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During the campaign of '60, on a Sunday I had a call from Jack Kennedy's father. I had just
come into the house around noon and the phone was ringing and I picked it up and it was Joe
[Joseph P.] Kennedy: very abusive because we had the practice, which I didn't initiate but
which I certainly supported, of switching our correspondents in the middle of a campaign. If
a team covered one candidate up to the halfway point, then we flopped them over and let
them cover the other side. That turnover took place when Jack Kennedy was campaigning in
Minnesota. And I believe that the -- well, there was no believing about it, the reason for the
Kennedy father's call was that that weekend we had switched from one side to the other, and
he was demanding that we keep the correspondents that we had with Jack Kennedy with
Jack Kennedy. And I explained the policy and the reason for it. It made no difference to
him. He wanted what he wanted and that's all there was to it. And threatened me.
Threatened my job, was very abusive.
What power did he have to threaten your job?
Said he had. There were some other instances along the way that took me in the
direction that I finally went.
And -- yes, that was a brutal campaign and my role in it was perhaps was more than justified
by my position at CBS. But I had gotten into the headlines a bit by what I had done by
getting the debate legislation through. And then the first debate was held in our studio in
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