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Larry King Interviews Bill Maher

Aired February 28, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Tonight, Bill Maher is back telling it like it is as only he can.


BILL MAHER, HOST, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": Democrats have moved to the right and the right has moved into a mental hospital.


KING: Speaking out, sparing no one. Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, President Obama are all in his sights. Plus want the key to getting a good job? Harvey McKay is with us and he'll unlock the secrets of success next on LARRY KING LIVE.

One of the treats of doing this program is getting the chance to welcome Bill Maher back to LARRY KING LIVE, the star of the HBO comedy special, "But I'm Not Wrong." I saw it last week. It will be repeated many times throughout the month. You must see this, hysterical. And the eighth season of "Real Time with Bill Maher" debuts this s Friday night, February 19th on his happy home, HBO. Thanks for coming back Bill. A little grayer, but you look great. Gray hair is just commenting on these times.

MAHER: You can't stop it, can you?

KING: No, you can't.

MAHER: It's better than making fools of ourselves and having plastic surgery and hair replacement. We're happily old.

KING: Let's move right into things. Senator Evan Bayh, latest Democratic member to say good-bye. What do you make of Senator Bayh saying goodbye?

MAHER: I say good riddance because here's a guy who stood up there and said that I love serving the people of Indiana, but I don't like Congress. I don't think he was serving the people. If you're talking about the common man, he's a corporatist. That's the problem.

They keep saying he's a centrist. He's not. He's a corporatist. He's not serving the common man, and the reason why Congress doesn't work is because of Democrats like him. I assume that Republicans are going to be obstructionists, but at one point there was only 40 of them.

The reason why they were able to block stuff is because they were able to pick off Democrats just like Evan Bayh. Obama wanted to raise the amount of money that people making over $250,000 could declare as a tax deduction, just back to what Reagan, that socialist, had it at. That would have paid for health care.

Well, Evan Bayh joined the Republicans to block that, same thing with the estate tax. You know, they wanted to reinstate it for people, the top .2 percent of the wealthiest people, n 2 percent, .2 percent. Well, that was too much for Evan Bayh. So for him to say he's working for the people of Indiana, he's not working for the people of Indiana. He's working for corporations. He'll become a lobbyist now, which is what he was before.

KING: What do you make of CNN's poll that shows --

MAHER: I understand he's a very nice guy.

KING: He appreciates all the compliments. A new CNN poll shows only 34 percent think that most members of Congress deserve re- election; 51 percent say their own member deserves re-election.

MAHER: That's the problem, isn't it? It's that everybody --

KING: (INAUDIBLE) so they keep re-electing them.

MAHER: Right. And pork, we've got to get rid of that except for the project in my district. The politicians are no prize, but the people stink. They really do.


MAHER: Yes. Not you and I, Larry, and of course the people watching us, no, those are bright people. But I mean the others out there. Yeah, because, you know --

KING: You said 70 percent of Americans aren't crazy. You're saying 30 percent are.

MAHER: I don't know when I said that.

KING: The people stink, 30 percent are crazy. What do you mean we stink?

MAHER: Seventy percent sounds like the statistic we had during the Clinton impeachment, 70 percent were behind Clinton.

KING: What do you mean?

MAHER: Well, because they don't know what they want. They're contradictory, the Tea Baggers and that crowd. They're very upset for example about this deficit we have. We have to get this deficit under control. How are we going to do that? Tax cuts which of course is only going to increase the deficit. So we should cut stuff. Yes, we should cut, but not the Defense Department and not Social Security and not Medicare. Well, that's 80 percent of it. KING: What do they want, then?

MAHER: Exactly. They want both. They want new jails and new schools and services and they want to pay for it with tax cuts. You know, they just don't make any sense. Jobs, why isn't the president getting us jobs? Oh, so you want another stimulus bill? No, are you kidding? That's socialism, we can't have that.

KING: The "Wall Street Journal" just reported that (INAUDIBLE) Republicans wanted stimulus in their areas.

MAHER: Of course. They reflect that hypocrisy.

KING: What do you make of -- now Obama's job approval rating is now 49 percent. You have criticized Obama who you firmly supported.


KING: What happened?

MAHER: He had a bad freshman year as many of us did in college. I certainly hope things are going to get better now. I don't know. He still doesn't seem to get it. That he can't win this with a kiss. He's still wants this bipartisanship that is never going to happen. I think he sometimes believes that he is the kind of guy who can persuade people to do anything.

I mean, during the campaign, the Republicans did accuse him of that a number of times, of being the messiah and the one and believing in his own publicity. I don't know if that's -- I'm starting to believe it could be true, because if he thinks at this late date that he can get them in a room, it's going to change, we're going to put it on C-span, maybe some of that will change something, but, you know, it's the job of party B to block the agenda of party A.

What he has to do, I think, is do what Roosevelt did when he came in. He didn't want to be friends with anybody. He said about the bankers, I welcome their hatred. I welcome their hatred because they're not serving the interests of the American people.

KING: So you want him to get tough?

MAHER: Get tough -- well, of course, I do want him to get tough and stop doing what Democrats always do, which is try to curry favor with people who are never going to be behind them, anyway. For example, this spending freeze that he announced?

What a typical Democratic idea. It doesn't really solve the problem. It's not enough to put a dent in the problem because, of course, they're not going to touch the Pentagon or anything like that. So it's not going to fix the problem. The Republicans only laugh at it. It doesn't win any of them over and it alienates his own base. The Democrats never curry favor with their own base.

A year ago, when he won the election, Obama finally had a base of people. My God, he won Indiana, he won North Carolina, he won Virginia, traditional red states. It's all gone now. Those people are disillusioned.

KING: You said it's not what you voted for.

MAHER: It's not. That's not what I stood in line at the voting booth for. I want my hour back.

KING: Do you think it might change?

MAHER: Yes, I do. I think presidents have learning curves. Kennedy certainly did. Many of them do not have good first years. But what bothers me is that unlike certain presidents, Reagan comes to mind, who in his first year took the pain. Remember the economy the first year?

KING: Yep.

MAHER: It was not a good first year for him popularity-wise.

KING: Very low polls.

MAHER: Right. Take the pain in the first year. He should have done that. He talked about the other day in an interview, I'd rather be a one-term president. To make that statement, you have to be doing some bold things. You can't make that statement, oh, I'm going to be a one-termer. I'll take that because I'm making the tough decisions. No, you're not. Do some bold stuff, then you can talk about one term.

KING: We will get to Sarah Palin and health care and other issues and we will see how he skirts around that right after this.


KING: We're back with one of our favorite guests, Bill Maher. What do you make of this Cheney/Biden battle Sunday?

MAHER: I liked it. I like to see Dick Cheney exposed. Chris Matthews called him the troll that's under the bridge.

KING: What's your read on him, on Dick Cheney?

MAHER: You know, I wish, as we were just talking about, I wish anybody in the Democratic party had that sort of fortitude, that sort of perseverance to stick by what they think is right. I'm not questioning his sincerity. I question his intelligence. I don't think he reads the situation in the world correctly. I think the idea that we use an army to fight terrorism is just wrong. They don't have an army. They have exploding underwear. It's just not a wise decision. But he's also -- what I don't admire is that he's a liar, you know.

KING: Whoa.

MAHER: Yes, he is. Joe Biden had that correct. For him to go after the Democrats for treating terrorists the exact same way that his administration did. And, of course --

KING: Treat who wrong?

MAHER: Any of them. They were all tried in courts in America and all put away. If I was a criminal or a terrorist, whatever you want to call them, yes, I would fear the most a prosecutor, a seasoned Federal prosecutor in our system. You know, like Eliot Spitzer was, those kind of guys. Rudy Giuliani himself, I think, was that.

KING: Tough.

MAHER: Tough. And there's a reason why they put them all away. And the reason why they will never get out of prison, because if there's one thing we can still do in this country is put people in prison and keep them there.

KING: So you favor a civilian trial for the guy responsible for 9/11?

MAHER: Yeah.

KING: In Manhattan where it happened?

MAHER: In Manhattan. I don't understand --

KING: Obama seems to be backing away that.

MAHER: That's so typical of the Democrats. As soon as anybody screams at all, one little squeak out of anybody, OK. Sorry, you're right. We'll do the opposite.

KING: Schumer changed and Bloomberg changed.

MAHER: What the Democrats never understand is that Americans don't really care what position you take. Just stick with one. Just be strong. They are not bright enough to really understand the issues. But like an animal they can sort of sense strength or weakness. They can smell it on you. So when you back off a situation like that, you just look weak.

On top of which somebody who's going to have to explain to me why the Democratic position on this shouldn't really be the Republican position? It seems like the Republicans who are always the, you know, Jack Bauer "24" tough guys and macho, they should be the ones who want to try this guy in Manhattan. That to me seems like the breast- beating macho position. Yeah, we're going to try him right where the crime occurred. We're going to stick his nose right in it, as opposed to their argument that he's going to mock us. Mock us, really? That's cowardly to me to be afraid of it.

KING: We have a blog question for Bill Maher. Do you think it's socialism for the government to take over health care to make sure that every American can afford to have it? Do you think that's socialism? MAHER: Of course it's not socialism. Oh, God. Americans have no clue what socialism is. They just know it's something super terrible. No, first of all, you know, we have socialism already in this country, as does every modern democracy.

KING: Social Security is socialism.

MAHER: Yes of course it is and so is the Marine Corps, so is the mail. Every modern industrialized western democracy is a hybrid with elements of socialism in it. It's not evil. Again, the Democrats have done a rotten job of selling health care. There is a lot of good stuff in that health care, but to have it be characterized -- to let people characterize it as socialism was a big mistake from the beginning.

KING: Will they get a weak bill, then, if they get a bill at all?

MAHER: The Senate bill that already passed is not that bad. Yes, it's not what a lot of people would have liked, but it does cover 30 million more people. You can't get thrown off for a pre- existing condition. It saves money. It does reduce costs.

Medicare is solvent until 2026. That's not a bad start. You can't solve legislation usually in one fell swoop. There's usually a good start, then you go back and you get some more. Why Obama just doesn't, you know, make -- tell the House to adopt the Senate bill, take it in to reconciliation and push this through instead of having this televised supposed love fest with the Republicans. Larry, they're just not into you. I keep telling them, they just are not that into you.

KING: If you got a message for Bill or me, go to and have your say. Bill will weigh in on the late night wars, too. Stay with us and hear what he thinks, next.



MAHER: Sometimes I wonder if Rush doesn't just spin a giant wheel of hate every morning to come up with whatever he's going to get the faithful all worked up about. Mexicans, rrr, socialism, rrrr! Van Jones. I don't know who he is, but rrr!


KING: That's, of course, from a previous "Real Time with Bill Maher." Bill Maher "Real Time," a live show debuts Friday night, February 19 and they repeat it 1,132 times at CNN. If you missed it, you see it 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, 4:00 Wednesday afternoon. It's a great show. I'm so glad to have it back. I was great to guest on it, had a wonderful time.

MAHER: People are still talking about it.

KING: It was a great moment. What do you make of Haiti? You got to be sad about that.

MAHER: Of course. Who isn't sad about Haiti? Yes and you know, I was happy to give money to my friend Richard Dawkins started a fund for non-believers. People say we don't care or some we don't think it was an act of God, we wouldn't help out. Of course we wouldn't. He raised a lot of money. I thank God for him.

I Twittered something about I wish the media would cover something the week it had went on. I noticed, for example, the nightly news did only one story and I said, you know, that's not right. The media is supposed to inform us.

KING: CNN has done a hell of a job. You're talking about Haiti?

MAHER: Yeah.

KING: You're saying we weren't informed?

MAHER: I'm saying we are over informed.

KING: Over informed.

MAHER: Yes. I'm saying when the nightly news, which is supposed to give you a menu of or a variety of subjects that were important that day, covers one story for three or four nights in a row. No they're not doing their job. At a certain point, people are not learning about Haiti any more than they can. At a certain point, you're just wallowing in it. It's just disaster porn. Honestly.

KING: Disaster porn.

MAHER: Yes I think that's true and --

KING: -- last night. You must admire Sean Penn who said you can't cover it enough. You should never stop. This tragedy is so immense.

MAHER: He's wrong. It's not the most immense. Nicholas Kristoff (ph) did a great article a few weeks ago about what's going on in the Congo. There is a war that's been raging in the Congo for a lot of years. It's killed like four to five million people, million.

Now, Haiti is awful. But when I twittered the thing about the media is covering Haiti too much, I got some responses like, why do you hate black people? If I hate black people because I'm complaining about the media covering Haiti too much, how do you feel about black people because you don't even know about what's going on in the Congo where five million people have died?

The media just doesn't do a good job and Americans don't do a good job of getting on the case of things that are not immediate or completely easy to understand right away or have no celebrities involved. You know? There's lots of issues that need our attention. Haiti was horrible and I'm glad they're getting a lot of aid, but it wasn't the only thing that's going on in the world. KING: More with Bill Maher. We'll ask about Sarah Palin and other things, take your phone calls. We'll have Twitter questions as well. Don't go away. 


KING: A Twitter question tweeted to King's things. Do you worry that your jokes at Sarah Palin's expense play into her image as a media victim and actually make her more appealing to some voters?

MAHER: I worry about it night and day, Larry. It keeps me up.

KING: I knew it did.

MAHER: Of course not. Anyone who is truly a fan of Sarah Palin is unreachable. That is an unreachable person. They must be written off. You can't reach them. Because Sarah Palin is the most unserious person we've ever had on the national stage. KING: Unserious.

MAHER: She makes Joe the plumber look like Aristophanes, are you kidding? Dan Quayle was leagues ahead of her and he's not a bright man. But she does serve a purpose, which is, I think she allows so many Americans to look down on someone. And we need that, Larry. We need someone, even people who are not terribly bright can go, well, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I am smarter than that crazy lady. I don't have to write things on my hand.

KING: How do you explain the following that she has?

MAHER: Well, first of all, I don't think it's that big a following. In America, you know, you get 12 agitated people and a camera in a room, it's an event. We don't really know what's a big following anymore. There is a 20 percent of this country that will follow Sarah Palin, this is the hard-core, right-wing base.

Yes, I'm sure the TEA baggers -- I'm sure there is that element. There's certainly not enough to win any elections. I don't think she is any threat to ever win any election in this country. I do not stay up at night worrying that Sarah Palin will be elected.

KING: Do you think she's a threat to be a nominee?

MAHER: No, I don't. I don't think the Republicans are that crazy that they would ever nominate someone who is that unqualified. I have to think that if she got close that there are Republicans and we've seen this already, some Republicans, have come forward to say, you know, this person is not serious. She's not qualified. We can't get behind Sarah Palin.

KING: She's popular on talk radio, though, I hear.

MAHER: Of course, but what is talk radio?

KING: I don't hear it anymore. I started it. MAHER: Exactly, and it became a right-wing thing. What does Rush Limbaugh do for a living? He scares white men as they get into their truck at lunchtime. She's perfect for that.

KING: Why do you think McCain -- he didn't vet her well, right?

MAHER: No. That's so typical of McCain, but that's always who McCain was. Reckless. How many planes did he crash? What? He crashed a number of planes.

KING: You mean in training and then finally in war?

MAHER: I'm not counting the one that was shot down, although I think people say that he -- I'm not going to speak out about that because I don't know my facts well enough, but I do know that he crashed more than most people do and get to keep flying. Anyone who knows him has always said, that is who he is. He is a riverboat gambler. He is reckless, fly by the seat of his pants and the idea that he would pick for vice president someone he didn't know anything about without any vetting when he just heard her name a couple days before, I think, is absolutely consistent with his character.

KING: Did you read "Game Change"?

MAHER: I read about it.

KING: It's a heck of a book. They claim that Lieberman was always his choice, but that the right wing forced him to make a last-minute decision away from Lieberman and he went to Palin.

MAHER: What do you mean forced him?

KING: They put pressure on him that Lieberman, they'll stay home. (INAUDIBLE) vote for Lieberman.

MAHER: Put pressure, forced? He's the man. This was his campaign. This was his turn. That's what the Republicans do. You wait your turn and you get it. They gave it to Bob Dole. They gave it to Goldwater. He could have made a different decision. It was his decision to make. What do you mean, they forced him? They held a gun to his head? This guy was tortured for 5 1/2 years and we admire him a lot for that. If he could withstand that, he couldn't withstand the pressure of the right winters telling him to pick this noodnick (ph) from Alaska?

KING: Again we will try in the next portion to get him to have an opinion. Does the American political system suck? Well, a member of the president's transition team says so. What does Bill think? I'll ask. It's ahead.


KING: We're back with Bill Maher.

Don't forget his HBO comedy special "But I'm Not Wrong," it's already aired but they're going to air it frequently and the eighth season of "Real Time with Bill Maher" debuts Friday night, February 19th on HBO. It was John Podesta, former top aide to Bill Clinton who heads the Center for American Progress, chairing Obama's transition team. He says that America's political system sucks. Do you agree with that?

MAHER: I totally agree with that. I think most Americans agree with that. I don't think people in his position usually use that word. They leave it for comedians like me, but absolutely it sucks. The main reason why nothing gets done is because the system is completely paralyzed. Mostly because of this filibuster rule, because of this super majority nonsense.

KING: Would you like to see another party come in? We don't support a three-party system in America.

MAHER: No, we never have, because one of the two parties usually absorbs the other one, as what's going on with the tea baggers now. The tea baggers started out as a independent party, but you know they're going to get absorbed into the Republican tents.

KING: Although they're attacking Republicans a lot too.

MAHER: They should. They say they're for the people. Who's more corporatist than the Republicans? But America does -- the system does suck and what we need more than a third part is a constitutional convention. Jefferson was the one who said every generation you have to refresh the tree of liberty with the blood or whatever that phrase is that nuts use to commit violent ask. Tim McVeigh loved it. The tea baggers are always quoting it. Well, I don't know if we need a violent act every 20 years, but you do have to look at the system, how the system works.

KING: What did you make of the whole Leno/Conan/Letterman thing?

MAHER: I made a lot of it. First of all, I liked Conan a lot. I did his show in August when it was soon first on the air. I didn't have anything to plug. There's no way, Larry, a man can show another man affection greater than to do a show when you have nothing to plug. But I did it just to say, welcome to LA and I like you and, you know -- he is a good guy. I like him.

I'm not crazy about Team Conan, however and what they have been saying. These are the people who are so upset that Conan lost "The Tonight Show" and I did Jay's show only about 10 days ago and I got all these tweets and Facebook messages. Why did you do Jay Leno's show? He sucks. He's greedy. He's this; he's that. These people need to get a grip. You have no idea how show business works. In this case, it is not the different -- not that different than life in general. OK. One guy wanted a job that another guy wanted. By the way, it is a very desirable job. You want to be on the top of the mountain, there's going to be some other people who want to be there, too. And this idea that Jay Leno is greedy or selfish --

KING: They say he shouldn't have taken it back after Conan was only there seven months. MAHER: Why? I saw Jay with Oprah. She asked him 10 different ways, are you selfish? She said, do you think you ruined Conan's dream? Why is it Jay Leno's job to be concerned with Conan's dream? This is America. When Leonardo DiCaprio gets a part in a movie, does he think oh, gosh, Jake Gylenhaal wanted this part. Am I ruining his dream? I think we've all been in the position where we were going for a job that somebody else wanted and we didn't say oh, gee, they want it. It's going to hurt their dream. Bob in accounting would like this job. I should think about his dream.

KING: NBC is --

MAHER: Of course there are a corporation. They made a bloodless, bottom line dollars and cents decision and one guy got a job and another guy didn't. But the one place I would criticize Conan and Dave Letterman too have done these jokes along the lines of you can have anything you want in this world, unless Jay Leno wants it. OK, you're not a kid who had his ice cream knocked out onto the sidewalk by Jay Leno. Jay Leno beat you for something because for whatever reasons, Jay Leno has his pulse on the mainstream of American better than anybody. I'm not even close to that pulse, I don't even want to be. But these guys want to be.

KING: Good point. Back with more of -- I almost said Jay Leno. You put him in the room with Bill Maher. Don't go away.



MAHER: I was shocked that Letterman has been having affairs. I had no idea he was even running for office.

And I just want to say, so you know here, I have never had sex with anyone on my staff. The guests, of course, yes, that's part of the job, but never the staff.


KING: That's funny. Bill Maher is our guest. Speaking of that, did you read the book "Game Change"? You said you read parts of it. You should read the whole thing. It's hard to believe what John Edwards really is if this book is correct. Are you shocked? Beyond just having sex with someone, other things.

MAHER: I'm shocked that it keeps going on. I'm shocked that every week he's like the Charlie Sheen of politics. Every week there's something else, you know. OK, he cheated and then he said, but it wasn't the baby. OK, it's the baby. Once you lie and then say, OK, I was lying when I lied, then you have no credibility.

KING: What do you make of it, though?

MAHER: And then they said he hit her and I'm beginning to think he's a little sleazy. I mean it's a tragedy because he was such a talented politician. And I could tell you some great quotes of his that still are true, like there are two Americas. Somebody in this country in politics needs to take up that mantle. That is one of our fundamental problems, that there are two Americas.

KING: He cared about poverty.

MAHER: Yes, very much so. I think it was Bob Herbert who wrote a great column recently about how this recession, this great recession has been so uneven. In the top half, that one-half of America, we asked the question once on our show, why does it not look like there is a recession at the height of it when we were hearing such horrible numbers. Because the places we drive through, there isn't one. But in this other America, it's like a depression.

So two Americas, that's a great quote. He also said we need to be patriotic about something other than war. So true. The people who are blocking health care for the 45,000 Americans who die every year because they're not covered, which is way more than we lose in Iraq and Afghanistan, is that really patriotic?

So he was talented, he had some things to say. You know, some of these things that come out, hitting, you cannot accept that. That's horrible if that's true. But the idea that because he was unfaithful to his wife he's a monster, I've heard that term many times. Elizabeth, I think, said it herself. I didn't want to know because I didn't want to feel like I was married to a monster. America has to get a grip about infidelity. Simmer down. Hannibal Lecter was a monster. Chemical Ali was a monster. This is a middle-aged guy who got horny. That's not a monster. What? It's funny.

KING: We'll be back.


KING: Great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE an old friend, Harvey Mackay, the man who wrote "Swim With the Shark," maybe the best-selling business book ever. His new one, "Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door," job search secrets no one else will tell you. There you see its cover.

Great to welcome you. Why do people need this book?

HARVEY MACKAY, JOB & SUCCESS EXPERT: Let's look at the stats, Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14.8 million people unemployed, 6.3 million of the 14.8 have been out of work for six months at least. That's a sad statistic. So therefore, if they -- if they just -- all they have to do is practice the right concepts, correct concepts over a long -- not a short period of time and bingo, they will, I believe, have a job.

KING: But Harvey, are the jobs there for the getting?

MACKAY: Yes, yes. They are hiring without question. Here's the bad stats. For every application of a job, six to eight different people are being interviewed. And you can send out resumes. You're talking about one interview for every 200 resumes. In other words, the hungry fighter, all right, fire in the belly, the focus, the practicing those concepts, I believe because I have been doing it for 40 years. I've been a volunteer, head of -- 400, 500 people through the front door of Mackay Mitchell (INAUDIBLE) in Indianapolis.

KING: You own a big company. You've been hiring.

MACKAY: We've been hiring and firing about 550 people on the payroll, A Lot of hiring and firing.

KING: What would you say if we had to pick one out, the biggest mistakes someone makes in job hunting?

MACKAY: I would say the following. Most people will go Google a company, XYZ Corporation. Let's say you were interviewing me. That's OK and they do a little built of homework. But people buy from other people because of likability (ph). People buy from other people because of chemistry, because of people skills.

KING: Selling yourself.

MACKAY: Absolutely. So if you are interviewing me before I get to the interview, I want to know about you. I want to know a little bit about the interviewer. That's the biggest mistake people make. See, now you've leveled the playing field. You've found some common ground. You dramatically changed the probability that you will get the job, all right. Bingo. I can just give you a brief little example. I happen to (INAUDIBLE) TV stations yesterday, a satellite tour. I wanted to know a little bit about every interviewer. Already. I had four, five, six salient points. I'm not going to take you through all of them, just one. One happened to be a Dale Carnegie graduate. I'm a proud Dale Carnegie graduate. We talked. Schedule said 10 minutes. He kept me on for 45 minutes. Little things mean a lot. Not true. Little things mean everything.

KING: Reason this book is important and I wholeheartedly endorse it, Harvey is not just a good friend, but terrific writer and of course he writes columns and syndicated columns, success for a long time. It is also key steps of how to keep your job.

MACKAY: Correct. You -- you don't go to school once for a lifetime. You are in school all of your life. I would hate to have a surgeon operate on me out of medical school and, you know in the late '90s and didn't keep up with all of the technology. So you must continually enhance your skills and especially presentation skills because we are selling all of the time. We're selling ideas all the time. If you are a good public speaker, makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Because if you are talking to five people or 100 people, you are selling ideas. If I'm trying to get a job and you are the interviewer, I have to sell my ideas.

KING: Let's say you are already working. Do you continue to snow the boss?

MACKAY: No. Well, of course, let's look at those stats, terrible. Seventy percent of all Americans hate, not dislike, hate their bosses according to "Time" magazine and the Gallup poll. Thirty percent, you know, 30 percent have problems at work. These are tough stats. But I do believe, again, if you practiced the right concepts over a long period of time, I give you a brief little example, let's say you are out of work.

And I recommend this to all of the viewers. Immediately go with your heart -- excuse the pun. But go with your heart. Go with your passion. Become a volunteer. Let's just say it's United Way of Minneapolis Salvation Army. I'm a volunteer there. Any kind of -- I want to tell what you happens. They have three problems, every nonprofit, every charity -- money, money, and money.

So you have to go out and raise money. You have to knock on doors. You have to make presentations. You are getting a lot of no's, some successes. You become a better salesperson. Now you are ready for all the rejection out there in the job market and get this, Larry, become a better communicator, a better leader all -- all these things and better network.

KING: You are networking. You have a chapter entitled beat rejection before it beats you.

MACKAY: Correct.

KING: Elaborate.

MACKAY: Well you probably picked out the number one chapter and the number one word. Rejection does not have to be permanent. It is only temporary. You are the one that decides. My last book was "We Got Fired and It's the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us." Lou Holtz is a very close friend, very dear friend, joined at the hip. He gets fired from Arkansas. He comes home to his wife and he says, he's going to sue the school and he's mad and he's angry.

And his wife, Beth, who's sensational, talks him out of it. Goes back, makes friends with Frank Broyles (ph), who fired him. He wouldn't have had the Notre Dame job without Frank Broyles. In other words -- and this is his quote is you'd better be a good swimmer, a damn good swimmer is his exact words, if you burn your bridges. So what you have to do is rejection, when you're down and out. All right? You must unequivocally, again, learn something from that experience.

KING: Harvey Mackay's our guest. The book is "Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door," job search secrets no one else will tell you." It's on sale everywhere and we'll be right back.


KING: Harvey Mackay's the guest. The book "Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door." Always great to be with him. And there isn't a more important book out, if I may humbly say so myself. If lying is obviously a no-no, is fudging a little OK? MACKAY: Well, a lot of people tell the truth, but only half the truth and no. I do not recommend that whatsoever.

KING: Never lie? MACKAY: No. Never lie. Now, people tell white lies. You know, I come out of the hospital. Harvey, you look terrific. I know it's a white lie, too. No. Tell the truth. Be authentic all the time. Short term you will get what you want by fudging. Long term, from my perspective, no. There's five letters that count in life and employment and all relationships. T-r-u-s-t. If you don't have trust, you don't have anything.

KING: A lot of people watching this show are over 50.


KING: Isn't that harder to get a job when you're over 50?

MACKAY: What did you do, memorize the book? Yes. You nailed it. Baby boomers. All right born between 1946 and 1964, tough. You don't stick around for 35 or 40 years and collect the gold watch. My father was a writer and he did that, Larry, but let me tell you, the people have to know, you can't go from one job and go to the competitor and get another job. If you're one of those baby boomers and it's critical, you must get retrained. You have to learn more skills. You must be a realist. You have to do it. No shortcuts.

KING: Got to -- whatever it takes.

MACKAY: If you're a baby boomer in there, absolutely. You can't just switch companies and hope to get a job -- will not work.

KING: How do you network without being annoying?

MACKAY: Well, that's a real nice skill, but I think one little thing and my father taught me this, if you can go around all of your life and the minute I shake your hand and you introduce yourself to me, right to my brain bank what can I do for Larry King? If you live your life that way, my father never made $10,000 a year. He headed the Associated Press, writer for 45 years, never made $10,000. He lived like a millionaire because of his friends. And my point is this is what I try to do all of the time. In the job, you're interviewing me, I'm going to tell you how good I am, I'm a superstar, I'm going to exaggerate. I'm going to fudge a little bit. I want the job badly? No. In my brain I should be saying what can I do to bring it to your company, what can I do to help you? How can I solve your problems? What are the solutions?

KING: Should there be times when you don't take the job offer, even though you're out of work?

MACKAY: That's a very tough one. Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life. Now, when you take a job, Larry, that you don't like, guess what happens. You don't have a passion. There will be a hole in the resume. You will get fired or you will quit. And there will be some holes in the resume. So unless you're destitute or really, I mean, back to the wall --

KING: Well, if you're out of work, you've got to take a job. MACKAY: Absolutely. Then you have to take a job temporarily. OK. But if you can hold off, next week might be the job that you ultimately will get. So only if your back is to the wall, take that job economically.

KING: Can I ask you some larger things? Do you see an end to this job problem in America?

MACKAY: Well, here's what we're talking about. Again, Federal -- these are all Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. They predict every college graduate this coming June, average college graduate, will have 10 to 14 -- that's not a typo. 10 to 14 different job changes in his or her career and three to five career changes. Now, that's what they're predicting. So, I mean, this is very, very difficult. I say, you're not going to be sticking around for a long time. When you get a job, unfortunately, I hate to say this, but it's the truth. When you get a job, you have to start thinking about maybe what is even your next job?

KING: When you first get the job?

MACKAY: Yes. That's what's going on in our country. The mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, downsizing, restructuring, right-sizing, which is a chapter all by itself. But I'll tell you, with the book, Larry, I'm kind of proud that I guarantee in the back of the book it says "do not read this book." It says that on the back cover. Study it. Underline it. Highlight it. Use Post-It notes. And after six months you don't have a job, then I personally -- and I sign it with the signature. I personally will give them their money back. That's how confident I am. Even though they're tough jobs and tough sledding -- incidentally, "Sharks" sold five million copies and I fought with my publishers for at least six weeks before they printed. I think I was one of the first authors ever to do that. Money back guarantee. Eighteen people asked for their money back out of five million, seven of them --

KING: But follow the rules.

MACKAY: Seven of them were my best friends.

KING: You do things free on your website at What do you get?

MACKAY: You're going to get a book that I sell for $12.95. That's the Rolodex network builder. It's a networking book. I think that is very solid and had rave reviews. You can't buy it anywhere. But you get it, no charge, just hit You're going to get all kinds of lists, my 66-question customer profile. Definition of a secret, Larry, is when one person knows. And there are many secrets on that website that aren't even in the book that will help you get a job. So there's a lot of things on the website if they go there. There's a tool bar that'll hook them up with all the libraries in the United States, all the newspapers in the United States. They will not be disappointed.

KING: He's an amazing man. He's Harvey Mackay. You read him, you've seen him on television, heard him on the radio. This may be his most important book ever, especially in these times. "Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door," job search secrets no one else will tell you. And remember, you can go to for all those things he's offering and if you follow the rules of the book and you don't have a job in six months he'll give you the money back. Harvey Mackay. Thanks, Harvey.

MACKAY: Larry, thank you. Nice to be with you.

KING: Stay tuned for news around the clock on CNN.