elevator that went down into the caucus room beneath.
it was a big elevator because william howard taft, the supreme court was down there. the elevator was removed. but the door was not. i made friends with senator cagle's secretary. when the senate democrats were caucusing in the old timber, she let me come in and put my year to the door. would not let me do it when the republicans were doing -- were talking. i would have a five or six hour break on stuff that would come thishrough the store -- door. those were little privileges you accumulated when you were nice to people. [laughter] i think one thing before we
end is very important. looking at the bill itself, the most controversial title of the bill was so-called title ii. his openingsen, position was get rid of title ii. the second position was severed title ii. thats against the idea private individuals were obligated to serve people regardless of race or any other criteria. he based that on the same grounds initially that senator goldwater did when he wrote against the bill and against cloture. he said it was unconstitutional. there was an 1875 decision by ,he supreme court that reversed excuse me, 1883 decision that
reversed the 1875 reconstruction era bill that created the public accommodations. cleverly, the managers of the bill did not hang this on the 14th amendment, which was the way it had been declared unconstitutional. but they said it was the commerce clause. people were traveling all the time. they were in this restaurant, crossing a state line, another restaurant. the irony is if you look at that bill today, you look at education, look at voting rights. but the most controversial section of that bill was the one that was most clearly and quickly accepted, the identity hotels, restaurants, other places of public accommodation were open to blacks and that was
it. >> one of the critical senators in that was george aiken of vermont. i was not caught up so much personally in the sole rights movement. did not know much about it. i was isolated on the hill. you don't know what is going on in the rest of the country. kept remember aiken worrying about whether the bill would pass and whether america would be great. would aiken's amendment get out of subcommittee? &b's ind exempt all b vermont from public accommodation. that amendment would sweep through all the hotels and b&b's in new england. i can't remember if that got through or not. >> under 50. >> under 50.
one other thing about covering andy isecause i know going to bring it up unless i do. back then, cbs paid its reporters, in addition to their base salary, $25 every time they were on the radio and $50 every time they were on television. here i am, five times on television, 10 times on the radio, and my weekly salary went up from about $400 a week to a little more than $2000. when i realized this, my wife remodelingtarted well before the filibuster started. in the middle of this, i called my contractor and told him i wanted to switch the paneling from luan to cherry. [laughter]
>> i never went to the office. we had desks in the senate press and we had western union and typewriters. if i did not have too much to drink and was still sober enough to write a story, which was in my interest, i would go back after doing all this stuff with or without the cloture club and figure out what the story was that day. they would accept that, type it up. there were only six desks because there were only six of us covering it, so we had big desks, three on each side. on the top of your story, you r," which was not national public radio. it was night press rapid or something like that.
you would hand it to this guy. the next morning i would go to pick up the "new york herald tribune," and that was the next time i would see the story. it was a great way to earn a living. i was not making a lot of money but i was doing ok. >> i want to ask about the day of the vote on the cloture. the cloture vote was the most critical vote. if they could get that, the bill was going to pass. andy, you were in the galleries for the vote. roger, you are outside reporting on it. can you describe the atmosphere and some of the events that took place during the vote? >> i recall the night before the cloture vote, i had dinner at the monaco which had just opened with hubert humphrey. he was still worried. he knew he had 65 or something but needed 67. haydent a deal with carl
who was by then in his 90's that he would vote for cloture if it vote.e 67 vote -- 67th at the end, he did not. roger and i were talking about this before the session. july ofgle, who died in was year of brain cancer, actually wheeled into the chamber when his name was called , senator engel. it was so dramatic because he had this navy corpsman pushing the wheelchair. the clerk repeated his name again, senator engel. we were watching. he could not talk. ,ery slowly raised his hand moved it to his right eye. i think it was senator mansfield who said to the presiding officer, the senator has
indicated his support for and if you can do it again to confirm that. engel heard and did it again. it was very genetic. -- it was very dramatic. right before the key vote was the great speech of everett mckinley dirksen, who i think was quoting victor hugo saying stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. and it was. >> chamber was absolutely jammed. the gallery totally filled. standing room only. no staff allowed on the floor. just the 100 senators. proceeded, it was silent like a tomb.
and when john williams of delaware cast the deciding vote, , there was a corporate exhaling a breath. it was so tense. everybody literally held their breath until that last vote was counted. in a blink, richard russell was on his feet demanding to know what the hell we would do next. [laughter] it, youto think about know how hard it is to get 60 for anything in today's senate. bar.was 67, a much higher bloc ofs clearly a people against it.
president johnson got up. one i recall writing about was jack miller, the other senator from iowa, i think he was from dubuque. there was an archbishop in dubuque who called him and said if you don't vote for cloture, we will excommunicate you. [laughter] today, martin luther king, the great american, lyndon johnson, are larger-than-life president, get a lot of credit for passing the bill. truth, johnsonin almost screwed up by pressuring the leadership, mansfield and humphrey, this is taking too long. hubert refused to do it. he told me at that dinner we are going to let it play out, and
that turned out to be a very good strategy. >> remember this was the 12th time there have had been a filibuster on the civil rights bill. 11 times, the filibuster had succeeded. this was the 12th time in the first time -- and the first time. the filibuster was never the same after that vote in june because the senate began to use it for anything and everything. filibuster this, filibuster, filibuster. it was a turn in the feeling for the filibuster. two other little memories don't take a minute. one night, john tower, the diminutive texan with a pinstripe suit, was holding the floor. tom mcintyre of vermont? new hampshire was presiding. no one was in the gallery.
just mcentire presiding and tower had the floor. towers said, mr. president, may we have order? [laughter] it was a very funny line. nobody got to hear it. [laughter] the other memory i have is harrison williams of new jersey facing bernard chamblee, right-wing republican, nervous about his chances if he got too close to the issue and got hung up. he was called from the floor by a group of his constituents. not williams' constituents. but they wanted to berate him. he came out and saw them, went back on the floor, and they asked him to come again. this time, you slipped out one of the doors of the chamber and literally ran down the hall and sought asylum in mike mansfield's [laughter] office.
[laughter] >> one final story about mike mansfield. he had a wonderful secretary who was also a source named sophie ingle heart, who was from a mining family. when the cloture club showed up senator she went into mansfield, the majority leader's in her office where we chatted and said senator, there are four reporters here to see you and a gentleman from the "new york times." [laughter] i wanted to give the audience the chance to ask questions. we have a few more minutes. i would like to throw the floor to you. there is a question right here. >> i want to get your thoughts on the role the filibuster played.
i believe senator thurmond still holds the record for the longest filibuster. it was a huge part in the legislation's history. i hate to make a comparison versus now reporting then because it is quite an evolution. but given the context of this special technique or process, did you see from especially southern reporters or other communities once they read what you are writing or what others were writing, was there a backlash to this technique that was used as opposed to general commonly used techniques to get legislation passed? was there some sort of accountability demanded by -- from senator thurmond that the public demanded? what were your thoughts generally on the press and how people reacted to the reporting of that technique? >> what was the public's
reaction to the filibuster as a tactic and did you get feedback on that from your reporting? >> you have to remember this was on two tracks. one was what was going on in the senate, which was boring but because if you did not have a quorum, you would lose so they had to organize to always be able to have it. the other track was going on behind the scenes with the leadership council on civil rights. we mentioned the religious people. all three major religions were involved. course, bobby kennedy, nick katzen back, per marshall, all of these meetings occurred in dirksen's office because that was one of the ego trips. we had to cover what was going
on on the floor because that was the public event. divine whatfine -- was going on behind closed doors. >> i'm sorry to ask again. i lost the gist of your question. was there a reaction from the public to the use of the filibuster? >> i guess it was however you would like to respond. the thinking behind what i was trying to ask is that sometimes people today see the press is supposed to hold members of congress accountable and they are supposed to ask tough questions and allow for public debate to occur about controversial issues. i think one of them being the filibuster because it is such a frequently but unique process we have in our government.
did you see any of that conversation happen within the public communities or the press and they wanted to make a statement about what senator thurmond was doing? >> people challenging the idea of a filibuster. >> there was a reaction in some that a big, powerful ampany like cbs would decide certain issue was or was not in the best interest of the company, and it would use its instruments to convince the country to do something it was reluctant to do or never thought to do. case of an interesting journalistic ethics. should a television company be in the business, through its
coverage of an issue, be in the business of trying to change or was it in the business of laying it out and letting them decide for themselves? a fine question. a narrow question. did wasf the things cbs to have a clock or calendar behind you to indicate how long the filibuster had been going on. >> fred friendly wanted me to grow a beard. [laughter] >> you can't forget the country was sitting on top of what i would call a racial volcano. there was legitimate fear things were getting out of hand and something had to be done. the people roger and i worked for shared that view. >> i got a letter from an irate viewer who accused me of being an unpatriotic american, a
communist, handmade and for the left-wing -- a handmaiden for the left-wing. i watch your show and enjoyt, mr. mudd, it a lot. [laughter] >> will you most proud of in your reporting and what would you do differently looking back? >> i was proud of getting a story a 27. i thought that was terrific. fact theyd of the trusted my coverage. . was very lucky today if you are 27, you are an intern at politico. at that time, "the herald tribune" made a brilliant decision to start a new column by evans and novak. ., was the, jr
congressional correspondent for the "tribune," now a columnist. there was an open slot. they said how about covering the hill, so i said fine. the next thing that happened was a civil rights bill. that was a great time in my life. >> if i may say so, i was most proud of nobody knowing what i thought. not the senators and not the audience. it is hard to do. but it is the best way to do it. >> did you get the sense from any of the opponents of the bill that they actually believed it was the right thing to do to pass the bill but because of their concern about their political futures and who they were representing that they had to oppose it and participate in
a filibuster? did you get any sense of that from any of the opponents? >> look, these people had tremendous belief in what they believed was our way of life, jim crow. the last thing they wanted to do was give that up. public accommodations was key to that. they were not, interested in compromising. they did not want to see the south change. they believed accurately or wascurately that this bill ,irected to the old confederacy and the rest of the country it was not important. the feelings on the part of the ,pponent of being beleaguered we were writing that. that was very evident. would you agree?
william were a few, fulbright comes to mind. he refused to sign the southern manifesto. he was a fainthearted participant in the filibustering. without his having said so, i think he had serious, grave maintaining the segregated country. >> that was an exception. >> the question here. >> can you tell us how foreign leaders responded to the process? did they comment publicly or privately? >> did you hear from foreign leaders? how did the story play outside the united states? >> i don't know. >> don't know.
maybe you could answer the question. [laughter] i suspect it is impossible to explain the filibuster to anybody in any other country treated even in the united states it is hard to explain. question? you were in the 1960's and then today. if you have a bill as momentous as that, the ability of members of congress to navigate then where newspapers are disappearing. everything is on the internet. more people get their news from comedy central. the way people vote in congress. can you compare and contrast then versus now? >> how differently would it be have, howoday differently with the story being reported today than you were able to in the 1960's? >> would it still have been
behind closed doors? there still would be that difficult it. -- that difficulty. there is noise that barrier for the press -- there is always that barrier for the press. forould be the advantage television of having videotape of the debates on the floor, and the would have provided central element of our coverage. on on the floor then and now remains slightly off center of gravity for the story. >> two important changes between then and now. mainly the sources, principles, trusted reporters and reporters had almost a visceral sense of what you could
walk out the door and right -- write, what you could kind of use but not attribute, and what you were told but could never even tell your wife. that was all gone. that does not exist today. the second great advantage to print people as opposed to roger is we had some leisure. i could take the whole day and think about what happened that day, and write it. people would be quite content picking up the paper the next day and finding out what happened. not only that, if something important happened, i could have another day to call other people and say this important thing happened and what do you think about it. i would have another day, maybe look at thery to big picture of what is going on with the bill. leisure
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