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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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Session:         Page of 592

Foner:

He says, “I'm interested in this.” He says, “I'd like to do it.” He says, “I'll do it, but not for television. It's not a television program. I'll just do it gratis for you.” I said, “Okay.” Doesn't know what he's in for now. [laugh] I then go to Arthur Carlyle at Columbia, (he's their PR director) and I say, “I got Bill Moyers.” He said, “You got Bill Moyers? Terrific! We'll get the university really interested in this thing.” It gets set up and the more we talk about it, Betsy -- I forget her name -- Betsy McCarthy who's on his staff calls me up and says, “Moe, this is Betsy McCarthy calling for Bill Moyers.” “Yes?” “I'd like to come and meet with you.” “Sure.” “Tell me more about this thing.” So I tell her. “Bill is planning next year's program, and we think that maybe we would like to include this as part of Bill Moyers' journal. So I said, “Well that's good -- great!” I says, “We'll do it at Columbia.” She comes to a lunch meeting we have with Arthur Carlyle at Columbia and he takes us through the place to see the physical facilities -- everything is all set up. We're going to give out tickets to members to get the place, you know, for an audience as well as the public, and it's going to be televised -- national television. That's great.

Except -- now I'm moving ahead a little bit. But when it comes close to the date -- I think it's a January date, I forget what it is -- we're on strike at Columbia University. Right before the strike I'm saying, “Dave, please. Do me a favor. See if you can't settle it without a strike.” The next thing I know we're on strike.

Q:

This is when?

Foner:

This is in January, 1979.

Q:

Who do you have at Columbia?

Foner:

We represent the workers in computers, the library, etcetera. There are about 300 members there, organized following the 1968 thing.

Can't have it there, and I'm really dying -- I'm really dying. I go to people at Columbia. I say, “We'll have to cancel it.” I call Betsy and I say, “I don't know what to do. They just cut my arms off, I can't have the thing.” She says, “Well let's examine it. Can you get two hundred workers to come out on, say, that same date?” I says, “Yes -- why?” “Let's bring them to the Channel 13 studio.” We do it in the studio. They bring all the big blow-ups that they had of King -- [telephone rings. Tape stops and starts] Planned for the visuals huge blow-ups of King in different parts of the hall, you know, for the background of the interview. They put them up on the stage, there. Andy does the interview. Then when the interview is finished he takes questions from



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