News 09/22/99

"Any shaking that you may detect up here has nothing to do with the audience. . . . The doctors tell me it's Parkinson's. I suspect that 52 years in Washington caused it."

Jack Anderson speech, Sept. 22, 1999, Utah State University

America's greatest victory of the 20th century was winning the Cold War without firing a shot, Washington, D.C., investigative journalist Jack Anderson tells 400 Utah State University students in Taggart Student Center. Anderson spoke Sept. 22 as part of the Communication Department's Media & Society Lecture Series. See the text of his remarks, below.
photo by Kate Claflin

Ted Pease:

Good afternoon. My name is Ted Pease. I'm the head of the Communication Department here at Utah State University, andI'm pleased to welcome you to the third event in this year's Media and Society Lecture Series. It is a particular, personal and professional pleasure to introduce today's guest. A lot of people say that so-and-so is a legend, and Jack Anderson will deny this, but he is certainly a legend in journalistic circles, both good and bad, among both journalists and especially the political people he has covered over 50 years in Washington, D.C.

Jack is a member of our advisory board in the Communication Department. A good friend of Utah State University. The founder of the School of Future, which resides in our College of Education. We are real pleased to have him here today.

A couple of words before I turn it over to him, because he won't tell you himself. Jack is a Pulitzer Prize winner. He has written a column in Washington, D.C. that make the strong weak, and the mighty quake.

The Washington Merry-Go-Round for the last 50 years, has been at the top of Washington journalism. He perhaps invented investigative journalism long before either Woodward or Bernstein were even a glint, perhaps, in their parents' eyes.

He has a new book out. His autobiography. That's not why he is here today, but it's convenient. His autobiography, Peace, War and Politics: An Eyewitness Account, will be released next month. I will read a little bit from the back:

"The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist reveals the inside story behind events that shaped America. For more than 50 years, Jack Anderson has been seen as a crusader against corruption. His columns exposing fraud, waste and abuse have shocked the world, and he has become one of the most respected reporters of all times. In Peace, War and Politics, Anderson gives us a through-the-keyhole look at the personal side of many of our country's most controversial figures. Anderson relates countless anecdotes. Some are colorful, some pointed, some funny, some shocking . . . Anderson recounts how he uncovered the truth about the Kennedy assassination, the search for Nazis in South America, broke the Savings and Loan scandal, discovered the Iran arms for hostages scandal, uncovered the mystery of Howard Hughes' death, and more."

We asked him here today to give us the same kind of glimpse behind the headlines and through the keyhole, if you will, looking at both the press and politics in Washington, D.C. It's not a pretty picture, but it is the picture we have, and we have a very apt and expert tour guide on this sordid little tour. Please join me in welcoming my very good friend, Jack Anderson.

Jack Anderson:

I listened to the introduction with grateful embarrassment. It is nice to speak in front of a microphone you can see. Thank you. . . . Any shaking that you may detect up here has nothing to do with the audience. You do not terrify me particularly. The doctors tell me it's Parkinson's. I suspect that 52 years in Washington caused it.

I think it would be appropriate for me to open this lecture by quoting a former president of the United States. We may as well start high, except the president that I'm going to quote is, well, earthy, I should warn you. Let me introduce him to you. Let me introduce him to you with an anecdote that took place when he was vice president. He was presiding over the Senate and he turned the gavel over to a subordinate, to a junior senator, strolled out into the corridor, where I encountered him. I had just a routine question: I wanted to know if the Senate was ready to adjourn for the day. You never got routine answers from Lyndon Johnson. "Well," he said, "Homer Capehart got a bowel pain, and he thinks it's an idea. When he stands, the pain should leave him, so we ought to be out of here soon." Well, that is the way he spoke.

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