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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blog Tour for A Small Story for Page 3 by Jack Germond

I am very pleased to welcome Alice Germond, who is on her blog tour for her husband Jack Germond's  riveting book, A Small Story for Page 3. Alice has many merits of her own and I am very happy to have her as my guest today.

Please tell us about your experience. My readers would be interested in anything related to the book, the acclaimed author, and yourself. We can learn more about it from the Press Release.

From the Press Release:

MuseItUp Publishing released political pundit Jack Germond's break out novel, A Small Story for Page 3 on November 6, 2013 in print. Jack completed the final edits just days before his death in August, 2013 and the ebook released on the day of his passing.

Blurb:A Small Story for Page 3

Harry Fletcher can’t for the life of him figure out what exactly the ‘nugget’ of information his colleague, Eddie Concannon, uncovered prior to his death is. Picking his way along the threads of information, Harry soon finds himself at odds with government officials and his own newspaper seems to be involved in the collusion.  Join Harry as he deciphers the clues and enjoy a journey into the world of investigative reporting set against a colorful back drop of characters and locations.

About the Author:

Jack Germond (January 30, 1928 – August 14, 2013) was a retired newspaper man, columnist and TV pundit. But like a Thoroughbred racehorse, a reporter never actually retires—he just writes about other things. The author brings his vast knowledge and understanding of the press and the business of getting the information to public to bear in his breakout novel, A Small Story for Page 3. Mr. Germond was nationally known as a bemused liberal and was a regular on The McLaughlin Group as well as appearing on other public affairs TV programs — CNN, Meet The Press and The Today Show among others. He covered ten presidential elections, and with Jules Witcover wrote a book covering each presidential election from 1980 to 1992. Timothy Crouse made Germond a prominent figure in “Boys on the Bus” his acclaimed book on the 1972 presidential election. Mr. Germond has previously published two non-fiction books, his memoir “Fat Man in A Middle Seat” (Random House 2002) and “Fat Man Fed Up” (Random House 2005) a scride on the decline of politics in the United States. Along with Jules Witcover he wrote a syndicated column that ran in 140 papers five days a week from 1977 to 2001.  2000. 

Chris Farley once spoofed Germond on Saturday Night Live. Germond was known for his no nonsense approach to reporting and his love of good food, good liquor and good friends. He instituted The Germond Rule which two generations of political reporters have adhered to. The rule simply stated that when a group of reporters dined together the tab would be split evenly, no matter who ate or drank more. This caused his many friends to eat and drink defensively when covering stories and enjoying good company.                                                                                      

Jack Germond was one of a kind and he will be missed. MuseItUp Publishing is proud to publish his first and only fiction novel. 

Now I am sure my readers would love to see an excerpt from this book:

Short Excerpt from A Small Story for Page 3

"Oddly enough, ladies and gentlemen of the TV audience," Harry announced in his persona as Larry Largelungs of Action Central News, "the condemned man was smiling and singing as he approached the gallows."
The mood changed when he arrived at Wear's office to find the executive editor and the managing editor waiting and somberly reading printouts of the story.
"This thing has to be settled today," Wear said. "It's gone on long enough, it's tied us in knots, and we need to find a solution."
"I thought we had one," Harry said. "The story shows he has been sailing under false colors as a corruption fighter by trying to protect one of the targets of the investigation with whom he had a connection, perhaps lucrative, not previously disclosed."
"We're not the ones who have to be convinced," Mike reminded him.
When they walked into Marcotte's office, it was obvious he was not prepared to be persuaded. The publisher remained behind his huge mahogany desk and with a brusque gesture he seated the others at the small conference table.
"I've read the story you people seem to think should run on Page One as soon as possible," he said, "I think it’s still libelous horseshit, and I intend to spike it, this time for good. You still have no hard evidence that Tyler Bannister resisted Phase Two because of some personal concern. But Tyler denies it flat-out and there's no quote from him to corroborate it."
Harry was trying to contain his fury. "The only quote from him in reply was “go fuck yourself.” Do you want to use that?"
"Don't be flippant, Fletcher, this is a serious question."
"We all understand that, Dave," Wear said, stepping in quickly. "If you want a clearer denial in more decorous terms, we can do that."
"A denial isn't going to change the fact that we are doing serious damage to Tyler Bannister's reputation and potentially his political career," Marcotte said, his voice rising. "I don't intend to be a party to that."
"That was never our intention," Wear said. "We've gone where the story has taken us. The truth is that this episode raises serious questions about Bannister's candidacy."
"It shows him interceding in behalf of a friend and former business associate in an official investigation," Harry said with some heat. "That's a part of the truth about him that we know but our readers do not."
"Don't give me that truth and readers crap, Fletcher," the publisher said. "I remember you calling him a trimmer way back there. You had it in for him from the start. So did Concannon."
"This story quotes Tom Lawton saying Bannister called him with a warning about being on Carvaggio's list of targets and it quotes Rudy Myers as confirming that Bannister ordered Lawton's name stricken from that list once he agreed to retire from the bench."
"I know what the story says but, as I told you earlier, Fletcher," Marcotte said, "it is the publisher, not the reporter, who decides what appears in the News and I have made the decision on this one." After an interminable twenty seconds of silence, he continued, "I think we're through here, gentlemen. Thanks for coming in." When the elevator dropped them at the third floor, Wear beckoned them into his office and closed the door on Meg. "I don't know what we do now," he said.
"What you and Mike do," Harry said, "is keep faith with the good people here who depend on you to let them put out a good newspaper and hope for change. What I do, is clean a few things out of my desk and walk out of the building. I don't have any choice now."
"What are you going to do about the story," Mike asked.
"I haven't thought it through, Mike, but I'm not going to give it to the Trib or some television station. I don't know if the story is mine to use elsewhere or what. It would take a lot of time and effort for anyone else to duplicate it."
Wear had a different concern. "What are you going to say when the word gets out that you've left the building?" he asked.
"I could just tell the truth—that I have left the News after almost thirty years because of a decision by the publisher to spike a story I wrote. Period." He laughed. "I'll leave it to Amy Whiting to fill in the blanks."
At Wear's office door, he turned to his two old friends. "Look, this isn't the end of the world. Let's all have dinner later in the week, some place public for all to see. Meanwhile, I'll keep you posted." 

A Small Story for Page 3 (ebook ISBN 978-1-77127-385-5  Print ISBN  978-1-77127-437-1) is available from MuseItUp Publishing or ask for it wherever good books are sold. For a review copy please contact the publisher at MuseItUp Publishing.

Now let's talk about you, Alice. Here is a little bit about Alice Germond:

Alice Germond is the Secretary Emeritus of the Democratic National Committee. She was elected Secretary unopposed three times from 2002 to January 2013. Alice also served on the Executive Committee, the Rules and By-Laws Committee and as Secretary for the Democratic National Convention where she called the role of states that determines the Party's nominee. Alice has participated in every Convention since 1974 when the Party wrote its National Charter.  Alice currently is an elected At-Large member of the DNC and serves on the Resolutions Committee.

Active in the Democratic Party for over 45 years, she has held leadership positions in local, state and national campaigns including Political Director for Clinton/Gore in CA, Deputy National Political Director for Michael Dukakis, and Super Delegate Director for Gary Hart. In 1988 Alice moved to Washington DC, and became Director of Political Operations for Ron Brown's successful election as Chair of the DNC. She was named his Senior Advisor, coordinating DNC Party Programs and was his liaison to the 1992 Convention. From 1993—1996 she was Director of the DNC's Government and Party Affairs Departments.
A strong advocate for issues and party values, Alice led the historic effort to put Geraldine Ferraro on the Democratic Ticket while Chair of the National Women's Political Caucus Democratic Task Force. During her tenure as Executive Vice President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Fortune Magazine ranked NARAL as the most effective women's organization in the nation. Alice also worked for the AFL-CIO's Women's Division and for SEIU. One of Alice's earliest experiences was participating in Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" March on the National Mall. 

Alice has broad experience as a speaker and working with the press. Her op-eds have been published by major newspapers and on the internet, and in 1995 CBS hired Alice for their special Convention Coverage Unit. She has spoken at Party Events in 50+ States and for the campaigns, organizations and issues with which she is identified. Her international work includes lectures at Tsinghua University in Beijing, leader of two delegations to Taiwan, presentations in Madrid, London, Barcelona, Toronto, the Virgin Islands and several NDI exchanges including one for the European Parliament. 

In 2013 President Barack Obama appointed Alice to the prestigious Commission on White House Fellows where she currently serves. Prior commissions include the CA Council on Criminal Justice (Gov. E G Brown, Jr.) and the LA Olympics Government Affairs Committee.  

Alice earned her BA from Bennington College, VT in 1965 where she received a non-resident term scholarship and was Chair of the school legislature.  Her MS Degree in Public Administration/Recreation was awarded in 1977 from CA State Un. LA with a 4.0 average.

Now living on a bend of the Shenandoah River in West Virginia, Alice grows vegetables and fruits, goes running with her dog Freddy, and watches the bald eagles who have returned to the region. Coffee on the deck, warm conversation with many friends and visits from six grandchildren are a constant pleasure.  

Reviews of A Small Story for Page 3

5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking Political Investigating By A Winner August 16, 2013
A SMALL STORY FOR PAGE 3 by Jack W. Germond

I never expected my first review for author Jack W. Germond to be my last, but I guess if it has to be the last, it might as well be a top notch book to review...and that's the case here.

Inside a major D.C. Newspaper hub where the busy world of digging out political intrigue is daily fair that makes the headlines and sells the papers, Jack W. Germond has created a tense, boiler pot of a story. He shows one and all the glamour we all think the media news possesses is actually coated beneath many layers of tarnish, some obvious, some concealed, some seedy, and some spreading like a dry rot through the majestic limbs of our stately cherry trees.

No one alive today can look at the day-to-day business that transpires within the Beltway and not know lies, deceit, and subterfuge play huge parts in creating the ever shifting sands creating the foundation of politics. Jack Germond's ace reporter, Harry Fletcher knows this seedy world very well, and plays it with the panache of a man who's been at it for a long time.

Upon the death of his colleague and friend, Harry is given what those in the business call a "nugget"...a story not fully developed, and told to flesh it out...find the meat...get the story...if it really exists, but keep it close to his chest.

Treacherous waters. Harry must swim upstream against the odds, but when he does, who will he uncover are the real sharks waiting to tear him fin from fin?

This is a gripping story I read from beginning to end in one sitting. Mr. Germond's story telling skills captivated and had me cheering Harry Fletcher on as he came up against obstacle after obstacle and obstacle while ferreting out the truth. Read more ›
Comment | 

4.0 out of 5 stars An Insider's Story About News Reporting August 20, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase
Ace political reporter Harry Fletcher has problems: a politician threatening him, a young reporter gunning for his job, a wife having an affair and a publisher who doesn't want to print his latest story. This first novel by veteran newsman Jack Germond gives an insider's look at the job of journalism as Fletcher interviews sources who wish to remain anonymous, tracks down promising leads, rallies his editors' support and finally, confronts his boss. You'll never read a newspaper again without thinking of this "small story" and the ethical dilemma it describes.
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn to Page 3 September 15, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase
I have some newspaper background and the book is written by a former newsman.

The book reveals how newspaper ownership and management can censor and color the news, as it now does.

A bit of sex spices up the story.

Jack Germond is an excellent writer with a lifetime of experience.

5.0 out of 5 stars What is it like to be a political reporter? September 12, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase
I love to read about politics. My favorite political reading is a book looking back on events and giving the big-picture story and, usually, details that didn't make the daily newspapers. My favorite such books were written by Jack Germond and his partner Jules Witcover, especially "Mad As Hell," about the 1992 presidential election. Jack was also a well-known talking head (The McLaughlin Group); Jack was the one that wasn't full of himself.

I had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know Jack and having dinner with him and his wife Alice over Thanksgiving weekend for most of the past ten years or so. I was in heaven sitting at the table with Jack and hearing his political stories. This novel (his first) was published the day he died. Not surprising, it's about political reporters. It provides a window into their lives and the issues they live with - what is fair to report? how does one build a story? how does a reporter persuade people to help him get to the truth? I suspect it also gives a good glimpse into Jack's own personal life. It provides an object lesson in the ethics of journalism. I highly recommend it to those who care about political reporting and/or want a good read.
Comment | 

I can't give my own review yet, but it won't be long, because I am in the middle of this story and can't wait to get to the end. 

My thanks to Alice Germond for being a great guest and I hope you will come back here again.

Until the next time I wish everyone who celebrates either holiday a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Hanukkah!! Or Happy Thanksgivikkah. It's only going to happen this year and probably won't reoccur in our lifetime again. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Thoughts on the 50th Anniversary of the Death of President John F. Kennedy

Where were you when Kennedy was killed? This is the question everyone who was living in 1963 is asked. Where was I? I was in a class in college and when the classes changed someone said that the President was shot. So in my next class we all listened to the radio to hear the news and we found it was true.

The moment I heard it was real was the first time I ever felt that the world might not be as good as I thought. I was a nice Jewish girl brought up in Brooklyn and Queens. I knew that people weren't always good and I didn't believe that everything was great in the world, but I did believe that the people who ran our country would always be there for us. So I was in shock for a very long time. Soon after this class the college closed and we were all sent home for the weekend. It was close to Thanksgiving recess anyway.

When I got home I couldn't stop watching TV, though my family and I went to a memorial service at our temple. Here we saw everyone crying as if it were someone in their own family. We got back and I went back to watching Walter Cronkite trying to make sense of the events for us. I saw everything that happened on TV including the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald and his shooting by Jack Ruby. They played the footage of the president being shot over and over again and Walter Cronkite stayed up all night covering this event. I know, because I also watched all night. It was the first time I couldn't get enough of the news.

Years later after I was married and we lived in Buffalo the stories of the shooting continued to appear and in counter culture magazines, such as The Realist, conspiracy stories popped up. My husband and I didn't really think much about them, but then the research came out and the Zapruder tape was revealed and suddenly they didn't seem so crazy anymore. Though many people have come to believe it was a lone gunman at Deale
y Plaza my husband and I side with the people who think there were more than one and that shots came from the grassy knoll too.

We will never know the truth until the records on Kennedy's death are unsealed in 25 years. I hope I am around to find out what really happened. However, tomorrow, it is enough to mourn the loss of a truly great President. Was he always the best in his personal life? No. However, he was the first adult to inspire me to do better things. My husband and I enrolled in the Peace Corps and we almost went until we decided it wouldn't be right for us. I sometimes regret we didn't go, because it would have been a great experience, but at least we tried. President Kennedy gave everyone hope as President Obama gave everyone hope. Above all, I believe that is a president's job to inspire people to do great things.

So RIP President Kennedy.
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