Archive for March 15th, 2005

The Washington Bob

I don’t feel the interview with Radio Liberty went as well as others have. No one called in, whereas usually lots of people call in when I am being interviewed.

I told a lot of jokes, but I could hear the hard edge in my own voice, and that turns people off. People who know me refer to this as “The Washington Bob.” It comes from fifty years in one long, rough, unfair, and vicious fight.

I was raised in rural South Carolina. We always used the term “pushy New Yorkers.” It was as if that were all one word, “pushy New Yorkers.”

One day in 1982 I got a call from my publisher, St. Martin’s Press. The person calling me was sitting on Manhattan Island and I was sitting in my office on Capitol Hill in Washington. I was in the hard Washington environment.

At one point the person sitting on Manhattan Island said, “Don’t be so PUSHY.”

I laughed out loud. I was from Pontiac, South Carolina, and a NEW YORKER was complaining about how PUSHY I was!

The New Yorker asked me what was so funny, and I said, “It would take me a week to explain.”

But my hard edge, from intelligence work, Washington power politics, and fighting alone against the odds has given me a hard edge that sounds ugly, and I know it.

I try to be a laid back Good Old Boy, but all those years and all that confrontation causes the hard edge to come through, even when it shouldn’t. I try hard as I try hard to keep it down. You can’t send a man all around the world to fight hard fights for decades without his developing some crust that is not appealing.

One person said, “New York is a rough town. Washington is a MEAN town.” But I have been in a mean world for many years outside DC, too.

You can listen to the show and tell me if I was too mean, too aggressive.

But always try to keep in mind that that mean old “Washington Bob” was very often the only force the good guys had, and he was just mean enough not to give a damn if anyone didn’t like it.

I have tried to be both a fighter and a diplomat. It doesn’t always work.



Interview at 10 AM

I have not replied to comments, good ones that came in lately — because I am being interviewed by Radio Liberty at 10 AM today.

You can listen in today or hear it later and record it on the same website. We’ll also post the links afterward.

The interview is at 10 AM, but I think it will be broadcast on the web tonight. There is a button “frequencies” that shows all the stations it goes out on, all at different times.
is the live show right now!


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