Pat Nixon sits with ABC Correspondent Virginia Sherwood in the Yellow Oval Room of the White House on October 13, 1971. (Richard Nixon Presidential Library)
Linda Hopgood is an assistant for "Media Relations and the First Modern Women: Jacquelyn to Kennedy Michelle."
What was the relationship between First Woman Woman Pat Nixon and the media during the Presidency?
On this challenge of Nixon Now Podcast, we investigate this matter with Linda Hobgood, director of the Middle for Richmond and their Department of Rhetoric and Communication.
the writer of a brand new ebook, "Media Relations and modern first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy Melania Trumpiin".
Jonathan Movroydis: you’re listening to Nixon Now Podcast I've Jonathan Movroydis this is delivered to you by Nixon Foundation transmission is shipped to Richard Nixon's presidenttikirjastost… a, Yorba Linda, California You possibly can comply with us on Twitter at the Nixon Foundation or at nixonfoundation.org. What was the relationship between First Woman Woman Pat Nixon and the media during the Presidency? Here to answer this and different questions is Linda Hobgood. Dr. Hobgood is the Director of the Speech Middle at the University of Richmond and the Director of their Division of Rhetoric and Communication Studies. She is concerned in a forthcoming guide by Edwin Burns, a professor of media studies at Quinnipiac College, entitled "Media Relations and the Modern First Women: Jacqueline from Kennedy to Melania Trump." Dr. Hobgood, welcome.
Linda Hopgood: Thanks so much for getting me.
Jonathan Movroydis: The primary question. What received you into this subject of research?
Linda Hopgood: Truly, it dates back to the summer time of 1973 once I was a White Home intern and was referred to as again in 1974.
Jonathan Movroydis: What … So, did you work for White Home trainees in any a part of the White Home? Do you’re employed for the West Wing or did you’re employed for the first lady's workplace?
Linda Hopgood: One yr I used to be on the other aspect and one yr on the different. For the first time in 1973, I was in an office beneath the management of William J. Broody, Jr., and in the Presidential Proclamation Workplace, formerly referred to as the previous first-floor government office constructing. It was very close to the president's workplace. We have been just a few doorways down. And as the summer time progressed, I labored with Bryce Harlow and Melvin Layer on inner relations, inner politics.
Jonathan Movroydis: How did you come to focus on Mrs. Nixon as a research space?  Linda Hopgood: Let's say the subject of research has lots to do with my university graduate subject that was rhetoric and I used to be interested by presidential rhetoric, but due to my relationship with Mrs. Nixon during my second yr at the White House I targeted on her in many respects there was rather a lot to do about how the first ladies behave and fulfill the duties they take on as the first lady. Rhetorically, I assumed he was an instance. And her conduct as a first lady, I feel, stays a mannequin that is too simply ignored. But learning working with him and learning presidential rhetoric, and learning all the rhetoric at the request or curiosity of the President of the United States, together with marriage to his wife, turned an interesting subject for me.
Jonathan Movroydis: Might you tell us a bit about that? You say you turned a scholar of Presidential Rhetoric? How does the first lady in her rhetoric usually match into President President's objectives of using her rhetoric?
Linda Hopgood: It's very important in some ways. The primary lady may be a continuation of the president's policies and objectives throughout the administration. And in Mrs. Nixon's case, she was the first lady to play an important position in the ladies's motion, much of the cultural change in the late '60s and early' 70s. And Mrs. Nixon navigates a few of the quite crisp waters with dignity and calmness, in a satisfying method, which I feel continues to be an instance for everybody.
Jonathan Movroydis: Sort of… You talked about some of these things. How was Mrs. Nixon sent? Or did he use communication with the administration, the White House? How did he tell about this, how did he face these challenges to the country, and how did he convey the President's message and his message?
Linda Hopgood: To start with, with full help for her agenda and her perception in the presidency and what might be achieved that would… improve the potential for growing international understanding and decreasing hostilities and ending the Vietnam Struggle, but with dignity. And Mrs. Nixon liked to travel. She absolutely supported her husband's objectives. And in case you combine the two, he served as each a proper and informal ambassador to the Nixon administration.
Jonathan Movroydis: Might you inform us a bit of bit about the research and the individuals you interviewed on this chapter, on this coming guide?
Linda Hopgood: Most of the interviews really occurred in the '70s. All three of Mrs. Nixon's press secretaries are lifeless. And I was fortunate sufficient to know one in every of the three very nicely. Your interviewer, Mrs Nixon's employees, had also recognized her first two press secretaries, and their views thus turned very priceless. However I labored with some of the staff closest to Mrs. Nixon, and I had the honor of understanding how they themselves mirror Mrs. Nixon's intentions and intentions or conduct, her letter guidelines and correspondence with all backgrounds and financials layers, overseas, domestic. It was very exciting, to be trustworthy, to be a part of the operation for a short while. I knew Susan Porter, who is now Susan Porter Rose, Gwen King, Susan's Very Greenback Son, Lucy Winchester and Helen Smith, and her employees, together with Patti Matson. And it was just a very fascinating group of girls to work with. That they had very high standards, and that was an ideal thing to realize once we worked at the White Home.
Jonathan Movroydis: Is there somewhat speak about the commonplace. Might you inform us a bit about Mrs. Nixon's lettering practices and the common requirements for first lady workplace outreach?
Linda Hopgood: In correspondence, Mrs. Nixon had a tall brief translation. Even if he couldn't reply the call, for example. It was our obligation to inform the sender of the invitation that it was acquired and that they might quickly hear from us whether or not the President and Mrs. Nixon or Mrs. Nixon or her daughter, depending on who the letter was addressed to, might be assured. We by no means needed to let the letter linger. And Mrs. Nixon had… She had good standards for these letters. Over the years, he had been in the houses of people that had acquired letters from the White Home. And he knew that some individuals stored them in frames on walls or tables. They appreciated the official letter from the CEO or his family. And Mrs. Nixon needed to ensure there were no typos. And this is again to the time once we used typewriters, not computer systems. So there was no error in the letter you despatched. The envelopes didn’t should have a paper clip indentation, so we truly use small tissue plates with the weight of the envelope and the paper clip that holds the letter. And it sounds … It might sound trivial to our time, however it was essential for the full presentation and arrival of that letter. And Mrs. Nixon handled the constituencies … Again, each constituency was treated with the highest respect and dignity, even till the letter was answered. He additionally signed his letter.
Jonathan Movroydis: Might you inform us somewhat about Helen McCain Smith? What was his background? Who was she and why was she so necessary to the first lady's press?
Linda Hopgood: Helen McCain Smith had two qualities. For one, she had been a part of Mrs. Nixon's employees virtually from the starting. So he had the opportunity, underneath the authority of the two former press secretaries, to see what Mrs. Nixon favored. And he noticed how the recalibration underneath certain circumstances was good for Mrs. Nixon and the press. And that's another consideration. Helen McCain Smith had been part of the news operation, and so she knew the press, she knew the members of the Fourth Manor, she appreciated them, they favored her and they respected her. And this mix accelerated Mrs. Nixon's aim of treating all members of the press, journalists and correspondence first as human beings and then as journalists. And he did so. And Helen emphasized it.
Jonathan Movroydis: What about Connie Stuart?
Linda Hopgood: Her husband proposed Connie Stuart as a second press secretary for Mrs. Nixon. I by no means knew Conney personally, but I am advised that she was vibrant and good-natured. At the similar time, she had high calls for on the first lady's press. And he was not afraid to inform the West Wing, "This is how we intend to act on Mrs. Nixon's East Wing and hope to respect that." With regards to travel and preparations and making certain Mrs. Nixon has had a breakthrough time, if she goes to travel with the President, it was necessary. I feel in many ways the West Wing was not as ready for Mrs. Nixon's full participation, especially for the travels she needed to be and as President Nixon needed her to be. And so it was … One in every of the things Connie took the initiative to ensure the Presidential employees met Mrs. Nixon as well as attainable.
Jonathan Movroydis: What about Patti Matson?
Linda Hopgood: Patti was the vice chairman of Helen Smith, and I feel she would in all probability be the closest individual with experience. Now that these ladies are lifeless, like no one else, Patti knew Helen Smith. He met Mrs. Nixon, and indeed made the similar excessive calls for by informing the press responsibly as quickly as potential and understanding the episodes that press members wanted to put in writing or distribute tales in the media. I feel Patti additionally had this … He followed the similar standards of remedy in the press as individuals, individuals with their own wants. Mrs. Nixon needed it to occur, and Helen and Patti revered it and fulfilled Mrs Nixon's wishes.
Jonathan Movroydis: What about Gerry Van der Heuvel.
Linda Hopgood: GerryVan der Heuvel, I didn't know her nicely. what I heard upon getting into the east wing. And neither did he … He had the shortest time period of any of the three press secretaries. Whereas a true press secretary, Helen was for an extended time a press secretary or an assistant secretary. And Connie Stuart was apparently the second in the sequence. However Gerry Van der Heuvel was respected in the Washington press. She was head of the Nationwide Ladies's Press Organization. And I feel the fact was telling, she was in all probability … Oh, I feel the neatest thing to say is the transition itself when she moved from the press to speak with the first lady to the press. And there were many things which may have stunned him because he didn't know the Nixons nicely. I feel he did an admirable job of making an attempt to serve Mrs. Nixon, but once more it was time for a change and all three press secretaries have been caught in a time of change, but I feel Gerry might have been greater than two others.
Jonathan Movroydis: You write that Mrs. Nixon was typically missed throughout her first presidency. She was product of coarser stuff than a few of the first ladies, however not arduous or new information stuff. What do you imply by this?
Linda Hopgood: Mrs. Nixon was not an arbitrary individual. He didn’t covet fame. He was pleased together with his conduct and tendencies. And he was as targeted as any human being I have ever recognized. And just by following his ministry from the place in the background, we get an opportunity to see him interact with all the elderly and younger individuals in the area. He was as mild and pleasant and eager to help anybody I've ever seen. You and I each know full nicely that the news depends above all on the uncommon and onerous news. And receptions that end happily, days that end happily ever after, usually are not onerous news. But Mrs. Nixon's job, if you’ll, was to make so many individuals feel at residence in the White Home with reception gives every time she met somebody. I feel one among my most enduring impressions and one in every of my most endearing is how you shake or he would shake your hand with every one. He ought to maintain your hand between his. And he's not the solely one that has achieved it, however I've never seen anybody do it and bash it in the eyes a lot that it felt such as you have been the only individual in the room and the just one who mattered to the woman. Nixon right then. And he did it so simply and so easily. Even when there were hundreds of people in the room and tons of ready in the reception line, she gave you each minute you deserved and actually tried to make you snug and respect it. And it was … It was simply … It's not arduous information.
Jonathan Movroydis: Proper. However he was concerned … His cause was individuals. He stated individuals have been his venture.
Linda Hopgood: The Challenge. Properly.
Jonathan Movroydis: He traveled abroad, together with a very visible journey to China. He was concerned in the park program and the restoration of the White House. Are there any of those… A few of these might not have been thought-about onerous news, however have been they… How did the press ultimately cross them?
Linda Hopgood: Properly, for example, she was making an attempt to continue Mrs. Kennedy's dedication to restoration. antiques in the White House and helped … God, I feel it was [inaudible 00:17:57] and … Oh, goodness. The identify is escaping me right now. However he labored very intently with two individuals to revive Ameryana's furnishings and furnishings to the White House. And the program had began with Mrs. Kennedy. The truth that Mrs. Nixon continued it and continued to do so sooner or later, the grateful nation appreciates something she thought, nevertheless it was not a totally new program. So far as individuals are my challenge, it was not restricted. And Mrs. Nixon intentionally stored it as open as potential. When campus groups have been sad, he went to take heed to them and to be present in the administration. For many who needed a listening ear, he was there. When it was aged or when it was youngsters, he was there. Victims of the South American earthquake, he was present and tried it. However should you defined it extra narrowly, it may need thought-about a petition a more concrete challenge, however it will not have been what Mrs. Nixon needed to do for the administration.
Jonathan Movroydis: What have been the widespread perceptions based mostly on his initiatives and based mostly on the press lens? What have been the People' views of Mrs. Nixon?
Linda Hopgood: Too many are based mostly on false impressions given, for my part, based mostly on the Watergate controversy and the retrospectives developed for the Watergate phrases. Mrs. Nixon was ready for laughter and as skilled and delicate at international degree as any of the first ladies I might imagine. He studied rigorously earlier than touring abroad. And, for instance, he was quite insistent that when he was visiting the Vietnam Battleground, he needed to go to the wounded beds in Vietnam and Long Binh, and he didn't like the concept of the press, though it in all probability introduced him an important and probably favorable press assessment. He had no intention of seeing it on television only for the sake of television. He needed to obtain messages from the soldiers and those that needed him to contact his family members back residence. He even creased next to the bed just to get the names of the individuals they needed him to contact. And he did so. And he didn't need something to stop it. He didn’t talk about the photograph opportunity.
Jonathan Movroydis: Our visitor right now is Linda Hobgood. She is an assistant author for an upcoming e-book by Lisa Burns, professor of media relations at Quinnipiac University. The ebook is known as "Media Relations and the Modern Ladies: Jacqueline from Kennedy to Melania Trump". Dr. Hobgood, thanks very a lot for joining us.
Linda Hopgood: Thanks. Thanks quite a bit.
Jonathan Movroydis: Please verify upcoming podcasts at nixonfoundation.org or your favorite podcast app. That is Jonathan Movroydis, Yorba Linda.
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