RUSH: Yesterday on CNN’s Newsroom, the host Drew Griffin interviewed Larry King. Larry King just got a lifetime Emmy Award, and he was seen at a New York restaurant running around the restaurant introducing himself to everybody carrying his Emmy and showing it to people. (interruption) Larry King. The guy that wears the suspenders, Snerdley. He had a talk show on CNN. (interruption) He “used to be on TV,” yeah, yeah. He got a lifetime Emmy. A lifetime Emmy. So he was on CNN with Drew Griffin. Who is Drew Griffin? Obviously he’s a CNN anchor. What time is CNN’s Newsroom on? (interruption) Well, it’s a show called Newsroom. Yeah, I don’t know if they actually have a newsroom in the building but they have a show called Newsroom.
Anyway, King was on this, and Griffin said, “You know, Larry, so many people watching this are maybe 26, and they don’t remember how long ago you started.” Uh… (laughing) If there are any 26-year-olds watching CNN, it’s ’cause they don’t have the remote. Ha! (laughing) They can’t find the remote or else they’re at the airport. “You know, Larry, so many people watching this are maybe 26, and they don’t remember how long ago you started — and I don’t mean that negatively,” Larry. I’m not saying you’re Jurassic Park, “but you built a lot of this cable TV news industry.” You did it yourself. “Is there any one moment that sticks out in your mind to be the pinnacle” of your career?
KING: I think the Perot-Gore debate. It was a program that had for the first time ever a sitting vice president debating an ordinary citizen — Algore and Ross Perot going at it — and the House of Representatives passed it. It was gonna lose, and Bill Clinton wrote that “I owe you big time because you changed that vote.” Well, I didn’t change it, the show changed it. That would be the moment.
RUSH: That’s NAFTA. This was the NAFTA debate. If you’re 26, you may not even know what that is. But I remember this. In fact, I remember three or four days after the NAFTA debate on CNN, I was an invited and esteemed guest on 60 Minutes, at the Temple of Dendur at the museum on Fifth Avenue. It was an anniversary show. It was an anniversary dinner for 30 years, 60 years, 100 years, whatever it was of 60 Minutes — and they had a number of people they had profiled, and they let that the 60 Minutes that they were gonna have fireworks ’cause they seated me at the table with Camille Paglia, who is a firebrand art professor, university arts — she’s lesbian — and they thought, they thought that there would be fireworks. I’m sitting there, and Camille Paglia and I got along famously that night.
It was a fun night. But Steve Kroft and Ed Bradley and all these guys kept circle our table during dinner. They just kept waiting for the fireworks, like they’re stroking their chins with knowing smiles on their faces like fireworks were about to erupt. That was only reason I was there: as a circus act. I remember the cocktail party in the Temple of Dendur before we actually went to sit down… (interruption) Well, that was the display, the Temple of Dendur, the museum display. Tom Brokaw came up, and he was beside himself over the ratings that the NAFTA debate got on CNN. It got an 11 or 12, cable numbers. This is ’93, ’94, and cable numbers news numbers had never seen anything that high. Brokaw was around, he couldn’t believe it. I was stunned. But that’s not the only thing. During this debate, the Gore-Perot debate on NAFTA, Algore said something for the ages.
ALGORE 1993: Let me just finish this one point — and distinguished Americans from Colin Powell to Tip O’Neill to Rush Limbaugh…
RUSH: (laughing) That’s 1993, November 9, 1993, I was a distinguished American that night on the show. Yeah. Yeah. Colin Powell, Tip O’Neill, Rush Limbaugh. Yeah, I was a distinguished American that night. Anyway, that’s Larry’s big night.