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Now, Magnuson later became President pro tem of the Senate from the State of Washington.
Magnuson was the chairman above Pastore. Pastore was chairman of the subcommittee on
communications; Magnuson was chairman of the Senate commerce committee, which had a
lot of agencies under surveillance, and a very key person. I had said to Johnson that I was
going to go see him, and I guess almost said how well did he know him or something like
that. Of course, Johnson was the kind of guy who would make it a point to know everybody
who was important. He told me about “Maggie,” (he called him “Maggie,” I guess that was
the first time I talked to anybody who called him “Maggie”), and told me that there were
some things about him that I should know; that he was a womanizer (strange, with what's
going on now!), that he was one who could hit the bottle pretty hard, and that I should see
him in the morning, not after lunch. But, that he was one hell of a guy, that if he said
something was going to happen, it was going to happen. Now, that was important to know.
So, then I sort of took up with “Maggie.” In fact, when he was married, I didn't go but we
knew the woman he was marrying and he asked me privately, “Maggie” did, as one of the
outsiders, to come to the wedding (only a handful of people went to the wedding). So, that's
how well I got to know Maggie as a result of the introduction I got from Lyndon Johnson.
But, that was part and parcel of the job, keeping close to what was going on. For two
reasons: To protect the company's interests, and to be on top of the news.
Robert Dallek, in his new book, Lone Star Rising [Lyndon Johnson and His Times], which
is a history of Lyndon Johnson's rise to power, suggests that Johnson had a lot of strong
connections with the FCC and a lot of power to advance his own business interests. He
suggests that it was unusual that Austin was granted only one VHF license in 1952. Do you
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