Tags: larryking | conservatives | host | broadcaster | obit

Why Conservatives Loved Larry King

(Newsmax TV/"The Count")

By    |   Sunday, 24 January 2021 09:55 AM

The passing of talk show legend Larry King, 87, has left politics and the media waxing nostalgic, when conservatives and liberals alike could be interviewed on the same show and come away holding similar respect for the conversationalist that just carried it.

"I wish that all TV journalists and interviewers would take Larry King lessons, because he was the best in that he would ask a question and then let you answer," Pat Boone, singer, a Republican and famously King's very first interview, told Saturday's "The Count" on Newsmax TV. "He didn't interrupt you. He didn't interject his own thoughts, or his own feelings.

"He let you talk and then he would ask you questions based on what you had said. And it was really less an interview and more a conversation, which made everybody comfortable and love it."

Even conservatives liked the longtime CNN host King, whose sendoff this weekend was fit for one, particularly since he told the truth like saying his former employer: "CNN not a news network."

Conservative actress Kirstie Alley tweeted:

"RIP Larry King.. one of the only talk show hosts who let you talk. LegendaryRed heartFolded hands"

King showed no political bias, he let the public figure speak freely, did not inject himself into the conversation, was not there to drop the modern time's "gotcha" question, and famously said he never over-prepared for an interview.

"I don't pretend to know it all," the nonconfrontational, relaxed, and relatable King told The Associated Press in 1995. "Not, 'What about Geneva or Cuba?' I ask, 'Mr. President, what don't you like about this job?' Or 'What's the biggest mistake you made?' That's fascinating."

Past Presidents Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama to Donald Trump all felt comfortable at King's proverbial coffee table.

King, so masterful in his spontaneously unscripted questioning, even got Nixon to crack a Watergate joke.

"Is it hard for you to ride past Watergate?" he asked Richard Nixon.

"Well, I've never been to the Watergate," Nixon responded with a smile. "Other people were in there, though, unfortunately."

Republican Vice Presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney were not treated as easily. In the same breath after thanking Cheney, King noted his guests next week would be the Muppets.

But Quayle was made comfortable enough to come out to support a hypothetical abortion if his daughter decided to have one.

"What if your daughter grew up, had a problem, came to you with that problem all fathers fear, how would you deal with it?" King asked, per The Washington Post.

"Well, it is a hypothetical situation, and I hope I never do have to deal with it, but obviously I would counsel her and talk to her and support her on whatever decision she'd make," Quayle replied.

"And if the decision was abortion, you'd support her?" King asked.

"I'd support my daughter," Quayle replied.

Despite the politics, and the network, King did not scare conservatives away.

Greta Van Susteren tweeted:

"So few tv hosts can do their jobs like #larryking ...you could not tell what his politics were ...he let his guests answer the questions...and he thought his guest the 'stars' and not himself..he profiled his guests,didn't talk about himself.

Susteren added:

I was always so flattered when #LarryKing would ask me to guest host for him..he was SUCH a great tv host..best ever..you never knew his politics

Libertarian warrior Wayne Allen Root knew King's politics, "a big liberal," but he respected it, tweeting:

"So sad Larry King passed away. We always had fun debates on his show. He was big liberal. He always kidded me about being the only Republican Jewish guest on his show. We laughed about it. He was always nice to me. That was before Republicans & Democrats hated each other!"

He was fair to both sides, even getting former President George H.W. Bush to attack Bill Clinton's anti-American protests, Newsweek remembered:

"President Bush had been on 'Larry King Live' the night before, and during the interview Bush had said that he was bothered by Clinton's actions during the Vietnam War: 'Maybe I'm old-fashioned, Larry,' he said. 'But to go to a foreign country and demonstrate against your own country, when your sons and daughters are dying halfway around the world? I'm sorry, I just don't like it. I think it is wrong.'"

"He had such a rapport with people," Nancy Grace said. "I don't know if anyone could measure up to his style of interview. He set the bar for many, many other people.

"He wanted to go out with a clean slate in his mind and ask the interviewee questions off the top of his head, questions like anyone who met that person on the street would want to know."

The knock was always he was a softball interviewer, but he did what it took to talk to the leaders on all sides of politics and pop culture, from Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to the Dalai Lama, Elizabeth Taylor, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lady Gaga, and Madonna.

"The rap on Larry was that he was a 'softball' interviewer: That is grossly unfair," Catholic League President Bill Donohue wrote. "It would be more accurate to say he didn't insult his guests they way so many commentators do today. His job was to draw his guests out — not to put them in their place."

He even drew a presidential campaign announcement out of billionaire H. Ross Perot in 1992.

"The age of Larry King on talk show television was its golden age of neutrality, objectivity and fun," self-proclaimed liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz wrote. "He brought the country together at a time when it was beginning to divide.

"Over the past four years, we needed Larry King on network television, but there was no room for a man of his unbiased objectivity. Instead, we get partisan zealots who deny us the ability to hear and see both sides of any story.

"If there is a heaven, Larry will be interviewing God, Jesus, Moses, Mohammad, and every other interesting denizen of the hereafter. I will miss Larry. So will the entire world."

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The passing of talk show legend Larry King, 87, has left politics and the media waxing nostalgic, when conservatives and liberals alike could be interviewed on the same show and come away holding similar respect for the conversationalist that just carried it....
larryking, conservatives, host, broadcaster, obit
1090
2021-55-24
Sunday, 24 January 2021 09:55 AM
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