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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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us at the White House for dinner. A stag dinner. This was in the days when you didn't try to be politically correct. He leaned back and was talking about the problems he was having, etc. I've forgotten what it was he got into, and I was dying to find some way to get it out in the open, for News. It was a Sunday night, I remember so clearly, the dinner went quite late and Ike was in a very talkative mood. He talked about his paintings and he talked about a lot of his personal affairs, etc. He bared his soul to this group, and in the process got into something that had to do with a sensitive area that was in the news. What he was disclosing was something that, certainly, I didn't know, and I was hoping there was some way he would take the embargo off of it, so the public could know about it. I picked up Time magazine the following week, and there was a little box on the front page in the first section, disclosing the thing that Ike had talked about. Harry [Henry] Luce was sitting two seats removed from me, so I knew he was there and I knew, presumably, that he had done what I didn't do, which was to tell his people about it.

I had lunch with Harry around a week after the Time piece ran, and we talked a little bit about the dinner. I said, “Jesus, you know, did the White House crawl all over you for that box that Time ran?” He said, “I wrote that myself. I went right back to our bureau in Washington after that dinner and I typed that note myself. So, nobody gets blamed for that except me. I work on the basis that unless I'm told I can't use it, I use it.” He was, in effect, chiding me for not having gotten it to our news organization. I was chicken, I just didn't do it, and I'm not sure that Luce wasn't breaking the rules of the dinner party in talking about it. But, it was an interesting anecdote of somebody from journalism taking this story and running with it. But, I had no idea that he wrote the piece himself, and he ordered the piece in the magazine.

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