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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 2, 2010 20 Tamuz 5770

Larry King Leaves the Stage

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Lawrence Harvey Zeiger "was an acne-faced, overweight Jewish kid whose father died, who was on welfare, whose mother spoiled him, and then, in the course of his life, in his mid-20s, he became Larry King."

That is Larry King talking years later, telling a reporter how he created himself out of nothing.

How, as a kid nicknamed the Mouthpiece, he would stand on a Brooklyn street corner and do imaginary radio commentary on the passing traffic. "Here comes a Dodge, now, folks. A big Dodge with whitewalls, New York plates, man in a suit at the wheel and a woman with a hat beside him, yes!" Lawrence Zeiger knew, even as a poor, unattractive kid, that someday he could make people listen to him. That someday he could make people like him.

And he did. He would grow up and become one of the most listened to people in talk radio and then in talk television. He got recognized everywhere he went. He made a ton of money and had sex with many, many women, a bunch of whom he married.

In 1995 and 1996, I spent several days with King in a number of different states for a book I was doing on the 1996 presidential election.

We are in Orlando, Fla., in November 1995, just before a Republican debate that King is hosting. He is in the bedroom of his hotel suite, getting dressed and talking on the phone with Wendy Walker Whitworth, the show's senior executive producer.

The debate, broadcast by CNN, will have commercials, but King is telling Whitworth he doesn't want to interrupt the candidates for commercial breaks if the candidates are really cooking.

"Don't let time interrupt quality," King says. "I won't interrupt Buchanan saying, 'I think Dole should be shot.'"

Which is an interesting concept of quality.

His first senior executive producer, Tammy Haddad, engineered his transformation from radio to TV and tried to make things comfortable for him. King was used to bending over a microphone, which is why his TV show had an old-fashioned microphone on the desk in front of him. And, since leaning over made his shirt balloon out from his chest, Haddad first put him in sweater vests and then switched him to suspenders, which became his trademark.

There is a certain purity to King's ego. He talks about himself all the time. "I'm like Segovia with a violin," he says and yawns in my face. He does not say excuse me.

We get into a huge stretch limousine to go over to the convention hall, which is next door, a three-minute ride away. His energy level is up now. He is getting nearer to airtime. He strides into the building. He is pumped. You can hear it in his voice. He is all shtick now, shouting, mugging, singing Cole Porter and Frank Sinatra medleys.

He goes into the nearby CNN workspace, walks over to his area, sits down and takes a new pair of shoes out of a box. "On stage, you don't want dirty soles when you cross your legs," he says. "It looks terrible."

You know all the tricks, I say.

"I could announce for office tonight," he says.

King walks into the makeup room, where a woman takes a sponge and applies heavy make-up to his face, erasing a road-map of wrinkles. She leans over to touch up a spot on his forehead and King burps loudly in her face. He doesn't say excuse me.

"You know the good thing about burping?" he asks. "It makes you feel better."

It is February 1996, in Des Moines, Iowa. It is 2 degrees outside. King sits at a long table at a pricey downtown restaurant that specializes in huge slabs of meat too large for any normal person to consume. Though there are network TV anchors and presidential candidates in the room, King is the center of attention.

People, strangers, come up to King and all do the same thing: They touch him. They put an arm on his shoulder, pat him, grasp him, make contact as if they actually knew him. He is a celebrity, but he belongs to them. He is their creation. "It doesn't bother me anymore," he tells me later. "You come into their homes, they figure they know you."

Earlier in the day, he had gone to a movie (since he never prepares in advance for the show, he has nothing to do during the days) and had set off a frenzy of people rushing up to him for autographs. "They weren't prepared for a celebrity at the movie," he says. "The place went crazy."

King turns to me. "Sixty thousand a speech, that's what I get," he says. Then he laments how much time it takes to fly around the country to make all these speeches.

So why do it? I ask. You don't need the money.

He shrugs. "I get out, I get to meet people," he says.

It is a few weeks later, and Larry King is sitting in a grim hotel suite a few miles south of Manchester, N.H. He is wearing a casual shirt and black denim pants. It is late morning, he has gone to breakfast, he has read the papers (he actually keeps up on current events), it is something like 10 hours before his show, and he has nothing to do.

Pat Buchanan is the big story in New Hampshire, but the show can't get Pat Buchanan. This didn't used to happen. Being on Larry King was a big, big deal, and candidates would never refuse. But a strange new dynamic seems to be developing, and King does not like it: Candidates are stiffing the show. They are organizing their own media events — events they can strictly control.

While King is often criticized for asking softball questions, candidates don't even want softballs these days. During the 1996 campaign, Bob Dole will organize his own "town hall" meetings, where friendly audience members will ask friendly questions. It is the Larry King show without Larry King.

I ask King about his success. Is it because your taste is in sync with a majority of the American people? I ask.

"Or they're in sync with me," he says.

Until they weren't any more. Until time and tastes moved on. Until people wanted hot-button talk shows with insults and attitude. Which was not Larry King. And so he decides to retire because the rating are way down, and he is too old to change, and he does not want to change.

He does not want to shout and insult. All he wants to do is be liked. All he ever wanted to do was be liked. Forever. Why was that so very difficult?

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