March 19, 2012 (American Mercury edition)
Q: In the early years, MTP viewers were asked for their feedback on interviews. If their letter was selected as one of five best, they won what?”
A: A year-long subscription to American Mercury magazine, or $25
One of the most famous Meet the Press radio and television moderators began his broadcast career as a side project to promote a magazine. Before he started Meet the Press, Lawrence Spivak worked for many years as a print journalist at American Mercury magazine. Spivak had joined the magazine early in his career, and had bought it from its publishers twice, eventually acting as both the executive editor and the publisher. In 1945, Spivak decided to start a radio show featuring dramatized articles from American Mercury to boost subscriptions. Meet the Press was born when Spivak and collaborator Martha Rountree realized that they needed a more engaging platform to promote their work, with live interviews and more reporters. They ended up pitching their idea for an on-air press conference to Mutual Broadcasting System, which agreed to sponsor the show along with American Mercury.
Spivak wanted to keep his audience engaged with Meet the Press and its “newsmen.” He used his magazine to a contest encouraging viewers to write into Meet the Press with their critiques of the program. The Meet the Press editorial board would then pick the five best letters, and the winner would win a year’s subscription to American Mercury. In some shows the listener would be offered a 25 dollar cash reward instead of the subscription. You can listen to Meet the Press’ announcement of the contest in a 1947 radio show in the clip below. American Mercury was also known for its fierce independent streak, which Spivak intended to bring to Meet the Press. Many of MTP’s early radio shows began with an introduction reminding the audience that the program came from “the editors of one of America’s most fearless, outspoken, and stimulating magazines.” Included in the audio clip below is another classic soundbite from a 1950 interview of Democratic Senator Millard Tydings. The MTP radio announcer began the show by telling listeners – and warning his guest -- that they were about to hear “an unrehearsed and spontaneous press conference, as four of the country’s ace reporters fire questions at Senator Millard E. Tydings.” Listen on PRESS Pass to hear more from the collaboration between Meet the Press and American Mercury.
March 12, 2012 (Southern edition)
Q: Barry Goldwater questioned the Southerness of who, saying “when he’s in my country he talks like a Westerner, and when he is down in Alabama, he says you-all.”
A: President Lyndon Johnson
Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater appeared on Meet the Press the Sunday after declaring he would seek the Republican nomination for the 1964 Presidential Election. He would go on to win the nomination and challenge President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the general election. The Meet the Press panelists questioned Goldwater about his views of Johnson's recent policies since he had become President after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Despite his famously conservative views, Goldwater avoided attacking the Democratic president directly. He even praised him on some of some of his actions handling the USSR, and did not harshly criticize the Kennedy administration’s controversial use of troops to desegregate public schools. But there was one issue Goldwater could not resist.
The Senator became more heated as the journalists’ questions turned towards his chances in the general election, which many considered to be slim. He finally attacked the President on the issue of Johnson's claim to the country’s Southern states. MTP panelist Marianne Means of King Features Syndicate asked, "Senator, what states in the South do you realistically think you can carry against the first Southerner in the White House in a hundred years?" Goldwater responded that he doubted Johnson was a true Southerner, claiming he changed his tune to suit his constituency: "He is from Texas, and when he is out in my country he talks like a Westerner, and when he is down in Alabama, he says you-all. So I don't know what he is yet."
You can watch Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign Meet the Press interview on PRESS Pass.
March 5, 2012 (Ohio edition)
Q: The first MEET THE PRESS from Ohio featured “the most peaceful-looking man to ever raise the blood pressure of a radio station operator.” Who was it?
A: FCC Commissioner Clifford Durr
Before it became the world’s longest-running network television program, Meet the Press was a radio-only ‘press conference of the air,’ beginning in 1945. Meet the Press featured radio industry journalists in a special show in May of 1947 live from Ohio, where members of the industry were gathered for the 17th Institute of Education by Radio. That day's program welcomed a government official who had more of a direct effect on the panel’s journalists than most: the Federal Communications Commission’s Clifford Durr. Durr was a distinguished lawyer who served as FCC Commissioner in the 1940s. He eventually quit the FCC, and would go on to be a prominent civil rights lawyer, famously working with Rosa Parks in later year. During his time as Commissioner, however, Durr was viewed warily by many in the radio business because of his view that the government needed to have more involvement in the regulation and programming of public radio. At the time of his MTP appearance, radio stations across the country were shaken by the FCC’s ‘Blue Book’ – a report that said public stations’ licenses could come under consideration if they did not pursue enough public interest programming and remove their ‘superfluous advertising.’ Moderator Albert Warner joked to his listeners as Meet the Press began, “You've heard already that Mr. Durr is a controversial figure, but as he sits here, he is the most peaceful-looking man ever to raise the blood pressure of a radio station operator.”
The tone of the program became more serious, as the journalists on the Meet the Press panel quizzed Durr on his oversight of radio news. Durr maintained that everything he was doing was in the interest of public radio, but the panel, particularly MTP co-founder Lawrence Spivak, continued to question whether the FCC’s oversight would develop into censorship. Spivak ended the program by challenging Durr’s belief that all views should be represented on radio: “Do you think that the stations ought to be made to give the time to Communists to express their point of view, or atheists, let us say?” Moderator Warner had to cut off the contentious exchange as the program went over its time limit. He ended by summing up the concerns of all the journalists present: “I'm sure you've made your point, Mr. Durr …The serious question is raised here again as to whether there should be continuous suggestion and control from a governmental agency or dependence upon the intelligence and self-interest of radio personnel.” You can listen to the Meet the Press radio interview with FCC Commissioner Clifford Durr in the 1947 audio clip on PRESS Pass.
February 27, 2012 (Michigan edition)
Q: Who was the first guest to appear both as a reporter and later as a political officeholder?
A: Senator Blair Moody (D-MI)
Michigan Senator Blair Moody has gone down in Meet the Press record books for a unique feat: he was the first guest to appear on the program as a journalist and later as a political officeholder. Moody was a reporter for over twenty years before his headline appearance on Meet the Press -- as a foreign correspondent during World War II and later the Washington correspondent for his native Detroit News. When he became a senator, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described Moody as “one of the few genuine, honest-to-goodness working newspapermen … a major leaguer in the business” – a reputation that Moody bore out on Meet the Press in the 1940s. During his Meet the Press reporting days he was an outspoken member of the panel, often using his knowledge of Washington to sharply question the political guests on the issues. In his last turn as a reporter on the program, Moody got into an exchange with Senator Theodore Green of the Foreign Relations Committee about the McCarthy investigations. You can watch a clip from the 1950 interview below.
Less than a year later, Moody found himself on the other side of the Meet the Press panel. On April 22, 1951, Michigan Governor Mennen Williams appointed Moody to the Senate as a Democrat to fill the seat of the late Arthur H. Vandenberg. The month after he took the seat, the new Senator, in the words of moderator Lawrence Spivak, would “see what it is like to receive a few questions” on Meet the Press. Spivak noted ominously at the beginning of the show, “One thing is certain about a newspaperman. He is on the record over a long period of time.” And the reporters on the Meet the Press panel went on to hold their former colleague to his record and press him with questions for the rest of the program. But the first question of the 1951 show was an unusual one. Reporter Joseph Harsch of the Christian Science Monitor said that before “we get into serious things very quickly,” he had a question for Moody that he had always wanted to know and never had a chance to ask: “what happens in the Senatorial cloakrooms between Senators when there are no newspapermen around?”
Watch Senator Moody’s response, as well as his discussion with Spivak about newspapermen in the Senate on PRESS Pass.
February 20, 2012 (John Glenn edition)
Q: John Glenn is in space record books. In MTP records, he’s 4th behind what three politicians for longest time spans between first and last appearances?
A: Edward Kennedy, Ralph Nader, and Dick Lugar
This week marks 50 years since John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth. Glenn is in the Meet the Press record books as well; the 39-year timespan between his first and last appearances on the program is one of the longest in Meet the Press history. There are only three politicians ahead of him: Edward Kennedy, Ralph Nader, and Dick Lugar.
John Glenn first appeared on Meet the Press in April of 1963, the year after that historic orbit around earth on the Friendship 7 space flight. Glenn was at the time a key part of the country’s project to get a man on the moon by the end of the decade, which President John F. Kennedy had famously introduced two years before. The probability of reaching the moon seemed anything but certain in 1963, and MTP panelist Lawrence Spivak asked: “You have risked your life, and you have devoted your energy and your time in this race to get to the moon. Are you I yourself convinced beyond question that it is worth doing?” Glenn replied that he was, and that reaching the moon would be worthwhile for the country’s future. The panel also quizzed Glenn, who would go on to become a Senator for Ohio, about the rumors in Washington of his plans for a future political career, including a run for Vice President.
In a lighter moment, journalist William Baggs noted that “like most of us – except Mr. Spivak,” the astronauts from the Friendship 7 orbit were getting older. Glenn responded that age should not prevent anyone from going to space “as long as we stay in good shape and can keep qualified.” Thirty nine years later, in his most recent Meet the Press appearance in 2003, Glenn held to that philosophy: the 81-year old told Tim Russert that if he were asked to go on another shuttle trip, “I’d be down there tomorrow morning.”
You can watch video from John Glenn’s first and last Meet the Press programs in the clip on PRESS Pass.
February 13, 2012 (Valentine and Budget Edition)
Q: During the 1980s budget battles, what GOP Senator said he wouldn’t “cuss” on the air because he promised his wife he would clean up his language?
A: Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ)
Today marks the 100th birthday of the state of Arizona, whose famous son Barry Goldwater was a frequent Meet the Press guest during his career in Washington. MTP moderators Marvin Kalb and Roger Mudd opened one of those programs, in January of 1985, with an introduction that sounds familiar today – Kalb outlined the battle on Capitol Hill over the country’s huge budget deficit and said “it will take not only economic wisdom, but political courage to tackle and solve that problem, and Washington these days has run up its own big deficits on both of those qualities.” Goldwater was at the time the new chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and one of the most prominent conservatives in the budget fight. On Meet the Press he stood by his controversial statement that to tackle the budget, instead of cutting the military, all Americans should “lower their sights and their way of living.” Kalb and Mudd also pressed him to say whether he believed ‘in his heart’ that the country’s deficit would ever truly be wiped out – you can see his response in the clip below.
Goldwater was known as a fiery and outspoken voice on Capitol Hill. As the program began, Mudd played a soundbite of the Goldwater saying that the deficit “scared the hell” out of him, and said he hoped the Senator would not “cuss” on the air. Goldwater responded, “I promised my wife I would clean up my language.” Watch the clip on PRESS Pass.
February 06, 2012 (Super Bowl and the moon edition)
Q: On Superbowl 'I' Sunday what newbee Senator said “getting to the moon is important, but solving problems on earth are more important"?
A: January 15th, 1967 was the very first Super Bowl Sunday. It was also the second Sunday after the newly elected class of 1966 Senators were sworn into the 90th Congress.
That morning, Meet the Press featured its usual political fare - airing a special one-hour program with five new Republican senators. One of the standout guests was Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, the first African American to be elected to the United States Senate by popular vote. He was then a newcomer to Capitol Hill, but would go on to have a distinguished career in Washington. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the body's highest prize, by President Obama in 2009, and today is the longest living Republican senator.
On Meet the Press, Brooke spoke about America's aspirations to reach the moon, saying that though he had recently been appointed to the Senate’s Space Committee, "I certainly think getting to the moon is important, but I think solving the problems on earth are more important." Naturally for Meet the Press, the program then moved on to presidential politics and the Republican primary. Watch the clip on PRESS Pass to see what Senator Brooke had to say about the father of another prominent Massachusetts Republican -- GOP presidential contender George Romney.
January 29, 2012(Florida edition)
Q: What Florida Senator, when asked at the start of the show, "are you ready to meet the press?" replied, "I suppose I'm as ready as I will be."
A: Meet the Press’s long history of interviewing senators on Sunday mornings began on November 27, 1947, with Florida Sen. Claude Pepper, the first to appear on the program. Pepper was a prominent Democrat in the Senate whom the Meet the Press announcer introduced as a politician with “a reputation for eloquence and loyalty to the leaders of his party.‿ Pepper had gained national attention earlier that year for a Senate investigation into the airline contracts of infamous filmmaker and aviator Howard Hughes (you can read more about Pepper’s work in the Senate through the Claude Pepper library at Florida State University). The open of the 1947 program set the stage for the grilling that Pepper would receive; as the announcer introduced the Meet the Press panel, he warned “If the questions seem pointed at times, well, that's the only way to get a pointed answer‿ and noted that the Senator had “accepted the challenge of the press.‿ When producer Martha Rountree asked Pepper if he was ready to ‘meet the press’ for the first time, the Senator replied “I suppose I'm as ready as I will be.‿ Only audio exists of the program today; you can listen to the 1947 opening and the introduction of Senator Pepper below. December 11, 2011
December 12, 2011 (Hollywood edition)
Q: What recently honored actress says to her leading man on the big screen, "I saw you on Meet the Press?" Name the actress and the film.
A: Meryl Streep in "Heartburn."
"I saw you on Meet the Press."
That was one of Meryl Streep’s famous early lines in the 1986 movie “Heartburn.” The film was written by Norah Ephron and based on her novel of the same name. A few years before she wrote the book, Ephron had ended her marriage with Carl Bernstein, one half of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that exposed the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration. "Heartburn," directed by Mike Nichols, chronicled the ups and downs of the marriage of a fictional couple – a thinly veiled account of Ephron’s own relationship -- with Jack Nicholson in the role of the Bernstein stand-in.
Woodward and Bernstein’s first appearance on Meet the Press was on April 18, 1976, just after their book “All the President’s Men” had been made into a movie. But the two faced tough questions from their fellow journalists on the Meet the Press panel on a different work: their new book “The Final Days” – an account of the end of the Nixon administration. The book was controversial because it had few direct quotations from administration members, instead relying mostly on anonymous sources. Jack Nelson of the Los Angeles Times told both men that many members of the press were disturbed by the methodology used for the book’s reporting – and questioned whether such “new journalism” was healthy for an already-skeptical public. Both denied the “new journalism” charge, and Bernstein shot back to the MTP panel: “In fact, the real similarity is to be seen in your own stories” – because of Washington journalists’ use of anonymous sources.
The interview ended on a lighter note however, as Bernstein, Woodward, and MTP Moderator Bill Monroe all admitted that it had been very difficult to get the journalists to appear on the receiving end of a Meet the Press interview. Monroe also asked the two men whether it had been a challenge to adapt to the new celebrity status that their involvement in the Watergate scandal had created. Watch Woodward and Bernstein’s reaction to the question – as well as their full exchange with Nelson about “new journalism."
December 4, 2011
Q: Stalin's daughter died last week at 85. She was a guest in 1969. Post-show, she lunched with the daughter of which U.S. president?
A: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt.
Josef Stalin’s only daughter, who died last week at the age of 85, spoke out about the late dictator in a rare and famous Meet the Press interview in September of 1969. Svetlana Alliluyeva, later known as Lana Peters, appeared on the program two years after she had made the United States her new home. MTP moderator Lawrence Spivak was so worried that Alliluyeva would back out of her performance that he had the high-profile guest stay at his apartment before the program. After the interview, Spivak and his wife threw a lunch party in her honor. Other attendees included Senator Eugene McCarthy, historian Eric Goldman, and one guest who threatened to steal Alliluyeva’s spotlight: Alice Longworth, the eighty-five-year-old daughter of Teddy Roosevelt. According to the biography "Princess Alice: The Life and Times of Alice Roosevelt Longworth" by Carol Felsenthal, Spivak later recalled that Alliluyeva was bewildered by the attention showered on the late President’s daughter, asking “what hasshe ever done?”
While on Meet the Press, the daughter whom Stalin had once called his “little sparrow” strongly condemned her father’s policies and pleaded for the Soviet Union to abandon Communism. But, as MTP host Edwin Newman pointed out in an op-ed years later, she seemed conflicted and reluctant to criticize her father on a personal level. Watch the clip to see her response to Spivak’s questions Stalin and his ambitions for expansion in Europe. And to learn more about Svetlana Alliluyeva’s extraordinary life, you can read her obituary from the New York Times.
November 27, 2011
Q: Tom Wicker of the New York Times died this week. He was a panelist on MTP 16 times. His first time was in 1963, questioning the GOP stars of what Capitol Hill "show?"
A: Sen. Everett Dirksen and Rep. Charles Halleck
Famed New York Times journalist Tom Wicker, who died last Friday at the age of 85, appeared on Meet the Press sixteen times during his journalism career. His first appearance on the Meet the Press panel was February 3, 1963. That program featured the stars of another Washington “show” – Republican leaders Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois and Representative Charles Halleck of Indiana. While they held the top leadership posts in the GOP, the two men held weekly meetings of the” Senate-House Republican Leadership” followed by a joint press conference in an effort to unify the GOP and draw media attention away from Democrats. The press labeled these appearances “the Ev and Charlie show” – and later the “Ev and Jerry” show after Gerald Ford replaced Halleck as the House Republican leader. When the Meet The Press panel quizzed Dirksen about his leadership strategy and his “show” with Halleck, he said “we don’t mind the appellation, because I think we were tagged with it in the belief that perhaps they could laugh this performance off the air.”
You can read more about the history of the “Ev and Charlie show” via the Dirksen Congressional Center. Later in the program, Wicker used his inaugural MTP appearance to press Dirksen on Republican party politics, asking him how much the GOP presidential nomination would be worth after recent losses in the House. Watch the Senator’s heated response, as well as more of the “Ev and Charlie” joint Meet The Press appearance.
And you can read the New York Times’ obituary of Tom Wicker here.
November 20, 2011(Audio daily double)
Q: This ad ran on MTP Thanksgiving day in 1947. Listen to the excerpt and name the sponsor.
A: Maxwell House Coffee.
Meet The Press’ Thanksgiving Day show of 1947 featured a holiday-themed commercial by a key MTP sponsor. A few tough questions into the program, producer and moderator Martha Rountree announced that she would give the guest Sen. Claude Pepper (D-FL) and the MTP panel (aka“newsmen”) a few moments to catch their breath before proceeding. She then ran the special Thanksgiving edition commercial by Maxwell House Coffee, which reminded Americans to think of those less fortunate during Thanksgiving holiday. The coffee maker was an advertiser on Meet the Press for much of its early run and had a key role in its development: when Rountree and co-producer Lawrence Spivak decided Meet the Press was ready for the move from radio to television in 1947, Maxwell House sponsored the broadcast on the NBC TV network.
You can listen to the full 1947 commercial – with Martha Rountree’s introduction – in thisaudio clip.
November 13, 2011 (LBJ tapes edition)
Q: Who briefed Sen. Thomas Dodd about Communist agitators in the Dominican Republic prior to his Meet the Press appearance in 1965?
A: FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
Senator Thomas Dodd (D-CT) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confidently asserted on Meet the Press May 2, 1965 a connection between the Communists stirring up trouble in the Dominican Republic and their desire to divide U.S. military power at a time when America was beginning to increase forces in South Vietnam. Sen. Dodd qualified his assertion by telling panelist Lawrence E. Spivak "I haven't any doubt about it. I am very sure there is a connection between the two. I am informed, and I am very sure my information is accurate.”
Why was he so sure of the accuracy of his claim?
According to noted historian Michael Beschloss in “Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's Secret White House Tapes (1964-1965)”, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover personally briefed Senator Dodd, three days prior to his appearance on Meet the Press. You can listen here to the April 29, 1965 phone conversation between Hoover and LBJ in which Hoover tells the President of his plans to brief Dodd the next day, courtesy of the Miller Cente. You can also watch an excerpt of Thomas Dodd on Meet the Press.
November 6, 2011 (Anniversary Edition)
Q: Meet the Press celebrates 64 years! Today our home is at NBC Washington at 4001 Nebraska Avenue. What was the site of our first broadcast on November 6, 1947?
A: The NBC WRC-TV studios at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.
On Thursday November 6, 1947, Meet the Press made its television debut, live from the NBC network’s WRC-TV studios in the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC. The historic hotel that housed WRC’s studio was the home of many famous Washingtonians, including Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson -- and MTP moderator Lawrence Spivak. The program, introduced then as “America’s press conference of the air” featured James Farley, former Postmaster General to Franklin D. Roosevelt, and four journalists Spivak chose from the Washington press corps. At that time, the debut show was only broadcast in New York. WRC began broadcasting Meet the Press in Washington on its third show.
This week marked 64 years of Meet the Press, which now makes its home at NBC Washington. Watch a celebration of the show and some of its many notable news-making moments below.
If it's Sunday, it's Meet The Press.
October 30, 2011 (Halloween edition)
Q: After Ford's "Halloween massacre," which "victim" later appeared on Meet the Press and refused to offer an endorsement of Ford's re-election?
A: James Schleisinger.
The fallout from the famous “Halloween Massacre” – the Ford Administration’s cabinet shakeup on November 4, 1975 – played out on Meet the Press in the weeks following. President Gerald Ford was the Meet the Press guest the Sunday after the dismissals and was pressed by the panel to explain his decision to replace several of his key cabinet members and advisers with more conservative men, including Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon and George H.W. Bush at the CIA. One of the most prominent “victims” of the massacre, Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, appeared on Meet the Press two weeks after his dismissal. On several occasions, Schlesinger used the interview to subtly criticize the administration. When the MTP panel asked if he had been dismissed because of his well-known tension with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Schlesinger said, “I think you would have to direct that question to someone else. So far as I can see, there is value to the President to have differing points of view with regard to the issues that he must ultimately decide.” He also declined to offer an endorsement of the President’s re-election in 1976, a stance that angered the Ford administration. In response to the endorsement question, Schlesinger offered only this: “I have always been inclined to support the Republican candidate. There are, as you point out, some very important issues, central issues to the security of the United States. But we would have to see how those issues shaped up in the election.”
Watch the clip to see Ford’s comments on the Halloween Massacre and how he defended firing Schlesinger.
October 23, 2011 (UN edition)
Q: On a special broadcast from San Francisco in 1965, Meet the Press commemorate the twentieth anniverary of what event that happened 66 years ago this week?
A: Monday of this week was UN Day, the 66th anniversary of the entry into force in of the United Nations Charter. On June 27 1965, Meet the Press broadcast a special edition live from San Francisco to mark the anniversary of the charter’s creation, which was signed in that city 20 years before. The program's ’s guest was Adlai Stevenson, who was then the United States Representative to the UN and had been deeply involved in the body’s founding in 1945 . MTP regular Lawrence Spivak began the interview saying that the United Nations was believed to be “in serious crisis and on the verge of complete collapse.” Stevenson, in a series of lively exchanges with Spivak and the rest of the panel, defended the organization but acknowledged his worries about the tensions between its member countries. The show also focused on the UN’s involvement in the conflict in Vietnam, which was already looming over President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. Journalist Peter Lisagor pressed Stevenson on his own views on the administration’s Vietnam policy, noting that many believed the Ambassador privately disagreed with the President on the issue. Watch the clip to see Stevenson’s response, as well as his thoughts on the tense and “divided world” facing the UN in 1965.
October 16, 2011
Q: After the first Ford-Carter debate, what loyal supporter and adviser appeared on Meet the Press to defend Carter's performance?
A: Rosalynn Carter appeared on Meet the Press the Sunday after the first Jimmy Carter-Gerald Ford debate of the 1976 election. She was introduced by Moderator Bill Monroe, who said Mrs. Carter was “considered by many to be [her husband’s] most influential advisor.” The Meet the Press panel, comprised of Linda Ellerbee and George Will, discussed the blunders of the campaign, the first debate (including the disastrous TV audio failure) and the close media attention to the candidates. Mrs. Carter declared, “I hope I don't ever get to the point that I have to worry about what I say” and went on to give a spirited defense of her husband’s performance in the debate and the campaign so far. She was also asked about her husband’s recent controversial statements, including the recently published, and now infamous, interview in Playboy magazine in which he discussed sex and his Christian faith and admitted: "I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times.” Watch how she responded to those and other tough issues surrounding Carter’s campaign for the Presidency.
October 9, 2011
Q: After Chicago's 1968 protests, which political candidate appeared on Meet the Press calling the "hippies and yippies" anarchists?
A: Spiro Agnew, who resigned from the Vice Presidency on this week 38 years ago, appeared on Meet the Press as Richard Nixon’s running mate in September of 1968. The episode came in the wake of the violence surrounding the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, and the MTP panel pressed Agnew on his and Nixon’s opinions about law and order and civil unrest. Agnew was characteristically outspoken in the interview, sharply criticizing the “permissive society” that encouraged young people to participate in such protests. He also hinted of a larger organization behind the Chicago riots and accused the protestors of being anarchists and having Communist ties. Watch the clip to see Agnew’s comments about the “hippies and the yippies” he blamed for the unrest across the country.
October 2, 2011
Q: In 1952, Meet the Press was in Chicago with all five Democratic candidates on convention eve. From what famous theater did the show air?
A: The Studebaker Theater in Chicago; In 1952 Chicago played host to both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. "Meet the Press" broadcast three consecutive programs from Chicago in July of 1952 in order to provide full coverage of the two nominating conventions. On July 20th 1952, the eve of the Democratic Convention, "Meet the Press" orginated from the Studebaker Theater - which the Chicago NBC station, WMAQ, began leasing in 1950 for extra studio space. The program, moderated by Martha Rountree, interviewed the five Democratic candidates for president. Unfortunately video of this historic program no longer exists, but you can listen to an audio clip from Martha Rountree’s introduction. This week, Meet the Press makes another return to the Windy City to kickoff Chicago Ideas Week with an exclusive live interview with former White House Chief of Staff and now the Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel.
September 25, 2011
Q: Which two education secretaries (one current and one future) appeared together on "Meet the Press" on the topic, "Crisis in teaching?"
A: Bill Bennett and Lamar Alexander; On May 18, 1986, Meet the Press aired an education-themed hour covering “The Crisis in Teaching? in America. Moderator Marvin Kalb opened the special episode saying, “at stake, quite literally, is the future of our children and the quality of life in this country.? The show featured Education Secretary Bill Bennett, and Lamar Alexander, who was then the governor of Tennessee and Republican Chairman of the National Governor’s Association. The two Republicans debated issues that even split their own party, including emphasizing public versus private schools and government involvement in schools and teaching. But watch the video to see one part of education policy they both agreed on. During the exchange, Lamar Alexander also said that education was a crucial for him and that he would put it at the top of the agenda for the Governor’s Association. He continued to focus on the issue, and in 1991 President George H.W. Bush appointed him the country’s fifth Secretary of Education.
September 18, 2011
Q: Sen. Charles Percy died this week at age 91. He appeared ten times on MTP. The first was with the four other GOP senators elected in his class. Name them.
A: Charles Percy appeared on MTP in 1967 with Howard Baker, Jr., Edward Brooke, Cliff Hansen and Mark Hatfield.
On January 15, 1967, Percy was on the program soon after being sworn in as a Senator from Illinois, a position he would hold for three terms. In a special one-hour episode of Meet the Press to discuss how the new Congress would handle issues ranging from the bombing of Vietnam to the 1968 Presidential election, Percy was interviewed along with four other Republican senators from the 1966 class: Howard Baker, Jr. of Tennessee, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, Cliff Hansen of Wyoming, and Mark Hatfield of Oregon. Though Percy was a new Senator he was already a rising star in his party, and the MTP panel peppered him with questions on whether he’d made a run for the White House in 1968. Watch the clip below to see how Percy handled the question. Percy backed Nelson Rockefeller as the Republican nominee later that year; by that point the freshman Senator was already so well-known that his endorsement made front page news. Watch a clip of that appearance here.
September 11, 2011
Q: Guess the Guest edition; Name the French politician and what's in his glass. View the photo here.
A: Pierre Mendes-France - Prime Minister of France, 1954-1955 —drinking a glass of milk.
On November 21, 1954, French Prime Minister Pierre Mendes-France was the first head of government to be interviewed on Meet the Press. The interview was watched by an audience of 10 million people, but the biggest reaction in the Prime Minister’s own country came after MTP aired. When photographs of the appearance were released in France they caused a public outcry because French wine makers and the general public were deeply offended to see their Prime Minister drinking a glass of milk on the set of an American television show.
Mendes-France spoke with the Meet the Press panel about the economic and psychological issues in his country following World War II. He acknowledged that the French youth were frustrated with their government and worried about their future. But the Prime Minister said that he understood the country’s fears and that “The last months have shown that it is possible to count on the young boys and girls in my country, because when they were called, when I called them it was a tremendous and most encouraging response.” Lawrence Spivak ended the interview on a lighter note, asking Mendes-France how he had managed to get French taxi drivers to stop using their horns, a recent French government reform. Watch the clip below to find out the Prime Minister’s answer. Watch a clip here.
September 4, 2011
Q: After Clinton's November 1993 interview, what labor leader recieved a note from the president saying, "I hope my remarks didn't ruin your Sunday?"
A: Lane Kirkland, President of the AFL-CIO from 1979-1995. The President was at the time campaigning for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which had not yet won Congressional support. When Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw questioned Clinton about his shortage of votes, the President blamed the “vociferous, organized opposition” of the nation’s unions, saying that they used “real roughshod, muscle-bound tactics” to persuade members of Congress to oppose the bill. Clinton’s quotes made news even before Meet the Press was over; his adviser David Gergen told him in the final minutes of the program that the headlines were now focusing on the President’s attack on labor. After the show, Clinton wrote a note to AFL-CIO leader Lane Kirkland saying “I hope my remarks didn't ruin your Sunday.” Watch a clip here.
August 28, 2011
Q: In his first of 29 MTP interviews in 1985, what Congressman was asked about his recently written book? And who was his co-author?
A: Former Vice President Dick Cheney made his first of 29 appearances on Meet the Press May 12, 1985. Cheney, who was then a Congressman from Wyoming, discussed his recent book on powerful Speakers of the House, which he had co-authored with his wife Lynne. In this clip below, watch as Cheney has some harsh words for then House Speaker Tip O'Neill. He said O'Neill's actions had "done damage to the principles and traditions of the House of Representatives." Cheney’s new memoir of his time in the Bush White House, titled In My Time,was released Tuesday. Watch a clip here.
August 14, 2011
Q: In the spring of 1988, what famous GOPer downplayed Bush's Iowa Caucus defeat, saying Bush had developed an "inner strength and toughness" since then?
A: In President Richard M. Nixon's last Meet the Press appearance, Nixon talked presidential politics and observed how a bruising defeat in the Iowa caucuses months earlier had helped transform the candidacy of then GOP nominee George H.W. Bush. Nixon remarked that in the weeks since the Iowa loss, Bush “developed that inner strength and toughness that was not certainly there beforehand.” Watch the full clip to also see Nixon cite Churchill's wisdom on how tough elections make better politicians. Watch a clip here.
August 7, 2011
Q: Who is this guest circa the 1960's? Does he look familiar? (Picture)
A: George Romney, the father of current Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, appeared on Meet the Press on October 15, 1967 during his own run for the Republican nomination for 1968 Presidential election. Romney, then in his third term as Governor of Michigan, portrayed himself during his interview as the underdog in the GOP field ahead of the New Hampshire primary. Romney dropped out of the race a few months later, in February of 1968, and Richard Nixon went on to win the Republican nomination and the Presidency. Watch a clip of that appearance.
July 31, 2011
Q: Sixty years ago this week, which U.S. Senator appeared on Meet the Press with a gun on his lap for the entire interview?
A: Sen. Joseph McCarthy;The tape for Senator McCarthy’s August 7, 1951 appearance no longer exists, but in a somewhat ironic appearance a year earlier, the Senator was questioned about whether, in light of threats, he had sought a permit to carry a gun.
The tape for that appearance no longer exists, but in a somewhat ironic appearance a year earlier, the Senator was questioned about whether, in light of threats, he had sought a permit to carry a gun. Watch that clip here.
July 25, 2011
Q: The late Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman John Shalikashvili did his first "Sunday" interview on MTP. From what country, bordering his native Poland, did he appear?
A:Bratislava, Slovakia; In his first Sunday show appearance on Jan. 9, 1994, the late-General John Shalikashvili joined the broadcast from Bratislava, Slovakia. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for President Bill Clinton, he was on an overseas trip with then- US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright to discuss a NATO partnership, rather than membership, for some eastern European nations including his native - Poland. General Shalikashvili died on July 23, 2011 at the age of 75. He appeared on Meet The Press four times during his military career. Watch this clip here.
July 18, 2011
Q: In an Al Gore vs. Bill Bradley debate on MTP, what did Gore try to get Bradley to agree NOT to do?
A: Gore tried to get Bradley to jointly agree NOT to run any TV or radio ads until the nomination was decided. Watch this clip here.
July 11, 2011
Q: Feminist Liz Carpenter credited Betty Ford for giving the first check to ERAmerica. Which former first lady did she say gave the second?
A: Lady Bird Johnson. Here's an excerpt of Liz Carpenter crediting Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson as early ERAmerica supporters on MTP, Nov. 20, 1977.
June 20, 2011
Q: Which Senate hopeful, whose father and great grandfather were U.S. Senators, appeared in a back-to-back interview with his opponent on MTP?
A: George Cabot Lodge whose father, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. and Great Grandfather Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. were U.S. Senators from Massachusetts. Click here to see Lodge answer whether he'd gotten any advice from his father in 1962.
June 13, 2011
Q: Which former politician appeared on "Meet the Press" with a cabinet secreatry and the Senate Finance Committee chairman two months before his own DC sex scandal broke?
A: Rep. Wilbur Mills who was Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He appared with Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Caspar Weinberger and Sen. Russel Long (D-LA). Click here to watch Ways and Means Chair Wilbur Mills discussing national health insurance.
May 30, 2011
Q: Who were the first national party chairs to appear together on Meet the Press?
A: On November 3, 1974, DNC Chairman Robert S. Strauss and the late RNC Chairwoman Mary Louise Smith were the first National party Chairs to appear together on MTP. This special one-hour edition of the program was broadcast two days before the 1974 elections. Among the many issues debated - the future of the troubled economy and job creation. Click here to watch part of their debate.
May 23, 2011
Q: What 22-year-old British member of Parliament travled to the U.S. from Northern Ireland, got the keys to New York City and appeared on Meet the Press and the Tonight Show?
A: Bernadette Devlin, an Irish Catholic militant and member of the British Parliament, traveled to the U.S. in the summer of 1969. Click here to see her on MTP .
May 16, 2011
Q: In Newt Gingrich's first solo Meet the Press appearance, he defended his tax plan against criticism from which GOP senator who called him "The Gingrich Who Stole Crhismast?"
A: Current Presidental candidate Newt Gingrich made his first solo appearance on Meet the Press Dec. 1, 1991. The then-house Majority Whip defended his tax plan against criticism from fellow Republican, Sen. Bob Dole, who referred to him as "The Gingrich Who Stole Chrismas." Click here to watch part of his appearance. Click here to watch.
May 9, 2011
Q: Mother's Day edition: Which former VP said this on Meet the Press of his Norwegian-born mother: "I think she's about the finest compliment that ever came to this country."
A: Hubert Humphrey, whose mother Christine Sannes came to the U.S. from Norway at the age of 8.
April 25, 2011
Q: Prince Philip -- grandfather to the royal groom -- appeared in the '60s and defended what British export popular with young people?
A: In a Nov. 9, 1969 MTP appearance, Prince Philip – husband of Queen Elizabeth and grandfather to Prince William – defended successful British export "The Beatles" from some stuffy American critics who said the group was associated with "certain youthful attitudes toward drugs and sex." Click here to watch.
April 18, 2011
Q: With gas at 50 cents a gallon, Henry Ford II appeared on Meet the Press and put in a plug for what new "smaller, lighter" car coming out soon?
A: The Mustang II. Click here to watch his plug.
April 11, 2011
Q: Fifty-four years ago this week, what future Nixon supporter -- better known for much bigger reasons -- made a historic Meet the Press appearance?
A: Baseball great Jackie Robinson — the first man to break the racial barrier in the major leagues — appeared on MTP April 14, 1957. He spoke at length during his interview about his new role with the NAACP and his work on the issue of civil rights. Click here to hear Robinson on MTP.
April 4, 2011
Q: Which GOP man and part of a political duo, said of Ferraro pick: "I'm not paranoid about a woman on the ticket — it's long overdue."
A: Bob Dole | Click here to watch the full exchange
March 28, 2011
Q: Who was the first woman to Meet the Press? Clue: She was on the readio edition and was the wife of a politician.
A: Martha B. Taft, wife of Sen. Robert Taft, was the first woman to Meet the Press, appearing on the radio edition, 2/27/48 | Click here to listen to the highlights of Taft's Feb. 1948 appearance
March 21, 2011
Q: The late Warren Christopher appeared twelve times as secretary of state. What two political posts bookended those 12 for a total of 14x?
A: Warren Christopher 1st appeared as director of Clinton transition in 1992 and last appeared as adviser to Gore recount in 2000 | Watch Christopher ducking a tricky first question from Tim Russert in Dec. 1992
March 14, 2011
Q: David Broder's first appearance on MTP at a governors conference was in Los Angeles. What paper did he write for at the time?
A: David Broder's first governors conference MTP appearance was in L.A., July 3, 1966. At the time, he wrote for the New York Times | Watch a clip from that 1966 edition of MTP with David in L.A.
March 7, 2011
Q: Which White House chief of staff was asked about being "the most powerful member of the president's official family and the 2nd most powerful man in Washington?"
A: Sherman Adams, the chief of staff to President Eisenhower, who appeared on Nov. 4, 1956 | Watch a clip from his appearance
February 28, 2011
Q: What famous labor leader argued on MTP that the Secretary of Labor be "someone completely sympathetic and experienced with the labor movement"?
A: George Meany | Watch a clip from his appearance
February 21, 2011
Q: President’s Day Edition. Every U.S. president since JFK has been on MTP during his career. Name the five who were on as president.
A: Ford, Carter, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama | President Clinton was on twice as commander in chief. He appeared on set to mark MTP's 50th anniversary on 11/9/97. Here's an excerpt .
February 15, 2011
Q: Valentine's Day edition: At least 8 husband and wife duos have appeared on MTP together. Name three of those couples.
A: James Carville & Mary Matalin, Dick Goodwin & Doris Kearns Goodwin, Philip & Janey Hart, Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda, Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson, William McMillan and Susan Carpenter-McMillan, Anatoly and Avital Shcharansky, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates , Nancy Kassenbaum and Howard Baker | Watch a clip of Sen. Phil and Janey Hart talking about their life as a political couple
February 7, 2011
Q: Reagan appeared on Meet the Press in 1977 and clarified comments he had made about supporting changing the name of what?
A: Republican Party. Gallup suggested it in a poll and he seemed open to it in a CPAC speech | Watch a portion of his appearance on MTP
January 31, 2011
Q: What journalist turned White House Press Secretary was asked on MTP wht advice he'd give his successor in "one of the most thankless jobs in D.C.?"
A: George Christian was a journalist for International News Serive, then White House Press Secretary to LBJ from 1966-1969 | Watch a clip from Christian's 1/19/1969 appearance — on his last day as Press Secretary — during which he offered advice to successor Ron Ziegler
January 24, 2011
Q: Who appeared on Meet the Press in 1966 and made the case for an official reponse to the president's State of the Union address?
A: Then-Minority Leader Gerald Ford | Watch a clip from the January 16, 1966 broadcast
January 17, 2011
Q: Tim Shriver, sister Maria, and dad Sargent have all now appeared on MTP. Name three other families whose father, son and daugher have all been on the broadcast.
A: In addition to Shrivers (Sargent, Tim & Maria) 3 other fams with dad, son & daughter on MTP — Kennedy, Kennedy, Landrieu (JFK, Caroline, JFK Jr), (RFK, Kathleen, Joe) & Landrieus (Moon/Mary/Mitch) | Watch a clip of Sargent Shriver on the broadcast, sticking it to a panelist when asked about marrying the boss' daugher
January 10, 2011
Q: Besides the Daley boys and the Kennedy boys name 3 (out of at least 6) other sets of brothers to have appeared on the broadcast
A: Bennett (Bob-Bill), Buckley (William F.-James), Dean (Howard-James), Dulles (Allen-John Foster), Hutchinson (Tim-Asa), Rockefeller (Nelson-Winthrop), Roosevelt (James -Franklin Jr.), Udall (Stuart-Morris)
January 3, 2011
Q: After primary loss who got this question from Gabe Pressman "You said you were defeated by the twin horsemen of doubt & fear. Wht happened?"
A: NYC Mayor John Lindsay was asked by @MrGabePressman (@NBCNY) about being defeated by "twin horseman of doubt & fear." | Watch a clip from the broadcast
December 20, 2010
Q: For the Christmas show on December 24, 1950, what one-time change in format was adopted as “a tribute to the healing powers of Christmas”?
A: Newsmaker guest Sen. Paul Douglas turned the tables and asked questions of the reporter panel. | Watch a clip from the broadcast
December 14, 2010
Q: The late Richard Holbrooke appeared several times on MTP over his long career. In what capacity was his first?
A: Holbrooke made his first appearance as a panelist when he was managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine on February 2, 1976. | Watch a clip from the broadcast
December 6, 2010
Q: Thirty-five years ago, which senator entered in the Congressional Record re: MTP "the person in the hot seat need never worry if he just told the truth."
A: Sen. Barry Goldwater entered into Congressional Record on November 19, 1975 on the occasion of Spivak's retirement as moderator. "The only people I have ever seen squirm on Mr. Spivak's show were those who tried to lie on the question." | Watch a clip from the broadcast
November 29, 2010
Q: Which chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said this on MTP: "Not much ever happens in a lame duck session that's constructive."
A: Then-Senate Finance Chair Bob Dole | Watch a clip from the broadcast
November 22, 2010
Q: Speaker-elect Boehner has appeared 8 times on MTP. His 1st was for a debate on what topic?
A: Newt Gingrich's ethics problems was the topic debated on Speaker-elect Boehner's first appearance, on January 5, 1997. | Watch a clip from the broadcast
November 15, 2010
Q: Name the "female-focused" radio show Martha Rountree hosted prior to co-creating MTP in 1947?
A: Leave It To The Girls was the "female-focused" radio show Martha Rountree created prior to co-creating MTP in 1947. | MTP history slideshow, including several pictures featuring Rountree
November 8, 2010
Q: The first MTP broadcast began 63 years ago with: “The makers of XXXX bring you America’s press conference of the air: Meet the Press”. Fill in the XXXX.
A: Maxwell House. | Watch a portion of an ad and the intro to Meet the Press from 1947
November 1, 2010
Q: JFK adviser Ted Sorensen died yesterday. He appeared 3 times on Meet the Press. His last appearance occurred the day before what event in his life?
A: He last appeared on MTP October 3, 1965, the day before the publication of his best-selling book “Kennedy". Watch a clip from the interview
October 25, 2010
Q: Florida edition (David Gregory moderates Senate debate Tuesday evening). Name the Florida politician with the most MTP appearances.
A: Sen. Bob Graham, with 11 appearances in total | Watch a clip from a 2003 appearance , during which Tim Russert asks him about his "bizarre" notebook-keeping habit.
October 18, 2010
Q: Which candidates on the November ballot for governor or senator have fathers who have appeared on Meet the Press?
A: Jerry Brown, Rand Paul, Chet Culver, Andrew Cuomo, Rory Reid, Lincoln Chaffee | Watch a clip of Edmund Pat Brown two days before Election Day in 1958 explaining why he should be elected governor of California.
October 11, 2010
Q: Colorado Senate showdown this Sunday! What Colorado politician has logged the most MTP appearances?
A: Gary Hart is the Colorado lawmaker with the most Meet the Press appearances — 10 all told. | Watch the clip
October 4 2010
Q: Illinois Senate showdown this Sunday! What Illinois politician has logged the most Meet the Press appearances?
A: Donald Rumsfeld, who represented the state in the House for 6 years, is the Illinois politician with the most appearances. Here's video of his second appearance in 1971 when he was the director of Nixon's Cost of Living Council.
September 26, 2010
Q: Two weeks before the Great Debates of 1960, Vice President Nixon appeared and announced that he would "decline" to discuss what issue further?
A: Religion. On September 11, 1960, Nixon said: "I've issued orders to my campaign not to discuss religion ...I will decline to discuss religion." | Watch the clip
September 20, 2010
Q: Ten days into the job, what Sec. of Education came on to defend cuts to student loan programs? The cost of private college was $6k that year.
A: Reagan's Sec. of Education Bill Bennett had to defend proposed cuts to student loans 10 days into his new job on Meet the Press, February 17, 1985. | Watch the clip
September 14, 2010
Q: Colin Powell makes his 31st appearance this Sunday. What government position did he hold when he made his first appearance?
A: Then-Lt. General Colin Powell was National Security Adviser to Reagan when he made his 1st appearance on MTP, 1/31/88. | Watch the clip
September 6 , 2010
Q: Who was once asked this question on the broadcast: "Would you say you have or have not at any time associated with thugs and gangsters?"
A: James Hoffa Sr. on on July 9, 1961. | Watch a clip
August 30, 2010
Q: Former Mayor Moon Landrieu (father to Sen. Mary & Mayor Mitch) appeared from New Orleans in 1972. What brought the broadcast to the city?
A: Meet the Press originated from NOLA on June 18, 1972 with Moon Landrieu (and several other mayors) for the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. | Watch the clip
August 23, 2010
Q: In 1968, conservative columnist James Kilpatrick challenged the conservative credentials of what potential GOP presidential candidate?
A: Ronald Reagan | Watch the clip
August 16, 2010
Q: [Maine vacation edition] Who always wore a hat & gloves on the program so that "people would remember who she is."?
A: May Craig, Washington correspondent for Portland Press Herald. She always appeared in hat and gloves — 244 times to be exact. | Watch the clip
August 9, 2010
Q: Dozens of reporters from Newsweek have made appearances on the Meet the Press panel. Which of the publication's noted reporters appeared the most?
A: Ernest K. Lindley holds the record for the most appearances by a Newsweek reporter; 96 in total! | Watch a clip from his 1950 questioning of Robert Taft
August 2, 2010
Q: In 1987, then-moderator Chris Wallace introduced what governor for his first of many appearances as "a leading education reformer"?
A: Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton. | Watch the clip
July 26, 2010
Q: The National Urban League celebrates 100 yrs this week. Four league presidents have appeared on Meet the Press. Who was the first?
A: On August 21, 1966, Whitney Young became the first National Urban League president to appear on the broadcast. | Watch the clip
July 19, 2010
Q: In 1974, the RNC & DNC chairs asked about a defection/3rd party candidate in 1976. Name the potential 3rd party candidate from each side?
A: DNC chair Strauss asked about George Wallace & RNC chair Smith asked about Ronald Reagan. | Watch the clip
July 12, 2010
Q: Who said this on Meet the Press in 1959? "What I think about the citizens of the U.S. is that they are very nice and noble people."
A: Fidel Castro on April 19, 1959. | Watch the clip
July 7, 2010
Q:Royal edition: Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip was on Meet the Press in 1969. The first question was about the cancellation of what royal tradition that year?
A: Prince Philip appeared on on November 9, 1969 and the first question was about the cancellation of Queen's traditional Christmas Day broadcast. | Watch the clip
June 28, 2010
Q: Byrd memorial edition: In the first of nine appearances (in December 1972), what potential 1976 presidential candidate did he dodge a question about?
A: In his first appearance, Byrd dodged a question about Ted Kennedy being a candidate for president in 1976. | Watch the clip
June 21, 2010
Q: In the last 40 years, who appeared most as Majority Leader, and who appeared least?
June 14, 2010
Q: Which Speaker of the House made the most appearances as Speaker, and who made the least?
A: Tom Foley had the most Meet the Press appearances as Speaker at 13, and Nancy Pelosi has the least at 1. | Watch a clip of Foley's first MTP appearance as Speaker on June 18, 1989
June 1, 2010
Q: The 1st satellite interview on MTP was in 1964. Who & where was the guest? Hint: he was a foreign minister.
A: From Paris, French foreign minister Maurice Couve de Murville was the first MTP satellite interview on June 28, 1964. | Image of the interview
May 24, 2010
Q: Jay Leno was last on Meet the Press when, and on the morning after what?
A: The last-night comedian was last on MTP April 30,2000, the morning after the White House Correspondents Dinner. | Watch a clip
May 17, 2010
Q: Specter wouldn't debate Sestak on MTP, but in the 1990's he challenged which fellow-GOPer to a debate that they did on MTP?
A: Arlen Specter challenged fellow Pat Buchanan to a debate on 7/16/95. | Watch a clip from the debate
May 11, 2010
Q: SCOTUS edition: Which retired Justice appeared along with his son on Meet the Press?
A: Ret. Justice Tom Clark appeared with his son, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark on April 19, 1970. | Watch a clip
May 3, 2010
Q: Exxon Valdez oil spill in March of 1989. In Sept, Exxon said the cleanup was done. What government official said the next day on MTP "no, not yet"?
A: On September 10, 1989, EPA head William Reilly refuted the claim that the Exxon Valdez cleanup was done. | Watch a clip
April 26, 2010
Q: Sunday we taped the last show on our "old" set. Who were the last guests on our previous old set in 1996?
A: The last guests to appear on "old" "old" MTP set on March 10, 1996, were then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Steve Forbes.
April 20, 2010
Q: Former NAACP Benjamin Hooks died last week at 85. On MTP he was asked if a certain politician should quit his segregated church. Who?
A: Benjamin Hooks first appeared on MTP on November 14, 1976 and was asked whether Jimmy Carter should quit his segregated church. | Watch a clip
April 12, 2010
Q: The original MTP set resides at The Smithsonian. How long did the program use the set and when was it donated?
April 6, 2010
Q: RNC chairman under fire. Who was the first person in that position asked on MTP whether or not he would resign?
A: Guy Gabrielson, on September 30, 1951. In midst of loan scandal, some in GOP called for resignation. | Watch a clip
March 29, 2010
Q: Postal Service problems are nothing new. Postmaster General appears on MTP in what year and warns that the USPS is on "verge of collapse"?
A: Postmaster Gen. Winton Blount appears on MTP in 1969 and warns that the USPS is on "verge of collapse". | Watch a clip
March 8, 2010
Q: Oscar Edition: Several Oscar winners have appeared on MTP. Who won their Oscar first?
A: Shirley Temple Black (1934), appeared as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. on December 14, 1969. | Watch a clip of her talking about her time in film
March 1, 2010
Q: Olympic edition. MTP has had 7 Olympic Gold medalists on the show. Who won the first gold medal and in what year?
A: Bill Russell appeared to endorse his former basketball competitor Bill Bradley for president on November 14, 1999. | Watch a clip
February 22, 2010
Q: Al Haig, who died Friday, appeared in 1978 & refused to answer questions about his role in what?
A: Haig refused to answer questions about 3 things: Watergate tapes, Nixon's resignation & Ford's pardon. | Watch a clip
February 15, 2010
Q: Every president since JFK appeared on MTP during his career, but who was first to appear as president?
A: Gerald Ford was the first sitting president to appear. Bonus info: Herbert Hoover was first former president to appear. | Watch a clip
February 2, 2010
Q: Name the 3 anchors from other networks who appeared 5 times as a guest, once appeared as a panelist, and served as moderator.
A: Part 1: Who appeared 5 times as a MTP newsmaker guest? Answer: George Stephanopoulos. Part 2: Who once appeared on MTP as a panelist/questioner? Answer: Barbara Walters questioned Yitzhak Rabin on Feb. 1, 1976. Part 3: Which anchor served as a MTP moderator? Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace was moderator from 1987-1988.
January 26, 2010
Q: Only 3 people have canceled an announced MTP appearance. One was from the Great State of Louisiana. Who was it?
A: Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco canceled on a Saturday night at 11 p.m. ET in the weeks following Katrina.
January 18, 2010
Q: In honor of MLK Day: In 1967, MLK appeared on MTP and was asked about running for president on which ticket?
A: MLK appeared on 8/13/67 and was asked about running for president on which ticket? The Peace ticket.
January 5, 2010
Q: In 1989, Cheney was asked on MTP about his objection to which foreign leader addressing a joint session of Congress?
A: Gorbachev. Cheney: "You need to be careful about how you grant that kind of privilege to a visiting dignitary."
December 28, 2009
Q: In December 1977, what former adviser to four presidents said of the New Year on MTP: "Peace is coming. There are good tidings."
A: The eloquent and thoughtful Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
December 21, 2009
Q: Poet Robert Frost appeared on MTP Christmas day 1955 and recited one of his poems. Which one?
A: "The Gift Outright"
December 7, 2009
Q: Obama receives his Nobel Peace Prize this week. 15 winners have appeared on MTP. Who was first? Who the most times?
A: Most times: Al Gore (23); Canadian Lester B. Pearson was the first Nobel Peace prize winner to have appeared on MTP (1952).
November 30, 2009
Q: Two pairs of Secretaries of Defense & State appeared together on MTP. Which ones?
A: McNamara/Rusk & Albright/Cohen
November 23, 2009
Q: What political family has had 3 generations appear as guests?
A: Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi.
November 16, 2009
Q: Besides Sarah Palin, who was the only other GOP VP nominee since 1952 not to appear on MTP?
A: Dan Quayle