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#1 Michelle Morrissette

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:56 PM

John in his office at George...Attached File  G3452_photo30.jpg   24.67KB   2 downloads


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#2 Michelle Morrissette

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:45 AM

Full, Unedited Q and A John F .Kennedy Jr on George and Celebrity:

 

[Posted for Research Purposes Only -- Admin]

 

March 1999
Full, Unedited Q&A: John F. Kennedy, Jr. On George And Celebrity 

By 

John Kennedy, Jr., was famous even before he left the womb, and his 38 years in the media glare as the son of one of this country's most legendary politicians has informed his ideas about how politics and its players should be covered by his magazine.

On January 8, Kennedy sat down for an interview with editor in chief Steven Brill and senior writer Abigail Pogrebin at the New York headquarters of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. Kennedy explained why George fills a gap in political journalism and where he thinks it has strayed. He didn't duck questions about how personal his involvement is in the magazine, how he weathers the carping of critics who say George is irrelevant, and why he thinks, after three-plus years, he's proving them wrong. The full transcript of the approximately 70-minute interview follows.

* * *

STEVEN BRILL: Ground rules -- we're all square on what we're doing?

JOHN KENNEDY, JR.: Yeah.

BRILL: We will use some of this -- pieces of it for the piece that Abby's doing about the magazine, but the rest of it will be on a long Q&A in the magazine. And what's not in the Q&A itself will be available on the Web site on AOL -- so your people can see how we used it.

Let me start with the most basic question: What are you trying to do with the magazine?

KENNEDY: When we started, there has never really been a political magazine for ... for lack of a better word, the general public, I think, in America, that has been commercially successful. There was one -- I think Punch in the early 1900s. So I believe that there is an opportunity to make a lifestyle magazine that is grounded in --

(break)

KENNEDY: ... So, basically, the idea was to create a lifestyle magazine that was grounded in politics, and American history, for a broad audience. Particularly with reference to people who hadn't really been drawn to political magazines before, which were women and young people.

BRILL: But that's a lifestyle magazine _____? _____?

KENNEDY: Well, I think that the idea was to make it accessible, and to make it visual, and to make it entertaining -- as opposed to something in which you had to read in order to be literate in your job, and conversant with the people who you -- in the environment that you work. Which I think The National Journal's, or The National Review's , or The New Republic's are, for the most part. And that it has the visual cues of a lifestyle magazine -- that it be visually driven; that there be photographs; that there be color; that there be a sense of vibrancy and a kind of contemporary modern look -- that are evocative of a fashion magazine or an Entertainment Weekly.

I mean, fundamentally, one of the big problems with political magazines before had been that they really had not changed the way that they looked since, you know, in 40 years: they're text-driven; they're black- and-white; they're written, you know, mostly by men, mostly for men. And that they don't sort of reflect a modern sensibility, which is to try to grab people's attention and say: This is interesting. Politics is interesting. You know, you should know about it -- come read our magazine.

BRILL: So I read George this month, and I'm a 27-year-old middle manager at Microsoft. Right? Your perfect demo, right? I read George this month, and what do I know that I didn't know then?

KENNEDY: Well, I mean, that's a difficult question. I mean, there might be sort of certain facts that, you know, are in the magazine that you didn't know, and there's our briefing box. But I think the thing that we really wanted to do was, is that for any well-rounded person, politics is something in which one should be literate about, and people want to be. And, you know, when we started, as opposed to now, an incredible sea change has happened -- which probably you'll want to ask about later.

But our idea was to make politics accessible to people -- who wanted to have it close by; who wanted to read it and pick it up -- who could talk about politics with the same sort of informed casualness that they might talk about, you know, the new movie coming out, or a new record, or the NBA strike, or whatever. And the way that we figured is the best way to do that is really through the people that inhabit the political process. Sort of bringing them to life; focus on them; that they are compelling people; that it's an interesting profession; that do interesting things with their life, -- and you know, to deal with them as sort of compelling personalities.

BRILL: And give me an example of an article in any of the issues -- particularly in recent issues -- that you think really is emblematic of the mission. Really says: All right -- this is what this magazine really is. This is why you should want this magazine. We're really delivering with this article.

KENNEDY: (Pause) I think that there are two main kinds of articles which do that for us. One is a piece which has not appeared yet, but I just think is -- which probably will when it comes out -- which is a piece on Paul Wellstone. Paul Wellstone is not a terribly well-known Senator, but yet is probably gonna run for President. Is known as this kind of quirky eccentric within the Senate, with, you know -- very liberal. And not much has been reported on him.

And he's had a fascinating life, and he came from, you know, a very interesting background. Quite passionate; quite aggressive and feisty. You know, he was a boxer, and that informs all his sensibilities. And, you know, you read about him -- and, all of a sudden, instead of just like a guy you see who's in the Senate, you all of a sudden have a sense that you have a proximity to him as a person -- to his lifestyle, to his upbringing -- that you didn't have before. That I think only a magazine can do, that TV can't.

The other thing is, I think, in a -- you know, in, for instance, a piece like on John Travolta -- I mean, though that movie wasn't that successful, it certainly -- You know, conversely, when you have, I think, familiar people, who have a proven ability to get the attention of the masses -- like a John Travolta talking about politics; talking about, you know, I mean I think people are interested in that. Maybe not the Washington cognoscenti, but I think that it's interesting for the kind of people who we're going for, and the audience that we're going for, to have that exchange.

To hear politicians talk about popular culture; you know, John Kasich talking about his first "Grateful Dead" concert, which is an article that we had before. Or you know, Tony Blankley on what it was like to be a conservative who smoked marijuana in a university in the late 60s. And, conversely, to have people in entertainment who, you know, we look to as consumers, and say what they think about politics -- what they like, what they don't like; how their movie is political; what are the ideas that their movie is trying to convey? And so those two are the kinds of things that we -- the two kinds of articles that I think deliver our -- not our message, but fulfill our goal.

BRILL: You talked a bit -- you just mentioned the difference between the cognoscenti and everybody else. There seems to be a gap, in terms of the perception of this magazine, _____, too.

KENNEDY: Yeah, yeah.

BRILL: There are themes that I think Abby's up -- is that, you know, Washington insiders say this magazine -- you know, I don't have to read it; it doesn't have the inside story; there's no buzz about it on Capitol Hill. But when we talk to the people who subscribe to it, they like it. Does that bother you that there is that gap? Is that gap bridgeable? Is it frustrating?

KENNEDY: Well, I mean, we had really explicitly never --

BRILL: It's almost like a talk-radio ______.

KENNEDY: Yeah. We had explicitly never been -- we didn't want to be The National Journal. And I think we've had ... we've had one politician on our cover, which was Newt Gingrich, and we've had an old photograph of Richard Nixon. And when you have in your inaugural issue Madonna talking about, 'If I were President?'-- clearly it had not been our objective to woo the folks in Washington. They have what ____ want to provide: They have Hot Line; They have C-SPAN; they have The Standard; they have The New Republic; they have their own discourse -- you know, their own conversations with people who work in that industry. And so --

BRILL: Do you care if they dismiss it? Do you care if they say --

KENNEDY: Sure -- I mean, sure. I mean, no one really likes to be -- no one likes to have their hard work dismissed. But I don't lose sleep over that. And, you know, I think that, our approach has been: If you are the largest political magazine in the country now -- which, I mean, you ... know ... is qualified by being a political magazine, but is still, after three years, I think an achievement. You know, we have the numbers, and we have the audience that we wanted to get. And if the two shall meet, great and I think, occasionally, that they do.

And I also think George is a little bit of a closet read. When I was a prosecutor, and we would do voir dire you know, you would ask people what paper they read, and they said, you know: I don't read The New York Post. No one said that they read The New York Post. But you'd look under the benches at the end of the voir dire, and there would be The New York Post.

So there's a sense of George, I think, being -- particular under younger staffers, younger people on The Hill -- that it's sort of a generational -- that it's a paradigm of politics that they understand. And, you know, if they don't read it to get the latest on the budget debate, that's fine. But if they read it because it's an interesting article on Wellstone, or an interesting -- or someone got an interesting thing on John McCain, and there's some great photographs that have never been there before -- then I think we've done our job.

BRILL: What have you learned doing it? You're doing it now for three-plus years. _______ how is it different than the way you thought it would be? Not only the magazine, but your job, your role, the challenge -- everything. What's different?

KENNEDY: God, that's such a broad question. Can you _____?

BRILL: Which part of doing this for you is harder, which part is easier? And what's been your biggest surprise?

KENNEDY: Um ...

BRILL: And from a business standpoint or editorial standpoint.

KENNEDY: It is hard ... you know, it is hard to ... you know, create a -- the business aspect is hard if you don't have an endemic category of advertisers. And that politics has been demarketed for so long, and so unanimously, by everyone who covers it, that there is this kind of inertia in order to get people who you're trying to attract -- is this being, you know, a place where they should be? -- to get them excited about it. Because I think people are conditioned to think that politics is kind of a dead end.

And I think that's a tragedy, and really one of the reasons why I wanted to start the magazine -- was because, you know, I had grown up thinking, and still do, thinking -- it's been tempered somewhat -- but thinking that it's an interesting way to spend one's life. That there's a real disconnect between how people perceive a life in politics and how a life in politics really exists. And I didn't understand why, you know, actors were the only people who could sell -- you know, profiles of actors was the only thing that people were interested in. I didn't buy it.

So that has been hard. But I think that, you know -- and people didn't get what we were trying to do, I think, in the beginning, which -- I mean, I'd like to sort of explain the perspective. But people didn't' get it. So that's been, I think, somewhat difficult.

And, secondly, to confine yourself to just politics with this kind of mission is difficult. I mean, I would love to be able to write about Star Wars, you know? I mean, there's a whole lot of stories that we get that would be great to be able to write about, but just aren't George stories. I mean, I'm sure you find that with Content. You know, it's like: Does it fit in what our mission is? And you sort of, you know, look enviously over at The Vanity Fair's, who really can write about whatever.

But, yet, conversely, you know, we have been able to, for whatever reason, engage readers -- and they have dug it, and they have -- You know, the historical aspect, particularly, seems like it really resonates with readers, and that has not been a hard sell with them.

BRILL: What do you think your biggest mistake has been, editorially? What would you take back?

KENNEDY: (Pause) I think, in the beginning, we -- I think the magazine is more explicitly political now. There was -- I think we maybe shoehorned -- you know, forced the popular-culture stuff in.

BRILL: What's an example?

KENNEDY: I don't want to name names. But there was -- well, why not? I mean, Demi Moore was doing, I think it was Striptease right? And then Demi Moore has this incredible collection of -- maybe this is part off the record -- but has this incredible collection of George Washington dolls -- of dolls, including George Washington. That was gonna be a big movie. You know, she has an affair in the movie of sex with a Senator, I think, or something like that -- so there was, tangentially, a political aspect to it. I mean, this can be in -- I just didn't want the doll part in.

And so, you know, we had on the cover talking about kind of sexual politics. And, you know, like ... that's not .. I mean, that's not what people really want to hear about from her. And so now we really confine ourselves to -- You can't just take any movie, and you can't just take any person -- 'cause people smell when you're trying to give 'em a bait and switch; I think readers do.

So now we confine ourselves to: Okay -- what movies are dealing with, you know, a political topic? Sort of compelling social issue. You know, I mean -- for instance, A Civil Action. There were other, more glamorous folks we could have put on the cover, but they weren't gonna be about a political movie. And we sort of made the choice: No -- you know, we're going to confine ourselves to these things. And we're not just gonna put, someone in a string bikini on the cover.

ABIGAIL POGREBIN: But when you say it's more explicitly political now, do you mean it also has more politics?

KENNEDY: Yeah ... yeah. Because what we found --

POGREBIN: Political attitude?

KENNEDY: -- from researching is that people like the proximity of the popular culture aspects to it. You know, it felt like they got it. I mean, a lot of our reader mail is people who said: 'You know, I never thought I would like a political magazine before, I never bought one. I'm really starting to understand it. I appreciate the non biased aspect of it.'

But they don't want too much-pop-culture stuff in there. Just like, you know, in Rolling Stone -- they don't want too much politics. They want mostly music and a little bit of politics. In our magazine they want mostly politics and a little bit of popular culture. And when the balance gets out of whack, and it becomes too much about, you know, ancillary politics -- or too extravagant in its definition about politics -- I think it became a problem. Which is good for me -- because, actually, you know, I know more about the political world than I do about the entertainment world.

POGREBIN: So when you say "More political," you're not saying not more a point of view in terms of politics.

KENNEDY: No, I mean --

BRILL: Just covering more --

POGREBIN: Just covering more politics.

KENNEDY: I mean covering the world of politics, yeah.

BRILL: Tell me about your own involvement in the editorial process. If I look through a table of contents, how many of the stories in there -- big or little -- would be your ideas?

KENNEDY: Well, I mean, it depends. I mean, you know, some issues more than others.

BRILL: In the current issue you've got -- I haven't read it through, I read one piece -- you've got President Reagan on the cover, and I guess that's a story about ____.

KENNEDY: Well, you know, the Edmund Morris biography is coming out next month, so that was a --

BRILL: Is that something where you said: Let's do that -- I've heard about this? Or someone else said that --

KENNEDY: I mean, I think, you know, it's tough to say. What really happens is -- you know, we have meetings with senior staff, and there are things that interest me, and there are things that interest them, and we talk about them. And, in a kind of Socratic method, we vet the ideas. And the ones that stand up under that scrutiny, and the ones in which we have a writer that can deliver, get done in the magazine.

I mean, there was always, I think, from the beginning of this magazine, you know, a sort of a certain skepticism of me. You know: "Was I a front man for this?"

BRILL: That's why I'm asking.

KENNEDY: Yeah. And, frankly, I'm not sure I want to dignify it with an answer. Because --

BRILL: That's why I didn't ask it directly.

KENNEDY: (Laughs) Because, you know, this enterprise has consumed, you know, almost now six years of my life. It came at, you know, considerable personal kind of risk. There was a lot of people that would have loved to see, you know, this be a farce, and it hasn't been. And, you know, I don't really care what people think as far as my involvement -- I care what the people who work here think. And it works, and our readers seem like we put out a good product. So, you know, I'm as involved as editor-in-chief should be in that magazine ______.

BRILL: Do you read everything that's in the magazine?

KENNEDY: Do I read every word? Mmm, no ... no.

BRILL: But you know what's going on.

KENNEDY: Yeah. I mean, I'll skim stories, and I'll get very involved in some stories that I think are important, you know, and really like line-edit it. And other ones -- you know, for instance, the columnists -- I don't get as involved in, because they work with separate editors.

BRILL: What about on the business side?

KENNEDY: Well, I'm an owner, and not many editor-in-chiefs are owners. And I think -- you know, I think that since part of the magazine is, you know, the challenge of: Could you really marry sort of the normal commercial opportunities that magazines really need to live by and politics? -- that it's appropriate, you know, that I be the spokesman to do that. And this is a highly personal kind of paradigm on politics, and it's highly -- there isn't another magazine like it. The same way there's not another magazine like yours.

BRILL: You sound defensive. Why are you defensive?

KENNEDY: Oh, I'm not defensive -- I'm not defensive. But I think it's very -- I think it's quite important that I sort of, you know -- that I proselytize. Not proselytize -- but, yeah -- That I make the case for George. Because I think it's a --

BRILL: And that includes making the case to advertisers.

KENNEDY: Oh, yeah -- absolutely.

BRILL: You're happy to pick up the phone and call -- someone at an agency or an advertising --

KENNEDY: No, no, no -- I don't do that. I mean, usually we make presentations to groups.

BRILL: And how far will that go? In terms of ____? Will you go see important advertisers, if you need to?

KENNEDY: You know, I'll go to Detroit, just like you; you know, I'll go to L.A. Do I like go to individual advertisers? No. I don't think that they want that, and I don't think it's a good use of my time. And I'll speak in trade groups or whatever. But I like that part of it, you know? Because like people are skeptical -- you know, a lot of people are skeptical. Like: Who am I? What am I doing here? What is this magazine? And, you know, when you're able to make the case, and people like get it, it's satisfying.

BRILL: You talked about reader feedback before. How do you avoid the feedback -- even I get a little, but you must get it in spades -- which is, everybody who sees you personally must say: This is the greatest magazine on the planet, right? No one's gonna come up to you and say they don't like your magazine. So how do you know what people really think about?

KENNEDY: What kind of people are you talking about?

BRILL: I'm just saying -- just anyone. Just ... wherever you go.

KENNEDY: I mean, I'm not sure it matters. I'm not so sure, to be particularly honest, That it matters. I mean, if people want to come up and say; 'I love your magazine, and I read it. I mean, do I always believe them?'No. But do I really care? No, because it's usually in a context, in my case -- they're coming up to me not because, you know, of the magazine, but they're coming up because of, you know, my larger ... you know, whatever -- my larger media presence. (Laughter)

BRILL: That's a good word. Have you ever steeled yourself and watched -- for example, from behind those windows -- a focus group about you and the magazine?

KENNEDY: Uh-uh.

BRILL: No? Try it some time.

KENNEDY: Really? Did you?

BRILL: I've done it a lot ... I've done it a lot. I actually did it once with the American Lawyer, where this guy, in a room like this? -- spent the whole time telling everyone else in the room, in the focus group, how well he knew me. So when they asked questions about the magazine he said: Well, you know, I've spoken with Steve about this. (Laughter) ______.

KENNEDY: And you never even saw him.

BRILL: That's actually happened a lot... How do you gauge what you should do with it -- how you should steer it?

KENNEDY: Well, I mean, by osmosis, you know, I think you get a sense of what works in your magazine and what doesn't. It's just there's an intuitive sense that you have, when you have conversations. And I think, you know, when you work in a company whose business it is of selling magazines, you have another dimension of scrutiny and feedback. And we also do all the normal, you know, reader feedbacks, and get these surveys back every issue. And we do subscriber surveys, and sort of see what people like and people don't.

And I think, you know, I think that you get -- you have a sense, when an issue comes out, about what has worked and what hasn't ... and what you need to do differently. And you get better at it.

BRILL: One thing about sort of the mix of the magazine. The one thing that I was thinking about in reading it through ... for the last couple of years, all in one sitting, is that the one ingredient it seems like you've avoided is ... I'll call it, you know: "Your Tax Dollars at Work" -- or anything about how the government really works. Even if it were a page like, you know, The Washington Monthly's, you know, "Memo of the Month," or following around, you know, some bureaucrat from an agency that no one ever heard of --you know, finding some obscure government office that's doing nothing and wasting money, or one that's doing wonderful things that no one ever knew about. Why shouldn't a magazine -- or why doesn't a magazine -- about politics have that kind of thing in mix?

KENNEDY: Well, I'm not sure I really agree that there isn't a process aspect to the magazine -- because, actually, I think there is. And particularly in the front of the book there is more ... kind of the arcania [arcana] of government and politics. I mean, there are -- you know, the government-waste thing is -- I mean, it's an old faithful; everyone does it. I mean, we do these "Top Tens" every now and then that are sort of government excesses, or bad laws, or, you know, failed bills, or what the do-nothing Congress didn't do.

But I think that, you know, we don't want to sort of fall back in a reflexive, antigovernment, the-government-is-fleecing-you, politicians-are-fleecing-you position. Because, I mean, there's enough of that, and that's really -- You know, there's a lot of places you can get that -- and we would rather sort of focus on the things that you can't -- you know, that are exclusive to us.

And we don't do sort of general -- we try to stay away from really like total issue-based articles, just merely about an issue without talking about the people. Because I think that the way -- for me, the way you get interested in an issue is -- instead of talking about it, you know, whatever -- the legal issues in the Microsoft trial, you might as well talk about, you know, the lead lawyers; you know, Bill Gates -- the characters involved. So that's been our -- that's more been our approach.

POGREBIN: What about investigative pieces? Do you feel -- like is that something you want more of?

KENNEDY: Yeah, I would love more. I mean, as you probably have found, we did one on Scientology, a month before that -- and in Germany, and the Scientology lobbying.

We've done a couple -- we did a couple on the drug industry. Investigative pieces are difficult -- and tried to do one on the Apollo Theater here, that didn't pan out. And I find that investigative reporters are a really unique batch. And that for every eight or ten that you assign, maybe you get two that really work and really deliver the goods.

So I would love to do more of those, and I think that --

(Tape One Ends, Tape Two Begins)

BRILL: I always tell people that if I were running a journalism school, I would get rid of the whole curriculum. And the only thing that would happen in the journalism school is that the students would be written about.

KENNEDY: I'm sorry. The students would be -- ?

BRILL: The students would be written about. The best training for any journalist is to have someone write a profile on you, and have it published in your hometown newspaper. Then you understand everything about journalism: You understand how to be sensitive to taking quotes out of context; you understand how to be sensitive to doing captions for ____; unfair headlines -- the whole nine yards.

KENNEDY: Right.

BRILL: No... If I'm right, that makes you the best qualified journalist on the planet.

KENNEDY: (Laughs) Right.

BRILL: Now, talk about that. Talk about how you think your life makes you a -- or doesn't make you -- a more sensitive journalist, or does it just make you want to be more vengeful.

KENNEDY: I think, to be honest, it's an advantage and a disadvantage. I think that I have a -- I mean, I have a perspective on politics that I would say is unique, and one in which I try -- you know, sort of created a magazine around. And it's only unique because I've had a fairly unique life, you know, within that. And I certainly have -- you know, there's been enough written about my family that I have notions about journalists, journalism ... you know, and when it's practiced well and when it's not.

However, I think it also -- I think journalists -- you know, good journalists need to -- you need to have a certain .. mmm -- it doesn't pay to be too reflective. I think that, you know, a good piece has a very strong point of view, and, you know, downplays facts which go against you and plays up facts which support you.

BRILL: A good piece should downplay facts that go against you.

KENNEDY: Yeah -- I mean, like in a good argument. Like a lawyer makes a good argument. You know, you are trying to sort of persuade -- and you craft an argument accordingly. So I think that my own experience has made me probably -- and it's not a resolve conflict, because it's something I deal with every day -- has probably made me sensitive to, you know, a fairness issue. And perhaps the pieces have suffered, in that, you know, it's fun to read a really harsh, mean piece about somebody. It's not necessarily good journalism --

BRILL: You're saying two different things. If you assign a piece about X. The reporter goes out, and comes back and says: Listen -- the news about X -- he's a very complex person. He's not really the greatest person on the planet, but he's certainly not the worst. He's very interesting, but it's all shades of gray. Now, your fair side decides it's been written about six zillion times -- a lot of times unfairly says: Boy, that's terrific -- that's a perfect piece in terms of my sensibility. But your something-else side -- the side that wants to put that on the cover, with a very strong declarative headline --

KENNEDY: The journalistic side.

BRILL: Well, leave aside whether that's a definition of journalism -- says: We gotta kill that piece.

KENNEDY: Well, I'm not sure you would say --

BRILL: Says: Go back and decide whether he's a good guy or a bad guy.

KENNEDY: I think what your end -- what I try to do is to distill -- You know, there's still, in any complex situation, there's an essence, and you try to distill the essence ... while maintaining your fairness. And ... you know, we've been -- I think that the magazine has been criticized for, you know, perhaps not being polemical enough. You were asking me a question about like a political point of view -- that our pieces should have stronger points of view. And I think -- you know, I could go do that, -- but that's not what we are.

BRILL: You're not a Democratic magazine. You're not a Democrat magazine or --

KENNEDY: We're nonpartisan; we're not, you know, ideologically -- We end up having, I think, more Democratic readers, actually, which probably isn't a surprise.

BRILL: It's seems that way from a poll ______.

KENNEDY: Yeah.

POGREBIN: But just to understand a little bit what it means to you that something is nonpartisan or postpartisan -- those words that you use --

KENNEDY: The postpartisan thing. I wish it was true, but it doesn't -- (Laughs)

BRILL: What does that mean?

AP What does that mean? I mean, how do you really think that--?

KENNEDY: Well, I think the current, you know ... current political imbroglio has indicated that, you know, real people, across America, do not have the same investment in partisan politics as people in Washington do. And I think that, you know, you find people want solutions; people want government to work; people want ... they want to feel, you know, good about politics. And, you know, they'll vote -- you know, they'll vote the person rather than the issue a lot of the time. And I think that happens increasingly.

And so that's really what I mean -- that we are -- And that's part of the reason why, I think, you know, the Washington community maybe has, you know, not embraced George to the extent that, you know, readers across America have. It's just that we are -- I mean, there is a populous element to it. You know, we are interested in exploring the outsider sensibility about politics -- about people who are not, you know, deeply invested in the way of doing business in Washington. And that is kind of postpartisan -- or it's a lot more nonpartisan than it is in Washington.

POGREBIN: So if you can address something that I kept hearing, was that there was this disconnect, and a lot of people compared it to what's been going on recently in Washington -- between the media that's been covering this and the people that really have had it. To use the example -- I mean, they were comparing it to your magazine and saying -- What I heard from a lot of the sort if elite was: 'You know, if he had a point of view, it would have more edge -- it would count more, it would matter more. And especially because it would be yours -- you know, it would be your point of view.'

But I heard from people -- the readers -- where they voluntarily ... I didn't ask them -- said they like it. It's sort of plowing the middle, as one person said. That they don't feel like anybody is coming down on one side, and they're tired of that. But it does also feel like it's a little kind of in no-man's-land there -- and does that bother you?

KENNEDY: Neither fish nor fowl.

POGREBIN: Yeah.

KENNEDY: I mean, it is something in which it is the essential challenge of this magazine. And, you know, I think a lot of people expected, you know, there would be like a brief flurry of like, you know, mouthing about nonpartisan, and then it would turn into John Kennedy's, you know, soapbox. And it can't be that. And I think the way to -- you know, to the extent that you address that you have, is that your stories have strong points of view, and strong sensibilities, and you have a variety of different ones. That you have, you know, a strong opinion piece about, you know, someone on the left and someone on the right, or whatever.

But I want to -- but that has confounded expectations -- you know, the fact that we have done and we stuck to that -- and I don't think that's a bad thing. And all the things that we get -- you know, as far as reader mail -- that seems to be the thing that people really respond to the most is that they do feel that they are not being led around by the nose.

And I also think that, you know, in terms of Washington -- we get a lot of access. You know, we get what we need to get. And I think that, ironically, you know, people trust that -- I mean, maybe they just think we'll just be nice to everybody. But I do think that they think there is an element of fairness -- which given my own experience, is very important. Like that makes me feel like I haven't sold out.

BRILL: Let's talk about that a little bit more. Suppose the magazine assigns a piece about ... somebody, and that somebody doesn't want to pose for a photo. Would you assign a photographer to ambush that person?

KENNEDY: It would never be necessary, because there's so much pickup of the people that we do. I know what the question is -- like would I assign a paparazzi? And it's like sort of a trite question, because you don't have to. There's like a billion photos --

BRILL: Well, let's see if I can make it a little less trite. Most of the pickup you'd buy would be from those same paparazzi, who did an ambush photo.

KENNEDY: No, not necessarily ... not necessarily.

BRILL: But you wouldn't buy one of those shots, or you would?

KENNEDY: No -- I would buy 'em. I would get the best pickup that was available that I could.

BRILL: Even if it's the photographer who ambushed someone --

KENNEDY: Yeah, I'm not a big moralizer about the paparazzi ... if you'll look through my -- (laughs) -- voluminous public statements. I mean, I may not like it, and it may be a difficult aspect of my life -- but it's my problem, and you know ... it's my problem.

BRILL: You don't begrudge them doing the job they do.

KENNEDY: It's not something that I think is worth talking about, you know -- It's not a pressing public principle.

BRILL: On the same issue, though, of being on one side of the press and on the other side of the press -- with the perspective you have -- (Recording is unintelligible) the state of _______ today about reporting on the sex lives of politicians is where it should be to where it shouldn't be?

KENNEDY: I mean ... (pause) ... I mean, it's such a complicated question, because -- and I'm trying to think it true.

BRILL: Salon - Henry Hyde.

KENNEDY: Right.

BRILL: If you were the editor of Salon, would you have reported on Henry Hyde's sex life?

KENNEDY: If I was editor of Salon, would I have done it?

POGREBIN: Or for this magazine?

KENNEDY: No. Because you know why? Because I think that there is -- We may not have done it -- but I was dismayed that it happened? No. Because I think that any time there is an element of hypocrisy lingering, it's interesting to read about it. The question is, you know --

BRILL: Interesting to read about, and, therefore, it was okay to write about?

KENNEDY: You know, here's my bottom line. The big tragedy, I think, is that it makes people not -- it reaffirms people's worst notions about politics. And it makes them think that if they go into the public sector, there are enough sacrifices -- and that, you know, any kind of human indiscretions will knock 'em out of the box.

BRILL: So you would or would not have done it?

KENNEDY: I really don't know. And I'm not trying to be, you know -- I'm not trying to be -- I mean, for us to do it, it would have looked weird. You know, it's inconsistent. There are obviously my own, you know, family issues in which it looks hypocritical; it looks too partisan -- you know, it's really partisan warfare. So would I have done it in our magazine? No. If I was the editor of Salon -- Salon is obviously a magazine who -- you know, it's very clear like where they're coming from. And they are -- you know, they're like -- you know, they're fighting that fight. So was it appropriate for them to do it? Yeah, I think so. It's not as appropriate for us to do it. But do I begrudge them for doing it? No. Because given what Salon, you know, professes itself to be, I think it's fair for them to do it.

BRILL: You assign a reporter to do a profile of a really interesting and very strongly conservative Republican member of Congress.

KENNEDY: There's a piece on Tom DeLay, actually.

BRILL: That's what made me think -- you have a piece on Tom DeLay. Suppose, in doing that piece -- you assign a good reporter. And, among other things, this strongly conservative Republican Congressman has been a leader -- absolute dead-on, outspoken leader -- in the antiabortion movement. And your reporter finds out that, two years ago, his 16-year-old daughter had an abortion and he took her to the clinic. And she puts that in the profile. Do you keep it in?

KENNEDY: Well, we had a somewhat analogous story. An unsuccessful candidate for the governor of Georgia had an affair, and there was a -- we had a --

BRILL: (Recording is unintelligible)

KENNEDY: Yeah. You know .. that situation has not presented itself, something that I would really need to reflect on for a while. And it's a pretty loaded set of facts. So I would not want to speculate casually on what I would do in that.

POGREBIN: Can I just ask --? When you sit down and do a Richard Melon Scaife interview, that a lot of people described to me was a coup. I mean, everybody wanted it -- a lot of people wanted it. And there's some sense that people have said that you have a kind of Larry King style of letting people's words speak for themselves; not necessarily nailing them to the wall; asking the questions that need to be asked, but not pushing them too hard. Is that something, again, that is conscious? That is along these lines, again, of kind of -- ?

KENNEDY: Well, I'm very flattered by the comparison, but -- (Laughs) No, really. But here's just what I think -- and like if I can just off the record for a second. Well, actually, you can leave this on .... I find interviews difficult, because I don't like to really do them -- present situation excluded -- and I know, having done a few of them, what makes me uncomfortable, and what makes me feel non-cooperative. And I think --

BRILL: Which is what?

KENNEDY: Which is sort of a sense that a reporter has an idea already about what he wants this to come to. That you're not just sitting down in a conversation and see where it will lead -- there's sort of like a setup going on. And I just find the people I interview are people who I'm interested in their life, and I'm interested -- I have questions that I would like to ask them. You know, I worked in the Reagan Justice Department during law school -- I clerked for William Bradford Reynolds in the Civil Rights Division. Not because I agreed with him, but because I was just interested in how, you know, how they thought -- which was, you know, obviously, completely opposite to what I had grown up with.

So I just go in to an interview, and I just ask questions that I am curious about. And, more often than not -- I mean, it starts out stilted -- but, more often than not, people then feel that that you're just -- that they'll talk. And that's, I think, what Richard Melon Scaife did -- he just felt comfortable, and he just talked.

So I -- I mean, if that's what it is, then that's great. But it's not my nature to be, you know, inquisitorial; you know, I think it is my nature to be curious.

POGREBIN: You don't feel an obligation journalistically to push him on the fact that he thinks Vince Foster, you know, was murdered.

KENNEDY: I did.

POGREBIN: Right. But you don't feel like you need to kind of say --

KENNEDY: Do I think for my peers in journalism? No. Because, again, I'm thinking about the people who read us -- which is you know ... you know, you're sort of being a proxy for them.

BRILL: That's what's really interesting. Doesn't it drive you crazy to read the stuff that belittles you and the magazine, when you know -- you know, you're actually coming to work every day. You know, this is not -- What's the name of that restaurant that has the models?

KENNEDY: Fashion Café?

BRILL: Yes, the Fashion Café -- they've been never been there and they don't know what it is. You're actually doing this -- and then you read all these snide comments about you and the magazine.

KENNEDY: Right.

BRILL: Doesn't that drive you nuts?

KENNEDY: Well, there's a lot less of it now than there was in the beginning. I mean, in the beginning there was a lot. You know, you just have to like --

BRILL: Did you ever think: Why did I get into this?

KENNEDY: No, because I knew that was gonna happen. I knew that it would irritate like -- I knew that it would irritate people to no end. That like I -- I mean, the supreme irony of me going and joining a media conglomerate to be a journalist? I mean, there is no more, you know, annoying -- (Laughs) And then to have it work fairly well? I mean, we're still in business, you know?

BRILL: But you like to be liked. Why would you do it again?

KENNEDY: I don't really like to be liked. I just like --

BRILL: I mean, even I __________.

KENNEDY: Yeah. I don't really need to like -- I mean, again, it's sort of -- I never look for approval from the journalistic community. If it comes, great -- you know, if it comes, great. But I didn't really see that as the group that I had to answer to. And then the more like condescending it got, the more that I knew that I was doing the right thing. But that has stopped now, I think. I mean, we're sort of -- you know, we're like the "Conan O'Brien" of magazines. (Laughter) You know, we're still here.

BRILL: Let me ask you. I just read, very quickly outside -- in your column in the brand-new issue you say something about how it's ridiculous to think that -- Politicians as role models is a fraud or was a fraud. The word "fraud" and politician as role models, in a sense.

KENNEDY: Yeah.

BRILL: That's what you think?

KENNEDY: No. I think that people don't think of politicians as role models anymore -- that there is an inherent contradiction. And that we -- on one side we kind of perpetuate the notion that politicians should be role models, and on the other hand we don't really treat them as such; we don't cover them as such. And I think that there's a contradiction in that.

BRILL: Don't you think they can be, should be?

KENNEDY: I mean, I think they are, merely by doing what they're doing. And if they have a marital infidelity, or, you know, if they did something in college that they wouldn't do 20 years later, I don't think that makes them a role model. But I think for an industry now that has been -- is, again, demarketed as politics -- I mean, who wants to go into politics now anymore? People just roll their eyes, and I think that's really sad.

BRILL: Is that true of you, by the way?

KENNEDY: Yeah, sometimes. But it doesn't really --

POGREBIN: But isn't that a little bit of a contradiction? In the fact that you seem to say in this that you don't think that that's really fair game for politicians.

KENNEDY: That what isn't fair game?

POGREBIN: Their personal foibles or dalliances.

KENNEDY: I'm not sure I said that.

POGREBIN: Well, the line that I was thinking about was that: If we have these laws, that have moral weight, why do we necessarily need politicians?

KENNEDY: What's the line here?

BRILL: And don't tell me it's because politicians are role models that fraud is obsolete. Is that what you meant?

POGREBIN: No.

BRILL: No, it's the end, where you -- No, I don't think he's saying that.

POGREBIN: He's saying: We are a nation of laws and not men. Isn't it enough that our laws have moral authority, even if our lawmakers don't? ... And there seems to be a sense of: Maybe I'm wrong, that that's more important; that's really the thing to focus on.

KENNEDY: I think it's very dangerous when, you know -- it's a two-part question. When my father was President -- I think the numbers are right -- there were 30 people covering the White House. There are now 3,000 ... and they're all chasing the same rabbit. So it becomes very difficult, I think, to, you know, maintain perfection under that kind of scrutiny.

And my point was, is that if you're going to demand that of politicians in order to have them maintain credibility and their integrity, then you're putting an impossible burden on them -- and you're setting yourself up for, you know, a sense of failure about the political system. And I think that that burden is unfair, and I think that it makes good people stay away from government.

BRILL: So when you said the notion of the politician as role model is obsolete, what you were saying was that has more to do with the change in the way politicians are covered, than it has to do with politicians.

KENNEDY: Yeah. To the extent that no -- I did not mean no good men, or women, are politicians anymore.

BRILL: I mean, many would think that your father was, indeed, a role model.

KENNEDY: Yeah -- and I think that he was, too.

BRILL: Okay. So --

KENNEDY: And not just because he was, you know, my father. But he was someone who, you know, could have done a lot of things, and he went into government. And he made a lot of people, you know, excited about being in government. And, to that extent -- And I don't think that's dissipated, even though, you know, a lot has happened since.

BRILL: Exactly. But what you're saying is, if the media had been what it was then, that might not have happened.

KENNEDY: I don't know if I would want to say that. I'm saying that -- well, I'll leave it at that; I mean, you can ask a follow-up question. But I'm not sure I'm saying that. I mean, I wouldn't want to say that in that specific circumstance.

BRILL: Well, what's obsolete is either that politicians have changed or that the view of politicians --

KENNEDY: No, the view -- that's the latter.

BRILL: And the view comes from the media, right?

KENNEDY: Yes, Yes.

BRILL: Okay.... I gotta ask you one snide, condescending question.

KENNEDY: Sure.

POGREBIN: Just one? (Laughs)

BRILL: Just one. Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, John Travolta, Tom Hanks, Christy Turlington, Johnny Depp -- you're getting the point, right?

KENNEDY: Mmm-hmm.

BRILL: Bruce Willis, Charlize [Theron] whoever she is, 'cause I'm too old (Recording unintelligible).

KENNEDY: Hey, she's on the cover of Vanity Fair this month, and we had her first.

BRILL: Well, okay, fair enough. My point is, that does not -- If you take the last year of covers, with all of the movie starts, that package doesn't say: This is a magazine about politics. Are you doing, with the magazine, what people get frustrated and angry at politicians for, which is, you know, doing something that's popular, that brings in a crowd -- and then, after the election, changes the subject?

KENNEDY: I started this as a business, and my objective -- and I think essential to, you know, this enterprise -- is that this be a real business. Because if it's not a business, then there's no point in doing it. And I don't shy away from that. And, so you know, if, by having familiar people from popular culture integrated within the political content of our magazine -- that is the essence of what the magazine is, and it's the essence of what the thesis behind the magazine is, which is that politics has migrated into the realm of popular culture. And that in order to maintain the attention and the interests of Americans, or viewers, that they have to use the same kind of attention-getting device as popular culture. That politicians have to become personalities, in the show-business sense. And by virtue of the fact that there's been an explosion of media, personalities have an opportunity to become political. And that's really the germ of what George magazine is saying.

And so, to the extent that we have put people on the cover in the past who have not -- you know, in the personality realm, who have not been sufficiently political, I think we've made, perhaps, an error, you know, on one or two covers. You know, I don't want to offend her -- but Charlize Theron I think was arguably one of those. You know, we were doing a thing about America, and sort of American folklore, and whatever, and she was commenting about America. But, you know, Robert Duvall --

BRILL: Except you probably could have gotten a lot of other people to do that.

KENNEDY: Right. Robert Duvall -- I mean, it's a political movie -- you know, that's more.

BRILL: But that sounds like -- just to complete the loop -- that sounds like a politician saying: Listen -- there's no point to any of this if I don't get elected.

KENNEDY: No, because I'm not really -- It would really be unsatisfying to me to have some somber politician on the cover, and like we gather dust in the back of some newsstand somewhere. I mean, if I sell 180,000 copies of a political magazine -- man, I am happy. And so I could do something else, with some like drawing of, you know, Strom Thurmond and sell 20,000, and maybe I'm like serious and consequential in Washington. But, you know, if the people that I'm trying to reach are passing me by, then that's a failure.

POGREBIN: What about Maureen Dowd's quote: Celebrity distorts democracy, by giving the rich, beautiful, and famous more authority than they deserve? The idea that it's one thing to sell magazines -- but to give them a sense of any weight, in terms of what Pamela Lee has to say, is taking it a step further than --

KENNEDY: Maureen Dowd writes, as far as I can tell, mostly about the personal, about celebrity, and about the personally trivial. And it makes for interesting -- The reason why she's interesting is 'cause she writes about the most kind of, you know, provocative personal points of people in politics. And so, I mean, that comment seems sort of freighted with contradiction ... coming, you know, coming from where it does.

BRILL: Let me ask you a little about the business -- we're almost done.

KENNEDY: Sure.

BRILL: How is the business going? What's the renewal rate?

KENNEDY: Our renewal rate is around 57%.

BRILL: You're sure of that.

KENNEDY: I'm roughly sure of that -- 55, 57. 1 know we are the -- I guess I can say this -- we're the highest in Hachette. Car and Driver's 35.

BRILL: That's very good.

KENNEDY: Yeah. Car an Driver's 35, and we're like -- You know, as of like four months ago, we were like 55, 57. Which is pretty good. And if I'm not right about that, I can -- remind me, and I'll --

BRILL: Yeah, we would like to pin that down.

KENNEDY: Didn't we send you a bunch of stuff?

POGREBIN: I think you're going to, but I haven't gotten anything yet.

BRILL: (Off The Record Comment)

* * *

BRILL: Should magazines, newspapers, report about the sex lives of kids of politicians?

(Tape Two Ends, Tape Three Begins)

KENNEDY: I don't know how interesting our sex lives are. (Laughs)

BRILL: You really mean that. You mean that to be your answer?

KENNEDY: I mean, you can put it -- I mean, I think it's a broad question. I think you should give me a context. Because I think, without a context, it's, you know --

BRILL: Eleanor Mondale ... That's the context.

KENNEDY: Listen -- Eleanor Mondale -- I mean, you know, I understand the irony in that story appearing in George. But, you know, that's like kind of a racy, fun story -- and, you know, and something that I would read.

BRILL: And if she called you up -- suppose ______ -- she will. You get a phone call Monday, and she says: How can you, of all people, publish a story like that?

KENNEDY: Well, that's exactly the point. I'd say: Hey, man -- you know, I've been there, and, you know, it ain't as bad as all that. It's a pain in the neck, but, you know ... it ain't as bad as all that. So that's sort of my position on it. I mean, I try to deal with it with some humor and some, you know, some wink and a nudge in that piece. But it's like --

BRILL: I can't wait for that conversation.

POGREBIN: And just 'cause people have mentioned it -- it's not a big part of the piece -- but your editor's note -- the famous editor's note. Is that something that, looking back on it, you would do differently? Or --

KENNEDY: That's our best selling issue -- almost one of our best selling issues ever. I don't think so. I mean, you know, I didn't do that -- you know, I think if --

(break)

KENNEDY: I mean, you know, without being _______ of the letter -- because, hopefully, the letter speaks for itself ... though it was deliberately oblique. I did that because that was something that I wanted to say, and something that I had felt strongly about. And I think that it goes -- it's not all that different from what I say in there. Which is that, you know, we... we judge harshly people in, you know, the public eye for being human. And I think for me to say what I said in the letter without opening myself up to -- That letter -- I mean, the picture had to accompany the letter, because otherwise the letter would have looked like I was being judgmental. And the picture had to accompany the letter, because the picture exposed me, to, you know, to__________.

BRILL: Literally was the thought behind the picture.

KENNEDY: Yes, absolutely.

POGREBIN: That I'm highly vulnerable ________.

KENNEDY: Yeah, If I'm gonna say that, and I'm not going to cast myself out, then I'm doing the exact same thing that I said was, you know, which the thing that bothered me in the letter.

BRILL: Wait, wait, wait. So you're saying that you wanted to, in some way -- in print in a magazine -- emulate the conduct you were criticizing?

KENNEDY: No, no, no, no -- no, no. It's more like ... if I had just written the letter -- it's a little bit like the Maureen Dowd article; it's a little bit like a Maureen Dowd, you know, editorial. With the picture it's -- I mean, one, it was more kind of like: What's going on, you know? And it was not an exhibitionist thing. There are 40 photographers in Hyannis every weekend during the summer that, you know, go after me swimming that are far more revealing. But it was -- and the reason why I talk about myself in the letter was just to, you know, reinforce that I was not exempting myself from what I was talking about.

BRILL: I'm curious _______, since you brought it up. When you had that idea ________, you came into the office _______: I have this really great idea. I'm gonna write this piece attacking my cousins --

KENNEDY: I didn't attack my cousins! No, no, no, no -- you should read it.

BRILL: I'm kidding -- it's not an attack. That is unfair -- it is not an attack at all.

KENNEDY: It really is an attack on ___________.

BRILL: I'm gonna write this piece about --

KENNEDY: About them.

BRILL: And I'm gonna be -- it'll be accompanied with a nude picture of me... Great idea, John.

KENNEDY: Oh, no -- they were horrified. (Laughs) They were horrified.

BRILL: No, but this is really a good idea.

KENNEDY: This is how I have to do it. You know, sometimes you get a very, you know, intuitive, strong sense about -- I mean, you know, that cover itself. Everyone was like: What are you doing?

BRILL: It's the Marilyn Monroe cover.

KENNEDY: Yeah. And, you know, and listen -- I mean, your magazine is obviously a product of some strong opinions that you have. And if a magazine is not reflective of, you know, one person's, you know, soul, then it probably stinks. And sometimes, you know, some issues -- depending on how I'm feeling -- you know, I just kind of like let it loose. I mean, otherwise, what's the point, really, right? I mean, what's the point for me to have a magazine if I'm not gonna, you know, use it? -- you know, in some way that is personal.

BRILL: Is the magazine growing? Do you want to grow with it? I mean, in five years it's gonna have a circulation of what, and who's going to be the editor-in-chief?

KENNEDY: Well, I look at my life in like five-year segments, and I would anticipate that I would be the editor in five years. And, you know, I think the growth of the magazine depends on a lot of factors that are not really in my control. I think that the logical circulation for it is around 700, maybe, maximum -- 750.

BRILL: It doesn't seem to be growing in the last year or so.

KENNEDY: No, no -- it hasn't grown. On newsstands it remains fairly steady. You know, you can buy circulation -- and, you know, that's how The New Yorker grew circulation ___ 30%. And that is a subject of discussion with my partner.

BRILL: Where do you think the circulation has to be -- . Where do you think the circulation has to be for it to break even? Does it have to grow more?

KENNEDY: Yeah, yeah.

BRILL: Five hundred, 600?

KENNEDY: I think around 600, you know. And fairly -- I don't know if we're getting too technical. But, you know, a paid density of at least 60% -- and I think probably a sell-through, a steady sell-through, of about 40%. Yeah. I mean, we have newsstand, which is a good sign of the vitality -- we do okay; we do pretty well. I mean, the advertising side is tough -- it's tough when you have a down month. Like in a January or February when there's not a lot out there. It's tough for us.

POGREBIN: Is the television show real?

KENNEDY: Not yet. (Laughs) That's another -- you know, I think the magazine's now __________.

POGREBIN: Yes.

KENNEDY: I mean, it's somewhat of a smokestack industry. So you have to, you know, use all the _________ that are available. And the Internet is obviously one, and television is another. Now, whether or not --

BRILL: And you're another -- just you, generally.

KENNEDY: Yeah, yeah.

BRILL: And this magazine wouldn't have really gotten off the ground --

KENNEDY: Yeah, yeah -- no, that's true. But, yet, I -- you know. Being editor-in-chief is one thing, being on TV is another.

BRILL: But you prepared to have a magazine ___________, that write stuff _______?

KENNEDY: Well, it has -- it really has. The question is whether or not -- It's an unpleasant but I think necessary part of it. I'm not that -- you know, I don't live in Washington. And I'm not there, so ... luckily it doesn't happen all that often. But it happens sometimes.

BRILL: Would you have the magazine write anything about your uncle? Anything _____ ?

KENNEDY: No, because I'm not impartial about my uncle. I mean, I might have him write ___________ -- like a little ___________. But I -- you know, no one has any illusions that I am impartial about my uncle, and I'm trying to make a general point. I can't be impartial, so I should just stay away from it.

BRILL: What else?

KENNEDY: (Recording unintelligible) (laughs)

BRILL: That took care of the family for a while.

KENNEDY: (Recording unintelligible)

BRILL: Do you thing the magazine's gonna be significantly different in a _________?

KENNEDY: I mean, you know, I feel that we get better. You know, we know what we're doing more. And, you know, I would like to reach the skeptics in Washington. You know, I would like you to say George is a must-read. And I don't have the answer to whether it's possible to be a magazine for the rest of us and the Washington cognoscenti. I think that -- it is possible, I think, to have general interest magazine that is both?

But, you know, I don't know -- it's like having a technical ... it's like having a magazine about a technical subject that is accessible to everybody else and yet is useful to the technicians who use it. I'm not sure that's possible, but I think it's a worthy aspiration. So I would like to be able to bridge both those worlds -- perhaps more than we do now. And I think the election in 2000, obviously -- it's a great time to have a political magazine. There's a lot of competition, certainly, but to the extent that people are gonna be talking about _______ -- it's a wide-open field. And a lot of the people ______ -- it's good for us.

BRILL: You seem not overwhelmingly thrilled about being in the public spotlight. Why do people keep saying that you're gonna run for office?

KENNEDY: (Laughs) I don't know.

BRILL: Do you think you ever will?

(Simultaneous comments)

BRILL: _________ The New Yorker did that like two weeks in a row. They went to a speech for Ted Turner, where Turner said: Someday I'm gonna run --- which he's said about 100 times. And that got _______. And before that they did it in Time ______. So if I can just get you to say _________ --

KENNEDY: Hulk Hogan, you know.

POGREBIN: (Recording unintelligible)

KENNEDY: I don't have an immediate desire to run -- you know, obviously this magazine brings you right up against politics -- and I like that. However, do I feel a frustration about being an observer, not a participant? Sometimes yes. That's my background -- you know, that's what I have in my blood. But, yet, would I want to go in, with the hell that was ______ my life?

BRILL: You weren't at all tempted -- when Moynihan said, I'm not gonna run -- tempted to run against Hillary in the primary?

KENNEDY: Not at this juncture of my life, you know. I just got married.

BRILL: I heard.

KENNEDY: ____________. My wife likes her privacy....

(Tape Three Ends)

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Edited by Greg Burnham, 20 June 2014 - 11:46 AM.
Added content instead of link under Fair Use Exemption--Admin





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