Discussing on C-SPAN’s Booknotes last Sunday night his new book about his career, 60 Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt disclosed he voted for Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Gore, conceded that he and correspondent Steve Kroft knew Bill and Hillary Clinton “were lying” about Gennifer Flowers during the Super Bowl night 60 Minutes appearance and, that in the midst of the 1992 interview, James Carville arrived and began sobbing: “Oh I love them, I love those people, I love them so much, I love them.” Plus: Hewitt acknowledged that Dan Rather “likes” Bill Clinton.
Hewitt appeared on the April 1 Booknotes to talk with Brian Lamb about his book, Tell Me a Story: 50 Years & 60 Minutes in Television. Following are his most noteworthy comments from the interview.
Hewitt’s presidential voting record. Brian Lamb pointed out: “You tell us in the book that you voted for Eisenhower, you voted for Humphrey, then you voted for Nixon over McGovern. You tell us that you voted for Ronald Reagan twice, Clinton first; the first time around. You voted for Bush,”
Don Hewitt interrupted: “No, I voted for Bush, and then I voted for Clinton over I guess Dole.”
Lamb: “And you voted for Bush over Dukakis.”
Hewitt: “Yeah, sure.”
Lamb: “But then in the end you voted for Gore.”
Hewitt: “But I wasn’t too sure.”
CBS knew the Clintons were lying while James Carville was crying. Hewitt recounted how he first encountered Carville during the famous 60 Minutes interview with Bill and Hillary aired after the 1992 Super Bowl:
“James Carville, to show you how down the middle I am, I have never heard James Carville, on this side, or Robert Novak on that side, say anything I agree with. So you know where I am. Neither one of them has ever said one word that I agreed with.
“Carville. Carville comes, we’re doing an obscure Governor named Bill Clinton from Arkansas and his wife Hillary who nobody had ever heard of, at the Ritz hotel in Boston because he wants time to explain Gennifer Flowers. Which, he came there to set the record straight, and he set the record crooked. And we’re in that room about an hour, and I knew he was lying and she knew he was lying, and Steve Kroft knew they were lying, and in the middle of it, this Carville, this funny looking duck arrives, and he plunks himself down in the control room, like a groupie following a couple of rock stars, and he starts nattering to himself and actually sobbing, ‘Oh I love them, I love those people, I love them so much, I love them,’ and I said, ‘will somebody shut this guy up, or get him the hell out of here?’ I tried to get a cop to throw him out. I think he reported me to Hillary. I think I’ve been on report ever since. I am persona non-grata with Hillary Clinton, as all 60 Minutes is, and quasi persona non-grata with Bill Clinton.”
That’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Dan Rather’s affection for Bill Clinton. Asked by Lamb if he’d provide 60 Minutes air time for a Clinton interview, Hewitt deferred: “He’s going to do something with somebody. My guess is he may do it with Dan Rather. He likes Dan, and Dan likes him, I think.”
Rather’s record confirms Hewitt’s observation.