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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Special Tribute to Paul Harvey
Aired March 1, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAUL HARVEY, RADIO PERSONALITY: Hello, Americans, I'm Paul Harvey.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, he's here, the one and only. Conservative in his views, distinctive in his voice, titanic in his influence. An 84-year-old living legend of radio. After seven decades on the air, he's America's most listened to broadcaster, one of the highest paid, too.
Paul Harvey, for the hour, along with your calls, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's a great pleasure to welcome him back. It's been since 1991 his last appearance so every decade or so we have him back.
Paul Harvey, the broadcasting legend, the most listened to broadcaster in radio ever. 24 million listeners weekly with that unique blend of news and views. He's the largest one-man network in the world. More than 1,200 radio stations carry "Paul Harvey News" and the "Rest of the Story" and 400 armed forces network stations.
And he's syndicated in 300 newspapers and indeed, at the request of the astronauts, "Paul Harvey News" has been transmitted to the International Space Station by NASA and ABC Radio networks.
How does all this make you feel?
HARVEY: I don't think in terms of those numbers, Larry, nor do you. We're always talking to (INAUDIBLE).
KING: You just go on, right? Yes, that's true.
OK, first and foremost, your health. Your voice went -- tell us what happened?
HARVEY: Oh, my. It was a frightening while and a long several months. The voice disappeared. We later learned a virus settled itself in one of the vocal cords or in the muscle adjacent to the vocal cord.
It was a frightening while and a long several months. The voice disappeared. We later learning that a virus had settled itself in one of the vocal chords or in the muscle adjacent to the vocal chord.
But, after a lot of prayer and good fortune, we got in contact with one of those wonderful physicians, an ortolarengologist, to whom it was no mystery at all. Works in the opera building, by the way, in Chicago, where he takes care of the opera stars coming and going. KING: What did he do for you?
HARVEY: With a slight surgical procedure, he inserted a alongside the muscle, a tiny little piece of plastic, about the size of your little fingernail, to reinforce that muscle until it could regain its strength, until the viral infection had subsided.
Then, he said, you can take it out if you want to or leave it in if you want to. It won't trouble you. It was a 45-minute in-and-out procedure after all those agonizing months.
KING: Does your voice come back that day?
HARVEY: Instantly. Oh, my goodness, what a -- I spent a lot of time on my knees that night, Larry.
KING: What was it like to not have that voice?
KING: That voice...
HARVEY: How can I find the words to answer that question?
HARVEY: Since I was 14, that voice has been my vocation, my avocation. It's been my life.
KING: Did you think you had -- did you think you had had it, that you might have had to retire?
HARVEY: I had to consider that possibility. So I spent a great deal of time feeling sorry for myself, and then settled down at the insistence of my wife and son to start making some notes for a book that I had postponed writing.
First, I read 25 and a half books -- 25 and a third books. That third book, by the way, was on broadcasting. I couldn't finish that book because it was so full of all those words that I consider inappropriate and offensive. So I spent my time as fruitfully as I possibly could.
KING: One of the kindest things was they called me and asked me to sit in for a week and I couldn't do it because of time limitations, and -- but that was an honor to be asked, just to be asked to sit in for "Paul Harvey News."
HARVEY: Well, I know if my wife had anything to do with that request you were the first choice, Larry.
KING: Now less than a month after coming back, 9/11 hits. Where were you that morning?
HARVEY: I did my regular morning broadcast and I think we saw the first pictures of the planes flying into the towers about 14 minutes after I signed off. So I spent the rest of the morning preparing the noon broadcast with what piecemeal material was incoming.
KING: Was that the toughest broadcast?
HARVEY: Oh, no.
HARVEY: No. You see, for one thing, I'm separated from New York by a few miles. Chicago has been home base for most of my professional life. I understand the proximity of that event having influenced our New York-based commentators and probably based there, I would have been similarly influenced.
But I guess, from a distance, then and in the days thereafter, I didn't have to worry about my wife or my husband every day being in the next area of a terrorist target. I didn't have to think about people I love having to go through those tunnels every morning. I didn't have to be preoccupied with that desolate emptiness against the New York sky. I think I could be, not indifferent, but a little less -- a little more objective.
KING: No fear for something happening in Chicago?
HARVEY: Not really. There wasn't time in those agonizing hours for fear.
KING: It has changed all of us. This world has changed.
HARVEY: It has, indeed.
KING: How has it changed Paul Harvey?
HARVEY: It has made him aware that, in these wars, there are no civilians anymore. It bothers me to hear of our planners' deference to the civilian population of such-and-such a target area. There are no civilians anymore anywhere in the world.
Certainly, the Middle East demonstrates that every day, almost every hour of every day. Maybe we'll have fewer wars. Maybe we'll find some more civilized means of resolving inter-nation differences if the world population can come to accept the fact that there is no hiding place.
KING: You mean the threat of it all diminishes the threat of it all?
HARVEY: If that's not the way to bet, that's the way to pray.
KING: Are we going to war in Iraq?
HARVEY: I have no insight. It isn't available to everybody these days. I think our Secretary of State is going to make a very convincing case to the United Nations next Wednesday. I think it's the United Nations that's on trial now, not us.
KING: You've lived through wars, right? I mean, you've lived through a few of them. HARVEY: Well, as a matter of fact, I can remember in the 1930s, when the United Nations was called the League of Nations until it ignored the intrusion of Japan into Manchuria and China, until it ignored the intrusion of Italy into Ethiopia, until it failed to recognize Hitler for what he was, publicly tearing up the Versailles Treaty.
And, so, the League of Nations, impotent, disappeared.
KING: How has George W. Bush impressed you?
HARVEY: Very favorably.
KING: Surprisingly at all?
HARVEY: The rapidity of his growth has. I knew him before he was governor of Texas, so, yes. Yes. Yes, I've been a little surprised. What a magnificent team he has.
KING: Powell, Rumsfeld, Cheney and the gang.
HARVEY: Oh my god. I was sharing the platform very often when General Powell was no longer head of the Joint Chiefs. He was much in demand as a public speaker. Well, you know how you and I encounter each other backstage rather frequently. Well, I was encountering him rather frequently. I was an admirer and before many meetings, I was very fond of this man and his wife.
One day, I presumed to take him aside and I said, "General, both political parties are going to court you ferociously. Will you please make one promise for me -- just one promise -- that if anybody suggests the vice presidency, I want you to remember a former general of SAC, Curtis LeMay, who was one of the most popular warriors in American history who said yes to the vice presidency and disappeared and was never heard from again. He said, "I promise to remember."
KING: He did.
HARVEY: And he did.
I think in the last few weeks, he must wished that Paul Harvey had also exacted a promise that would include Secretary of State.
KING: Paul Harvey is our guest. We'll be taking calls for Paul at the bottom of the hour. Lots to talk with him about. We'll be back with the rest of this story right after this.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY: Don't let noisy news distress you. Don't let the headline writers rain on your parade. My goodness, there's resiliency in this country we've not yet begun to use. As Mark Twain has said to -- have said of the music of Richard Wagner, "It's not nearly so bad as it sounds."
Paul Harvey, good day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: LARRY KING LIVE, brought to you by...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY: I don't know, I can't make -- I can't make friends with all that technology. My son doesn't understand, either.
HARVEY: Half a minute. Hello, Americans, this is Paul Harvey. Stand by for news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What is that, what are you doing there? You're tuning your voice?
HARVEY: I started that with a -- school teacher in Central High School when I was 14 and starting my first job at KVOO, limbering up the vocal cords, breathing from the diaphragm, and it's a habit that's with me to this day.
KING: Who is Paul Harvey? Is he a newsman? Is he a personality? Is he a raconteur? Is he a storyteller? Is he a pundit? Is he a commercial? Is he a salesman?
HARVEY: He's all of those things, and kind of a professional parade- watcher, who just can't wait to get up every morning.
Honestly, Larry, at 1:30 A.M., your West Coast time, and rush down to the teletypes and the telephones to see what wonderful things, hundreds of millions of heroic people have been doing overnight.
KING: And why does he like so much telling us?
HARVEY: Probably, he's something of an exhibitionist. But, also, when we pray for guidance, and doors continue to open instead of close, a person comes to think of his job as an obligation to enlighten and inform.
KING: So you're all of the above.
HARVEY: Probably some of each.
KING: What keeps you -- if there's a comparison, although he didn't have your personality, the late Gabriel Heater was someone who in World War II kept Americans going by, "God there's good news tonight."
HARVEY: He did.
KING: What keeps you up? You are basically optimistic. HARVEY: Doesn't an historian have to be, Larry?
KING: No, I would say, look at the world. Pessimism makes more sense.
HARVEY: Oh no. Tomorrow always has been better than today, and it always will be. There is no time in history that Larry King would choose over this one as a time in which to live.
KING: Look at all the terrible things you see and have to report on. War and floods and hurricanes.
HARVEY: Well, noise makes news. We've had newspapers in this country, I can think of one in particular, which tried to print just good news and it only lasted 14 weeks. It was in Sacramento, California as a matter of fact. People want to be frightened and it's a shame. I think we've become over-newsed for that reason.
KING: You think we should return to the draft?
HARVEY: I certainly hope we won't think of future wars in terms of marching boys with bayonets. Those weapons have lost our last three wars.
KING: You turned against the Vietnam War, did you not?
HARVEY: Yes, I did.
KING: What caused that?
HARVEY: Several factors. I had always been reared with the old McArthur feeling that the only excuse for getting into a war is to win it. The only justification for war is to win it. And then, one day, I realized that in spite of the expenditure of all of our gold and all of that blood, in Vietnam and in Korea, the most we were able to deliver was a stalemate on the 50 yard line.
We'd paid much too high a price for that. And it was then that I suggested that we drive it or park it.
KING: Let's touch some other bases. I know a lot of people want to talk to you and we will be taking calls for Paul Harvey.
Changes in radio, since you began, many. What do you make of, overall, radio today?
HARVEY: Well, of course, I look at it from a news perspective, and I think -- almost every place I go, Larry, there are the little groups backstage, you're familiar with them, and one of the first questions they always want to ask, these news people in CoCaMo and Waxahachie and Kalamazoo is a paraphrase on the question -- how can we do our jobs better?
I think they're aware that we overthrew the United States government just a little more than a decade ago for better or worse. They are aware of the significance of that awesome weapon we wield. I think this is wholesome. When I was growing up in the old rip-and-read days of radio, we had nothing like that awareness of our responsibility.
My, goodness. Today, news people are more conscientious, they're smarter and more capable by far than any of any of their predecessors.
KING: The public is well served by American radio?
HARVEY: Over served at the moment. And I don't know what to do about that.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Paul Harvey, your phone calls in a little while, don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY: Did you hear about the little grade school fellow in Northern Italy? Somebody stole the little lad's lunch. He had brought to school a sack lunch, sandwich, fruit, cookies. Somebody stole it, stole his lunch and two pencils.
Well, the little fellow went to the telephone and...
He dialed 911. Of course, police converged, and listened to his tearful appeal. Calmed him down. And while they were there, a classmate confessed and returned the stolen goods. Most of it, the sandwich had -- was minus a bite or two. Now, page two.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: I've said this out of his presence, I'll say it in his presence -- it's impossible to have Paul Harvey on your radio to punch the button. You cannot have Paul Harvey on the radio and hit another station. That's how magnetic you are.
HARVEY: Oh, my goodness.
KING: A top advertising man said about you, "In the advertising business, Paul Harvey is a phenomena. In a league of his own. The only one compared to him would be Oprah."
HARVEY: My, goodness. Oh.
KING: Does it -- no one sells products like you. Does it diminish the newscaster to pitch a product?
HARVEY: I'm going to have to let the listeners judge that for themselves. I would presume to tell them how they should respond.
But to me, my goodness, so frequently, some of the best news that's included in my broadcast is within the body of the commercial. That there really is now a response for such-and-such an illness, that there really is a better way to do this or to do that, that there really is a wonderful way to extend human life and alleviate pain. KING: You just signed a ten-year contract, is that right?
KING: Ten years. You're 84.
HARVEY: I am?
KING: Are you?
HARVEY: I stopped counting at 55.
KING: Do you expect to fulfill that contract?
HARVEY: Oh, yes. Unless I can find something that's more fun than what I'm doing now, and I certainly haven't been able to find that.
KING: But, in other words, you have no desire to ever hang it up.
HARVEY: Larry, I've got a chance to hang it up, you know, just not many months ago when I was sidelined. No, oh, I'd hate to have to get up every morning and play golf the way I play golf.
KING: What do you make of what's happened to the culture? We seem to be a culture of anything goes.
HARVEY: Excesses ultimately, eventually, are their own undoing and that keeps me hopeful.
KING: That things will turn? Do you -- do you watch -- do you like reality television? Do you watch television at night?
HARVEY: My bedtime is so early I don't get to see most of the programs, but the few that I particularly enjoy, the family tapes so that I can hear them subsequently. But, no, I'm not addicted to a regimen of sitting by the set.
KING: We're going to take a lot of calls for you, Paul, so a couple of other things I want to get in. How did you come up with the pause before "Good Day"?
HARVEY: I'm asked that question a lot and I'm not even aware of it. I'm just pausing between what I'm saying and what I'm thinking about saying.
KING: Yes, but when you finish, that had to be a thought of...
HARVEY: Not really.
HARVEY: I had to -- well, maybe I wasn't reading the clock as accurately as you do and I'd wait for the secondhand to get around to where it belonged and finished with good day.
KING: You write all your own copy, right? HARVEY: Yes.
KING: And this is a particular talent of yours. Did you start as a writer?
KING: You were a broadcaster who wrote rather than a writer.
HARVEY: I was rip-and-read in the early days, just tear it off the AP machine.
KING: You write all your own commercials, too, right?
KING: And this apparent, but not nervousness, this thing you go through before you go on or what, are you -- for example, you're on radio. Early in the morning, right, the first newscast is what time? That you...
HARVEY: It goes out of -- when I'm in Chicago, it goes out of there at 6:30 Chicago time.
KING: Why are you wearing a shirt and tie?
HARVEY: I've never been asked that. Nor have I ever asked myself.
KING: You're dressing up for radio, Paul.
HARVEY: Now I'm going to think about it.
KING: OK. You can do it in a t-shirt. You could do it in an open collar.
KING: You come from that (INAUDIBLE), right?
HARVEY: I want to think about that.
KING: So everybody when you started worked up in radio wore a shirt and tie and jacket everyday, right?
HARVEY: Yes. Yes, I -- I can't explain why. But I do know that the times that I try to go casual, something is sacrificed. And I can't...
HARVEY: ... I can't put my finger on it.
KING: You're not as good? HARVEY: I don't know whether that's the word or not, but I'm -- I -- something is -- something is missing. And the engineers tell me this, not just myself.
HARVEY: Yes. I had Bob Benninghoff (ph), a longtime engineer, good gracious, 50 years an engineer on "Paul Harvey News." He took me aside one day and said, "You're beginning to sound as casual as you dress."
KING: That did it.
We'll be right back with your calls for Paul Harvey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY: Now for what it's worth. In Hartford, Connecticut, the chief of police missed a speaking engagement. He missed a speaking engagement at the local school because he couldn't find the entrance. That's what he says. That he walked around the Hartford school building but could not find an entrance, so he left.
Paul Jose Smith suggests any criminals planning to relocate might want to try Hartford.
Paul Harvey, good day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Paul Harvey, and as we come back, for the benefit of our viewers, we see a street, looks like Chicago. Paul Harvey Drive. Where is that?
HARVEY: Oh, my goodness. It's right at the corner of the River and Michigan Avenue.
KING: Paul Harvey Drive, you made it, man!
Let's go to calls for Mr. Harvey. Dayton, Texas, hello.
CALLER: Hi there. Hi, Mr. Harvey. Hi, Larry.
CALLER: If we -- if and when we go to war with Iraq, how would you cover it? HARVEY: How would I cover it?
KING: Well, he'd just report every day on the happenings, right? You don't go out anymore, do you?
HARVEY: Oh, my, no. I think I -- we have now so many capable people on the war fronts that one from a distance gets a more objective point of view. I would probably cover it from my comfortable accommodations in Chicago.
KING: In your old days, you covered things.
HARVEY: Oh, yes, I used to chase floods and fires and wars.
KING: Do you ever miss the zone, being at the scene? I mean, you're so comfortable now, you've got all you'll ever need, you've got the desk and the broadcast. You ever say, I'd like to be there?
HARVEY: Not really, Larry. The world has become an uglier place. And the myopia imposed by your presence in a military situation is frustrating for me. On the war front, you're told pretty much what to say and where to go.
KING: Blythewood, South Carolina, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Mr. Harvey.
CALLER: I just want to know, are you still doing your broadcast on the Armed Forces Network to the soldiers overseas?
HARVEY: Yes, indeed, and thank you for asking. And in addition to that, as Larry mentioned a little earlier, we've, as of recent weeks, patched a broadcast into space.
KING: How does that make you feel?
KING: Yes, astronauts asked for you.
Tampa, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry, my question for Paul Harvey is, with 120 million people in the United States classified as overweight and half of all children suffering from obesity, what do you feel, Mr. Harvey, needs to be done in order to help this generation and future generations when it comes to the problem of obesity, not only in our children but people of all ages?
KING: Now, there's a question out of left field.
HARVEY: I think he's hit the nail with his head, too, Larry, because it is an area of public and private health which has not been receiving sufficient attention. This individual sounds sufficiently informed and sufficiently animated so that he's already doing what I think we can best do, just spread the gospel of discipline.
KING: Because that's simply, you know, politicians don't talk about it when they discuss great health programs, no one discusses overweight.
HARVEY: Well, there's nothing to sell.
KING: Well, it's a diabetic causes and the like. It's major American health problem.
HARVEY: It is. If somebody would come out with a cure for it that would have a price tag on it...
KING: You sell it then.
HARVEY: ... then we'd all get interested.
KING: Bogalusa, Louisiana, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry.
CALLER: My question for Mr. Harvey is, he has stories from so many places, a lot of them people have never heard of. How much research does he have to do every day to prepare?
HARVEY: Well, it requires that I get to work rather early, but I come up to my office in the pre-dawn dark and start sorting the "United Press" and the "Associated Press" and the "Reuters" wires and our ABC stringers all over the world. We have about 600 pairs of eyes now scattered around the world who are constantly reporting the sort of thing that they know Paul Harvey likes to include.
So I can't claim credit for those sources, except for the sorting process. And I try to select from tens of thousands of possibilities, those stories which I think you needed to know and those stories which I think you want to know, and each broadcast is supposed to be a combination of those.
KING: And who does the rest of the story?
HARVEY: Young Paul writes all of the rest of the story -- stories -- and artfully, I might say.
KING: How long you've been doing that now?
HARVEY: Let's see. He decided that the "Rest of the Story" was a good idea. We both decided that Paul Harvey didn't have the time to take on anything else, anything extracurricular. He agreed that he would do the writing, maybe he's sorry...
KING: There's little Paul on the screen now. And bigger Paul. HARVEY: Yes. Even at the cost of stepping aside from a very important concert piano career. And he has since grown into that responsibility. He's an infinitely finer writer than his dad ever was.
KING: But that is one great idea, the "Rest of the Story,' a great idea.
HARVEY: Bill Stern, as you may remember, got caught careless with the truth. Young Paul has been so scrupulous. He has to have two independent sources for anything that he uses, and in controversial subjects, at least three.
KING: Albuquerque, New Mexico, for Paul Harvey, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: Hi, Mr. Harvey.
HARVEY: Good afternoon, good evening, or good morning, whichever it is in Albuquerque.
CALLER: My -- I watched you for many, many years.
HARVEY: Thank you.
CALLER: And my question is, years ago, in the 1960s, I used to watch you on television. You had a religious program. That made my day. And I was wondering why that stopped and if you'd ever consider doing it again.
HARVEY: Oh, bless your heart. You're the first person who ever considered it a religious program.
KING: What was that? You did that thing, was that on "Good Morning, America"?
HARVEY: I just did the rest of the story on "Good Morning, America," but did a news commentary on...
KING: He considered it religious.
HARVEY: ... a couple of hundred stations, and this gentleman construed the fact that sometimes I would try to separate rightness and wrongness as a religious program. I guess I'm flattered, thank you.
KING: Have you ever questioned your faith?
HARVEY: But a pulpit is a responsibility infinitely higher than any to which I would aspire.
KING: Have you ever questioned your faith?
HARVEY: Questioned it? Oh, I think we all did when we were young. As a matter of fact, I was very tardy in my own life coming to a firm conviction. I like the promise of John 3:16, says, "Believe and be saved." That's an...
HARVEY: So I put that in my pocket and went on about my own willful ways, and it was very tardy in my own life, I'm sorry to say.
KING: Was there something to do with?
HARVEY: Yes, I went to a little tiny church in Cave Creek, Arizona, the oldest town in Arizona. Folding chairs. And I sat about 10 rows back. A little visiting clergyman gets up, and the first few words out of his mouth, Angela thinks, Paul's going to walk out of here, because his grammar was atrocious. But he began talking about baptism. He says, he explained to me baptism, the cleansing and the recovery from the cleansing, in a manner in which it had never been described to me before.
And I thought to myself, this gesture is for me. I was the first one on my feet at the end of his -- and I walked for -- but they didn't have a baptismal, or anything, so he arranged to have a little church down in the valley, this is many years ago, a little church down in the valley arranged to let us use their baptismal pond. I went there with Angela and a few friends one weekend and...
HARVEY: Yes. And boy, that's where -- that's where the fun begins, when you stop tearing yourself in half.
KING: More of Paul Harvey on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY: A father. A father is a thing that is forced to endure childbirth without an anesthetic. A father is a thing that growls when it feels good, and laughs very loud when it's scared half to death. A father is sometimes accused of giving too much time to his business when the little ones are growing up. That's partly fear, too. Fathers are much more easily frightened than mothers.
A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child's eyes. He's never quite the hero his daughter thinks. He's never quite the man his son believes him to be, and this worries him sometimes. So he works too hard, to try and smooth the rough places in the road for those of his own who will follow him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY: Now, the "Rest of the Story." I want you to meet Lawrence Zeiger, a young radio announcer on Miami station WTVJ.
One day, Lawrence signs off the air to hear that he's wanted on the telephone, something named Boom-Boom Giorno? Well, the announcer picks up the phone and the voice says, You the kid I was listening to on "News Weekend"?
So, Lawrence says, "Who are you?" The voice says, Boom-Boom Giorno.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Oh, you did me.
HARVEY: Oh, a wonderful story.
KING: You don't have to finish the story. You going to finish the whole thing now? No, I got too many people calling in, I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed.
HARVEY: Really? Oh no. Let me tell you -- I'll send upsize of this, Larry.
KING: OK. Send an upsize.
HARVEY: Lawrence Zeiger didn't know what to think. But Boom-Boom Giorno sounded like somebody to whom he should respond. And Boom-Boom said, "You're making a speech next Thursday night. At the shrine auditorium in Fort Lauderdale. Black tie. I'll fill you in later." And he hung up.
Well, Lawrence Zeiger figured that this was somebody to whom he should pay attention, and he did, and dutifully, at the appointed time, he drove up Highway 1 to Fort Lauderdale. And he found a man waiting for him in the parking lot.
Walked up and said, I'm Boom-Boom Giorno. And Lawrence Zeiger said, I'm pleased to meet you. Boom-Boom said, "Come on in." They went into the backstage and he was told, "This is a charity fundraising event for Italian boys. You're expected to say a few funny things, and then sit down. And that's it."
After the program was over, it had been reasonably successfully. Indeed a large collection had been taken for the charity in question. On his way out, he is met again, Lawrence Zeiger, by Boom-Boom backstage, who wants to escort him to his car.
He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a wad of money and said, "What do I owe you, kid?" And the kid said, "Forget it." Boom-Boom said, "Can't do that. We owe you. You got a marker on us."
So Lawrence Zeiger said, "What do you have in mind?" And Boom-Boom said -- Boom-Boom responded with five words that Lawrence Zeiger never forgot to this day. The five words were, "Anybody you don't like?"
And immediately, of course, Lawrence Zeiger is thinking about his station manager, but he didn't mention that. But over the years since, he has thought so many times about Boom-Boom and it has influenced his career to an extent that each of you will especially appreciate because it taught Lawrence Zeiger, a fledgling disc jockey, a youngster from New York who was so utterly inexperienced the significance of paucity in handling our beautiful language.
And from that day to this, as he conducts interview programs, you listen. Pay attention now. Instead of what the average interviewer does, wax eloquently about how much he knows about a certain subject, and then asks the interviewee to say yes or no, this interviewer will ask questions like, "So what happened?" And you have to take it from there.
And I just wanted you to know about the night when Lawrence Zeiger learned the significance of brevity and that was when he became Larry King. And now you know the "Rest of the Story."
KING: Victoria -- he set that up. Victoria, British Columbia, hello.
CALLER: Good evening, gentlemen, how are you?
KING: Hi. Fine.
CALLER: Perhaps, Mr. Harvey, you just answered my question, but I was wondering, of all of the wonderful anecdotes from the "Rest of the Story" that you've shared with us through the years what would you say is your most favorite one or the one which touched you the most deeply?
KING: I have a favorite one. Mine was the discovery of champagne...
KING: ... by the monk who spilled the wine.
HARVEY: Oh, my, yes, Dom Perignon.
KING: Dom Perignon.
HARVEY: You have a...
KING: Now you know the "Rest of the Story." Do you have a favorite "Rest of the Story"?
HARVEY: It dates back to before "The Rest of the Story" became a regular series, when it was just a segment of my regular broadcast, and that was the one that I broadcast on the occasion of the birth of my son.
KING: How's your wife?
HARVEY: Wonderfully well, Larry, and, of course, wants to be remembered to you.
KING: How long you been married?
HARVEY: She won't let me tell. She gave me this ring when she picked up my option for a second 50 years, and that's been quite a few years ago.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining -- all-too-quick remaining moments with Paul Harvey. Don't go away.
KING: As we come back, it's Paul Harvey Day, October 4th in Chicago. What was that like? There's your day.
HARVEY: Well, thank you, thank you, Larry. We have a mayor in Chicago now...
KING: Good guy.
HARVEY: ... who is -- oh, Larry, he is an infinite improvement over his own father, who was a good mayor. But this fellow has embraced that polyglot population with a wonderful warmth that I would never have imagined...
KING: Young Daley.
HARVEY: ... come to pass.
KING: Alliance, Nebraska, hello.
CALLER: Good evening, Larry, good evening, Mr. Harvey.
HARVEY: Good evening.
CALLER: I was just wondering, what do you listen to on the radio?
HARVEY: What do I listen to on the radio? I listen to news on my way down very, very early in the pre-dawn dark, and that's about it.
KING: You have a winter home in Arizona, right?
KING: And the summers are still spent in Chicago?
HARVEY: We -- I -- I'm often asked which is my favorite. I love each of those places better than any place else on earth.
KING: Chicago and Phoenix. Chicago's a special place.
KING: Ain't no city like it.
HARVEY: And for a news person, there is no better position from which to see the rest of the world without distortion.
KING: Colorado Springs, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hello, Mr. Harvey. This is a great pleasure to talk to you.
HARVEY: Thank you.
CALLER: I wanted to ask you about your wonderful story called "The Man and The Birds."
HARVEY: Oh my.
CALLER: That is so inspiring. I think it's one of the most inspiring things I've ever heard about God and about Jesus. And I wondered if it came from your family or if you could tell about that story.
HARVEY: No, ma'am, I can't claim credit for it. The religion editor of the "United Press" and I tried for many years, while he lived, to search out and find the author of those words. But I think, maybe some things are written without attribution purposefully. Maybe we're not supposed to attribute those words to anybody in particular. But isn't it a very, very moving story? It moves me even yet.
KING: Monoamine, Wisconsin, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry.
CALLER: Hello, Paul.
HARVEY: Howdy, sir.
CALLER: My question for you is, over the years, forms of technology and forms of acquiring news has changed so much. And in the changes of technology and in news, what do you consider as the biggest revolution in news radio and how has the news changed and affected you as a broadcaster?
KING: Technology, you're anti-technology, aren't you? You're in my class there.
HARVEY: Yes, I'm afraid so, Larry.
KING: Computers, no.
HARVEY: I'm glad to have people around the office who can understand those computers, but I certainly can't. In the old rip-and-read days of radio, we had no option but to reflect somebody else's perspective on the news. The big change is that now, everybody is expressing his view.
When I started at ABC, there were three categories of news people; one was the newscaster who just read the news as written by somebody else. The second was the news analyst, who had enough veneration to be able to analyze the news. And then, after he got enough miles on him he was able to call himself a commentator.
And he had to work his way from one step to the other very tediously. Well, today, anybody can go on the air at anywhere at any time and call it -- and comment on the news for better or worse.
KING: You still use an ordinary typewriter?
HARVEY: Oh sure, I still pound every word into an IBM Selectric. I did got that far. I used a manual type writer until a just a few years ago.
KING: Aren't you anti-computer?
HARVEY: Yes, I think we've outsmarted ourselves, Larry. We got repairmen...
KING: Too much.
HARVEY: ... all over our office there three times a week. My little office in Chicago really doesn't deserve that.
KING: You have a cell phone?
KING: You've bowed to that, have you?
HARVEY: No, my son keeps giving it to me and I can't be rude.
KING: Paul, I can only wish you a longer life and more visits to this program.
HARVEY: That is...
KING: Why don't you do more television by the way?
HARVEY: Well, Larry, I've a pretty full schedule, for one thing. And -- but that invitation means more to me than you can imagine.
KING: You're a very special man, Paul Harvey.
HARVEY: Before I go...
KING: What are you going to do?
HARVEY: Your makeup lady...
KING: What about her?
HARVEY: Well, I've been watching myself on your monitor here. She's taken -- would you call my wife and tell her I'm on my way to the airport, and to wait up for me in Phoenix because I'm coming home 40 years younger?
KING: Good day. I'll be back to tell you about tomorrow night. You follow this, after this.
KING: One of the great joys of being in this business is you know you are in the same business with someone like Paul Harvey. I had the honor of emceeing his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame.
When I went into that hall of fame two years later, just to share to the same experience with someone like Paul Harvey. No way to tell you how immense a feeling that is.