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tv   QA with Barbara Feinman Todd  CSPAN  February 20, 2017 5:58am-7:01am EST

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operability. so i think his making that, putting it right up there on their calendar suggests that he gets this and its value to the american people. >> watch the communicators tonight at 8:00 eastern on -span 2.
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>> other people treated me as though i wasn't visible. i was a ghost writer. but it was also because it was easier for people who needed a help
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bubble at work earl burstein i was a brief -- worker, i did some editing for them. nagging,ling, depending on who it was. that kind of stuff. more taylor. he was a republican candidate in
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the presidential race in 1992. he was a campaign diary he did then henew republic of went on to write a book. you mentioned hillary clinton. here she is on this rogue ran back on february 26, 1996. i started making a list. i just rely hands up and said i can't do this.
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i thanked her for watching did for me. she did for me for a number of months or i was thankful for the assistance she gave me. host: that would be me. that what isu see your reaction? i have seen that as so much more. say acknowledgment pages can run into the hundreds of names. the fact that mrs. clinton came -- that does not seem like a good reason to have an acknowledgments page, especially because it was in my contract -- the funnybe thing about not being
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acknowledged is i got so much more attention than i would have ever gotten if i had been one names. a sea of how did you get involved with her in the first place? >> i had done a lot of work for simon & schuster. bob woodward, ben bradley, they were all published by simon & , alice mayhew, legendary editor was their editor. she got to know me through that otherarted giving me assignments. just some line editing.
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i moved out temporarily to the eastern shore to get writing up and had gotten a fax machine back in 1995, 94 --ly this was late 1994. >> mrs. clinton was first lady. >> yeah and i set up the fax machine wrong and it made the phone not work, which i didn't know. nobody was calling me and i came in one day and there was a fax. i set it up, but i somehow cut the ringer off the phone and there was a fax and it said are you available i have something very interesting -- so i immediately fixed the phone and called and said yes, what is it and she said, i can't tell you but it is a woman in washington.
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available for an interview? and i said yes. she called back and she said the white house is going to call you, so i still think maybe it is typical or i couldn't believe it was going to be hillary clinton. then the white house called and said hillary clinton would like to meet you and talk to you a bookelping out with and can you be ready in a couple of hours and i said yes -- it awayn hour and 45 minute and i would -- had been gardening and i had soil under my fingernails and had to semiform myself into a professional looking human being and get in the car and go and i went and she interviewed me and soon after i got the gig. >> how long did you work for her? >> i worked for her for eight
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months. >> something happened that led to a story in the book related to bob woodward, what was it? >> what happened is -- i am going to give you the long happened is i was having trouble getting enough face time with mrs. clinton and i kept asking the scheduler to get me on the schedule and she kept trying really hard and being the scheduler for the first lady is a tough job, being the first lady is a tough job. there are so many demands and i wasn't getting enough time with mrs. clinton to get enough material to take raw material and turn it into a first draft that she could work on -- >> this is for the book "it takes a village." and i believe you say that was your title -- your idea. >> it was.
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so what happened next is i got a call saying i should come over to the white house and there was debriefing.a mrs. clinton had gone on a trip to egypt and several other countries. there was going to be a debriefing and i should go over and get some material from the staff members. i went over and long story short, i ended up in the solarium with these -- in this beautiful room in the private residence with these two women, i did not know who they were. i did not recognize their names, mrs. clinton came in shortly after. there were one or two staffers in the room. they started doing what i would call an exercise where they had mrs. clinton talk to famous
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people who have passed. people who she admired. it was an unusual scene, it had nothing to do with the book as far as i could tell. that was not something she would want to put in the book, from how i could tell she was very careful about putting anything also,al in the book, but the mood of it struck me as strange and she seemed very vulnerable it and i did not really understand why i was there. it was another moment of i felt like everyone was pretending i was not there. i don't mean that in like for me i mean i was
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, invisible. where was i, why was i here? i was a fly on the wall. so that happened in april of 1995, i had been there for a about three months. -- for about three months. i went home and i thought two things, one that is weird, two i don't see anything how i spent my afternoon that i can use for a book. i was still in the same predicament. the deadline was bearing down on us and i did not have any material. i did not tell anybody about that experience. i told one family member because i was trying to work out -- it was one of those things where you go through something and say it out loud to somebody else to tell the story, what you think, that is weird. and at the end of the project, at the end of
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september -- in the fall of in6, i handed the manuscript and the publishing house signed off on it and the white house signed off on it and i was going to take a trip. bob woodward, for whom i had worked back in the 1980's, from 1983-1987, i had worked for him first as a researcher at the post and then solely for him on a book he wrote about the cia. i left his employ in late 1987, but he remained a mentor. he remained a friend. he was somebody i would go to if i had some sort of problem. he got me my next jobs. he got me my job working with carl bernstein and then he recommended me to ben bradlee. he was there for me personally and professionally.
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he called me up and invited me to come over. he knew i was done on the book and about to leave on a trip. i was going to italy and would be gone a month. he invited me over. i went over and we had a really nice, friendly, warm conversation and then he said, let's take a walk. it was a beautiful fall day. it struck me as a little strange. bob woodward is not one to just you know, invite you to take a walk. he is always working. he is always focused on what he is working on. we went for a walk, it was a long walk. i realized as the walk was going on and he was asking me about my work in the white house, that he was trying to what we call in the business "empty my pockets." i knew what was going on. i had worked with the man for four years.
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i guess i was seduced by the process. i wanted to be helpful. you know, i had always been in his role as the -- my friends and i would joke about it a lot -- a famous persons girl friday. a friend of mine gave me a postcard from an old movie, it was called idea girl. there was a young woman and there were these three white guys in the background. i had a piece of information that bob woodward wanted. i did not articulate that to myself, when i look back and i ask why i did this stupid thing, i think it comes down to that. so i told him. i resisted, you know.
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i just spoke in general terms about what it was like being in the white house. then i told him that story about being in the room during this unusual exercise. i told him, you cannot use it. there were only these two women in the room who were doing this. these two guests and then there were you know, one or two staffers and mrs. clinton. if you use it, everybody will know i was the source. i was very worried about that, but i trusted him. i worked for him more than four years. what -- much of that time in his house with his family. i became close with them and i trusted him. it was stupid. i know that people who read my book and watch this interview and other interviews will roll
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their eyes and say, "come on." i am with them. it was stupid. who among us has not done something stupid. mine just ended up being headlines because what he did then was he went it and reported the story. he talked to other people who had been in the room. brian: how long after? barbara: i don't know the exact date with me. but it was late september, early october 1995. his book did not come out until june of 1996, so this was the fall of 1995 and i was done working on mrs. clinton's book editor coming -- her book wasn't
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coming out until january 1996 and then his book came out the and in june, the day before the washington post excerpted his book, he called me and he said, i have to give you a heads-up. the story that you told me, i did the reporting and it is in there. you are not named. i was very upset because i stated the obvious, which was, by not naming me it is as bad or worse naming me. they knew i was in the room and i told you this, and i told you you couldn't use it. brian: what happened? barbara: it came out, it was one of the big, explosive things. with woodward's books there is
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always you know, one big scene. there is always something. there were headlines all over the place "hillary clinton in a seance." all kinds of sensationalized the things. brian: did anybody point the finger at you? barbara: mary mcgrory. for your younger viewers, mary mccrory was a beloved respected legendary political columnist at the washington post. she died several years ago. she wrote a column about this story in woodward's thing and said i had been woodward's assistant and she basically connected the dots. the new york observer ran a
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story and accused me of being the source. brian: what was your reaction during this period? barbara: i was devastated. i was devastated both by my betrayal and my own stupidity. there was so much going on. just about that and about other things. brian: let me go back. you say you were stupid, but you were talking to somebody who was a friend and someone you had worked for and somebody in the journalism business and you say, this is a story and you cannot use it. why does that make you stupid? what was your reaction? what has been your relationship with bob woodward ever since? the why let me answer it makes me stupid question first. it makes me stupid because he is
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a reporter, first and foremost. and it was a good story. i should've realized that he might do this. i shouldn't have taken that chance and my relationship with -- he invited me to a couple family parties and different things and i went to one or two of them. i called him once when i needed a job reference. i was getting hired for a ghost writing gig and the person for whom i was going to be writing wanted a job reference from bob woodward. it was not my idea, but i called him and asked if he would do that and he did. brian: have you gotten any reaction from him since you publish this story?
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barbara: no i have not. the washingtonian called him up and he said that my account was not correct at all. brian: here is bob woodward here on another subject on this program in 1991. it is the book you worked on. let's watch what he says here and you can tell us the story [video clip] brian: what is the hardest? bob: i would say my book on the cia. the cia is an institution that plays a very ambiguity -- ambiguous game. the cia, they have been trained to manipulate and deceive. getting the straight story and getting to know bill casey, the head of the cia, at the time i was doing the book, that probably was the most difficult as a reporting effort. did bob woodward ask
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you to do in terms of the role -- the head of the cia? barbara: do you mean what was my role on the book? brian: at the party. barbara: this is two completely separate stories. the party story, i actually -- i teach journalism at georgetown. i just taught this last week to my students. i told them the story. it was an example of us doing ethics right now and it was an example -- they always like to hear when their professors are real people. it was an example of me as a young woman. i was 26 at the time. doing something slightly unethical, but it is kind of a funny story and so it is a good teaching told. this is what happened. woodward found out that there daughterill casey's was going to be throwing a private -- i think it was a 50th
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anniversary party for bill casey and his wife. it was a completely closed party day bobatergate so one came out of his office and whom iben bradley over, had worked for yet and barely knew. he only knew me as the girl who answers woodward's phone. brian: and he was running the post then. barbara: he was running the post and he was the executive editor. woodward motioned for him to come over. they have this conversation during which they decide that storyb's book and for a as it ended up in the paper -- it would be great if they knew who was invited to bill casey's private party and what went on .nd let's send barbara
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so what they decided was i should get dressed up and i should go down there on saturday night -- this is before cell that bobo they decided should stay home that night and be by the phone in case i got caught, arrested, whatever. e was really enjoying this because he could see all the blood drain from my face because i was terrified. brian: it was the watergate hotel. barbara: i said i would do it and saturday night came around and i got dressed up in this black velvet cocktail party dress sort of off the shoulder and i went to the watergate and i asked at the front desk where casey party was and they
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told me it was downstairs. i go downstairs and there were secret service guys posted outside the door where the cocktail party was going on. i said -- this is the casey pare the teaching moment is for my students. i said, i am always late for these things and they laughed and i laughed and i went in. i go in this room and i am the youngest person by at least 30 years and i go over to the bartender and i get a club soda because i am too much of a girls got -- girl scout to even get a real -- i was so nervous. i get a club so that and i am milling around this room and 50 people are really not even that many people especially if you know nobody. there was nobody for me to chitchat with. i am sure somebody thought i was someone's niece or something. i am standing there on the edge of a conversation going on and i my shouldernd on
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and that is when i told you the dress was off the shoulder because it was a hand on my bare shoulder and i hear a woman say, i bet i know who you are. i turned around and i say i bet you don't. she said, arch you suzy garman? she was a wall street journal journalist. although i looked like i was a bit good deal -- i'm not sure, 10 years younger. instead of then outing myself i said, look there's henry and there was henry kissinger across the room. i shot over to henry kissinger who was talking to a bunch of people and i just stood there. iran into the bathroom and i wrote down -- i don't have the best memory, i wrote down a bunch of the names. i had a reporter's notebook in first and their workplace
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cards for the dinner and i wrote down a bunch more names and one of the secret service guys makes a joke about my small bladder and then they ring the bell for the dinner and that was a problem because it was a seated dinner. it was going to be musical chairs, so i go to the pay phone and called woodward and i said i have a bunch of names and i know who is here and basically can i come home now? he said it would be great if you stayed for the toast, that is woodward -- it is good what you got, but go get more, which is a great journalism lesson. i go into the room and everybody is sitting down. they start giving toasts and i run back to the bathroom and i write down some quotes. i go back and see a woman who lookingr the watergate at me suspiciously and comes over and says, is everything ok? sitting.why are you
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i said i had a cough and didn't want to interrupt. she gets me a cough drops. i take one and i run back to the bathroom and i write another quote. then i see her talking to somebody else who looked like hotel security and they start walking towards me and i back out of the room and i take my heels off and run down the stairs down the street in my stocking feet. it made it as a paragraph in "veil" with none of the storytelling. who was there and what the toasts were, and of story. it was a paragraph in the book. the party story you were referring to that i read about in my book. the other story is bill casey suffered a seizure and it turned out he had a brain tumor and he was in georgetown hospital. woodward wanted to go interview me and he decided to send
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first to try to find where casey was because casey was there i think under an alias or they were trying to protect his privacy. i went over to the hospital and i started walking around and i felt i just didn't want to do it. the man was dying and it just seemed creepy. it wasn't a moral thing, i just didn't feel comfortable. instead, i went in to kill some time because i didn't want to go right back to work. i went into the chapel there and i sat down and i was just thinking about am i cut out for journalism? because i really don't feel comfortable following and chasing people in this way. i went back and i told woodward i couldn't find him, which was the truth and i didn't look real
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hard. brian: were you going to go talk to him had you find them? barbara: my memory was not that woodward expected me to go into the room and interview him. he wanted for me to go nobody is going to recognize me and i would just be visiting someone or whatever and no one is going to notice me. pretend i am not here, but if woodward started roaming around the hospital, he is on tv all the time and people recognize him. i think the idea was if he knew where casey was, he could just go right there. i was like an advance man. brian: but he did go there. barbara: i went back and said i can't find him. so woodward went. he did find him. he came back super excited. woodward is a very calm person.
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he values control. self-control. he was really excited that day. he told me exactly the story that he then put in the book. host: which was? -- brian which was? barbara: which was that he asked casey why they did the whole iran-contra deal and casey said because i believed. people took great exception to this. they didn't believe casey -- there were all these people saying in testimonials that casey at that point couldn't speak in that he was out of it, but bob was very clear on what he heard. brian: in the hospital room -- barbara: in the hospital room that day. brian how soon after that did
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: bill casey die? barbara: i can't remember a couple months. brian: keep that in mind, here is some video about ben bradlee who is the ultimate boss other than kay graham at the post. >> you think a bunch of people in the beginning. barbara feynman was my researcher. she writes books herself. she is now helping hillary clinton. i'm not sure i'm supposed to say that, but i just did. brian: the reason i said hold that thought is because when you talked to ben bradlee, just the two of you about bob woodward and the casey story what was his , reaction? barbara: i have actually never seen that clip. after i worked for woodward and that i worked for carl
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bernstein. i did a few other things and then been decided to write his autobiography and he hired me on woodward recommendation -- and hed's recommendation got a book deal to do two books, his autobiography and a book he ended up never writing called "how to read a newspaper," and to doy that we decided the book, i was his researcher and he was writing it. the way we decided that we were going to pull the book out -- because it had been many years since he had written a book, was that i would interview him and then a series of interviews and then i would transcribe the interviews and that i would read the interviews and sometimes make suggestions and sometimes
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just give him the transcript. that would be sort of the raw material for him to work. we went for the most part chronologically. we would do one a week or one every two weeks. we would sit there for an hour the way wetalk just are and when we got to the watergate section, it turned about longer discussion -- other things came into the conversation and one of those was he said that he had a residual fear in his heart that maybe some of the details of had been embellished or exaggerated. he did not use those words, he said he had a residual fear in his heart to that maybe some of it wasn't quite right.
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i can't remember the exact wording after residual fear. later in the conversation, it casey deathbed scene and i told him the story that i had gone to the hospital to look for casey and not found him and come back and then bob went and bob told me what happened and then bob wrote that and he expressed a little bit of this tiny bit of i thinkout that and that in the conversations that and i had, iten was a quiet place to reflect and where he could
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say things that he had control over because it was for his autobiography. those transcripts are in his papers, which were given to the center at university of texas austin. it is all out there and it is public now, but he wasn't thinking about posterity -- or maybe he was. i wasn't in his head. my point is that he felt free to say those thoughts that we all have. i included this in the book. i give context for it, which is there isn't a big headline here saying then bradley doubted -- -- it ise doubted that he reflected on this reporting and had some moments
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of reflection. ryan: over the years of this that has beene mentioned probably more than anybody else is alice mayhew and we may be the only network that has any video of her because she won't talk to us. here is alice mayhew back in 2003 and i will ask you why she is important in this. called "a a book ."rgin in sunlight is what we needed to address was does vietnam seem like a very long time ago, is it still relevant, can a writer with their resources and the talent and the meticulousness it the dramatic drive bring to life in such a way that it is
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relevant now? brian: who is alice mayhew and what role has she played in your life and many others? barbara: alice mayhew is a legendary editor. she is still working after many, many years. it she has edited some of the best writers and thinkers that our country has seen and she is not somebody who likes the limelight, so i am not surprised you haven't gotten her on the show. i think it is a shame. brian: don't you think she ought to talk to us? brian cole -- barbara: i think she should talk to you because she is so good at what she does and she has an obligation to share that with the next generation. she is a genius editor. brian what does that mean? : barbara: it means a lot of things. she is somebody who can hear a
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pitch for a book idea and just know instinctively whether or not it is a good book. whether or not that is the book you should be writing. she is a terrific line editor, somebody who goes line by line and fixes what you do, she prods at just the right moments, she , she isgh love editor scary. i was afraid of her. i was afraid of her because i respected her so much and she was such and is -- i don't know her anymore, sadly, because of this. this, meaning hillary clinton. we had no more contact after that, but i had so much respect for her and in my life, she was anolder woman who was
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amazing model. o'brien: why do you think you had no contact after that? barbara: well, she recommended me to be the ghost writer for "it takes a village." she was not the editor for it and my memory -- nobody told me directly, but it is what i heard at the time, that she was editing other books where it would have been a conflict of interest for her to be the actual editor on it, but she recommended me for it and so, hillary clinton is a huge moneymaker for simon & schuster so i was collateral damage in was barbara feinman-todd versus simon & schuster. brian: why did you wind up writing this book for morrow, owned by harpercollins?
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barbara: my literary agent sent -- sent it out to several publishing houses. one of them was william morrow. henry faris is my editor. he was alice mayhew's assistant when i was bob woodward's assistant. we fell out of touch, we had not talked to each other in more than 20 years. i asked my agent among the people she shopped it around to. we had just fallen out of touch. people fall out of touch, but i followed his career and he had edited a lot of great books, father,g dreams from my -- "dreams from my father," barack obama's book. i just thought that he -- if no other reason, i thought he would
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get a kick out of reading the book proposal. he more than got a kick out of it, he bought the book. brian you went to occidental in : california, then went to uc berkeley around the time that barack obama was there. barbara: yes. brian: and you studied writing. you also in the course of this book tell the story of a ghost writing you had with senator bob kerrey. barbara: it wasn't ghostwriting. i was his researcher and his editor. brian: a nebraska senator at one time. let's look at bob kerrey for a moment. every person who has gone into war has struggled with the question did i do it right? i struggled with that question privately since february 1969 when i lead a squad of u.s. navy seals on an operation under which we received fire, returned it, and then found only
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apparently innocent civilians had been killed. for more than three decades i have carried this deeply private memory with a sense of anguish that words cannot adequately convey. brian: before you talk about his experience in vietnam, you tell a story in the book about the birds. barbara: yes. brian what's the story? :barbara: for about a decade, my brother, sister, and i owned a house, a small house out on the eastern shore. it is situated on a marsh. it was a place that i would go to write or to just take friends there.
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when bob was writing his book, the demands of the senate, it was very hard for him to get good writing time and focus, and for me to be able to work on the book with him. we decided to go out to this house on eastern shore for a weekend. nobody had been to the house for a couple of weeks. i opened the door and went in and there were several dead birds in the house. they had flown down the chimney and the flu was broken. not only was cold air getting in, but it was cold out. a bunch of birds came in and they got trapped in the house and i guess starved to death. it was a bad scene. they had crashed into some walls comes in pictures were askew.
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-- some walls, some pictures were askew. i was really upset. i went upstairs and my bedroom was in the top of the house. there were two birds that were up there and they were dying. they were still alive, but they were dying. i got really upset and bob was downstairs. he had never been to the house before. he was looking for a bag and something to clean up and remove the birds bodies. i told him about the birds upstairs. he said just go outside and i will take care of it. he killed the birds. he had to kill the birds because they were suffering and they were very close to death. i was not thinking clearly, because i was so upset by the
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scene. i did not get angry at him, but i felt very upset and i either said -- i think i said, i know i thought why did you have to do that. brian: what impact did that have on you and what does that possibly relate to the story in the book about vietnam? barbara: i used that story as a device to get into a discussion -- meme not understanding as a woman who has never served our country, who has never seen combat, who has never been around violence -- i used that howy as a way to talk about it was really a learning process for me working on the book with
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bob kerrey to try to understand how he felt and what he had been this -- the clip we just saw, that had not been revealed publicly yet. there was a reporter who wrote a new york times story that got turned -- the reporter turned it into a book and "60 minutes" did a piece on it. brian: which said what about bob kerrey leading his group in vietnam? barbara: there was just this whole big controversy about what did bob remember? had he and his men killed women and children cold-blooded? were they war criminals? bob wasn't writing a memoir
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about war. how his experiences affected him, but also his father had foug and his uncle had fought and died as a result of being captured during the bataan death uniquelyi felt unsuited to help him on this book the further we got into it. understand what he was struggling with because a good researcher, a good book helper or good ghost writer has at least for a short time, slip into the skin of the other person and not only sympathize but empathize. brian: another story, this one is complicated, but it is margie margolis who started in this
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town as a reporter, married a congressman from pennsylvania. she ran and won one term. her son is now married to chelsea clinton. margolis, who you helped. >> i think what we need more of is we need the body to look like the rest of the nation, which it does not. we are 11% in this body. 11% does not legislation make. i think we made the first step in the right direction with regard to women where we virtually doubled the number of women in congress. i think we are a long way from being the kind of representative body that the constitution said we were supposed to be. it is baloney on white bread with mayo right now. brian: she was a one term or -- one termer and she was the one vote that helped bill clinton pass a budget and she lost the next election. how did you get involved with her? barbara: my agent -- i had a
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different agent at the time, who is a terrific agent up in new york and she had been trying to sell a novel i had written. she called me up and said, the bad news is i can't sell your novel. the good news is i've got a gig for you. , how a ghost writing gig would you feel about ghost writing? she told me it was for this new congresswoman and was going to be a book about the year of the women which is what they called -- more women than ever being elected and coming to serve in congress. i would write the whole book and i would interview her and the other women in congress. i would write the book. it had to be done in six months. it was a big job and it was a
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big break for me. i was working for ben bradlee. much of his book was done but not all of it. i felt he really didn't need me anymore and i went to him and i said i have this opportunity and ." said "go with god so i went and i followed her around and i interviewed most of her colleagues -- most of her female colleagues. then i wrote drafts of the book in she edited. brian: what did you think about the things her female colleagues said about her? not about -- you talk about in your book that it started to sound familiar and it sounded like they were being very careful of what they said. they weren't talking about her, they were talking about congress and what i
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started to notice was everybody was very careful about what they said and that is because it is really hard to get elected to go to congress. you work very hard and you have to be very careful about your messages, it is particularly hard for women so they were very guarded and very careful and that really rings us back to your very first question to me, which is why is the title of my book "pretend i'm not here?" that is because i was having the getting these congresswomen to be real and to let their guard down so they could tell me interesting stories. i tried a new approach one day and said let's pretend like we are making a movie and the movie is about you and you coming to congress. what would be the opening scene of the movie? there would be this pause and you could see this spark like
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that was opening them up, they thought of something, but they were still afraid to say something and i said just tend helped here and that relax them and i started to get better material for the book. when i was looking for the title of my book and i was reading through my manuscript and saw -- that iste i went the title of my book. brian: we are going to go back to morry taylor. here is one of his ads he ran back in 1996 when he ran as a republican in the primary. >> the trade problem that has cost americans hundreds of thousands of jobs. it is too simple for politicians to understand. china and japan ship goods to our ports and we move customs up to sidney, nebraska. do you think that will cut down on their profits? they make it hard for us to trade over there, we make it hard for them to trade over here. we get our jobs back. wouldn't you call that fair
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trade? >> no. brian: so, you said michael lewis got you into this job. you ghost write the book? barbara: i did. morry taylor would go on radio shows and tell everybody about this nice little jewish girl who was a ghostwriter. he was the antidote to working in the white house. i came off of the white house gig and all this stuff happened that we talked about. then i got deposed by the whitewater committee because i slept over at the white house when some rose billing records having to do with whitewater were found. just all this unpleasant stuff happened and i was literally in my apartment packing up boxes and i was going to move to key west and michael lewis called and he said "what are you
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doing?" no, i have the perfect gig for you. you are going to be more a aylor's-- morry t ghostwriter. i was like i don't think so. he said no, really, you want to do this. he paid me the best money i ever made. he was just a lot of fun to be around and he really helped me get my sense of humor back. he reminded me that it is important to take things seriously but not take yourself , seriously. brian: raised in chicago and grew up in jenkintown, pennsylvania. married how many years ago? barbara: 20. brian one son? :barbara: one daughter. brian: how old is she? barbara she is 19 years old. :brian we are about out of time. :let me read one thing.
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"washington is a town where everything is measured in polls and fundraising dollars. you are either up or down, in or out. you are good or you are bad here it you are a conniving opportunist or a do-gooder. you value yourself only by whether you are perceived as a player or not. i have followed into the trap myself, estimating my own value using others criteria. mistaking proximity to power for -- as proof of my worthiness." there is a lot of that in the book. what is your attitude about washington, d.c. now and he is still live here? barbara: i live just outside of washington, d.c. -- that is how i think,e it in my bio i live in arlington. i love arlington. uniqueton feels like a place because it is what i know. i suspect that any power hub has the sorts of things that you read about in my book.
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or in the book "this town." i have a love-hate relationship with washington. it's where i met my husband, it's where we raised our daughter. i teach at georgetown university, which has been infinitely good and kind to me. i am tired of washington. i am particularly tired of washington right now and the idea of living here under the trump administration sends chills down my spine. brian: our guest has been barbara feinman todd. the title of the book is "pretend i'm not here." it's all about journalism. -- and life in washington and ben bradlee and karl would -- bob woodward and the subtitle is "how i worked with three newspaper icons, one powerful first lady, and still managed to dig myself out of the washington swamp." thank you very much. barbara: thank you. [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] for free transcripts or to give us your comments about the program, visit us at they are also available as c-span podcasts. >> if you enjoyed this week's q &a interview, here are other programs you might like, sally clinton talks about her life and career, which includes being the founding editor of the on faith blog. ch discusses his
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book on the business of government "this town." new york times reporter amy on her life and career covering -- including covering hillary clinton's presidential campaign. you can search our entire video library at live, your calls and comments on "washington journal ," then a discussion on russian cyber activity during the 2016 u.s. election and lie that 11:30 , the british house of commons holds a debate on whether to visit president trump's state visit to that country. >> which presidents were america's greatest leaders? asked presidential
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historians to rate president in 10 areas of leadership. thebilling went to president who preserved the union, abraham lincoln. he has held the top spot for all three surveys. three other top boat getters continue to hold their positions, george washington, franklin roosevelt, and theodore roosevelt. dwight eisenhower who served makes hisfeet -- 1953 first appearance in the top five this year. rounding out the top 10 choices, harry truman, thomas jefferson, john f. kennedy, and ronald reagan. lyndon johnson jumps up one spot to return to the top 10. buchanan, he is ranked dead last in all three c-span surveys. bad news for andrew jackson as well, our seventh president found his overall rating dropping from number 13 to number 18. the survey had good news for
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outgoing president barack obama, his first time on the list, he was placed at number 12 overall. george w. bush moved three spots gains33 overall with big in public persuasion and relations with congress. how did our historians rate your favorite president? who are the leaders and the losers in the 10 categories? you can find all of this and more on our website at >> this morning, weekly standard contributor gary schmitt talks about his recent article on presidential power. then, daryl kimball, executive director of the arms control association looks at u.s. nuclear policy in the trump administration. and later, author and political scientist lauren wright discusses the role of political spouses in her book "on behalf of the president: presidential spouses and white house communication strategy today."
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we will take your calls and you can join the conversation at facebook and twitter. washington journal is next. host: good morning on this president's day. donald trump returns from mar-a-lago this evening on february 20, marking one month into the trunk presidency. nextess in recess until monday but a busy week for nation governors here in tc. a conference taking place in the national harbor in maryland. and the democratic national committee meeting this weekend to vote on a new party chair. we begin with another c-span cities tour. ranking america's presidents g


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