SO YOUR ADVICE to Obama is to start watching Maury. Darn right! Darn right! Because they’re not getting it! If you want to criticize my show and you think I’m exploiting and all that, okay, fine. But if you don’t think these issues are real, you’re kidding yourself.
What does your wife think of all this? Does she ever turn to you at the dinner table and say, “Honey, you were a bit tough on that woman who took 24 DNA tests and still couldn’t find the father of her child”? [Laughs] Connie is respectful of what I do. And she better be! [laughs] She judges me by my full body of work.
You sponsor an endowment and scholarships at Penn. Considering your continued relationship with the university, do you think they just haven’t seen the show? Otherwise, they’d nip those scholarships in the bud. [Laughs] Because I’m dumbing down the population of the university? Oh my God, I haven’t thought about it that way! It’s a whole new concern of mine — am I dumbing down the college audience of this country?
Sorry to burden you with that, Maury. So tell me about your days at KYW in the early ’80s. Lots of booze, broads, and the occasional knife fight? Wow! Were you there? I was single, I lived at 4th and Arch, I walked to work. It was the best time of my life. We were on call 24 hours a day. It was all about getting the story and getting it first. It was very competitive but also very collegial.
Ever challenge Jim Gardner to a duel? No, we were very friendly. When Larry Kane moved from Channel 6 to New York, I was working in Washington, and Jimmy saw me walk through the Channel 6 newsroom to interview for the main anchor job. Jimmy thought I was going to prevent him from getting the job, but he got it. I said, “Jimmy, I wasn’t ready to be an anchorperson. You were.”
Wow. If they had hired you, the Action News motto would be “If it breeds, it leads”! So now that you’re almost 70, any retirement plans? No. I have such a good time doing it. This is our 18th year. That is some run. There’s no end date in sight.