No reply from CNN

By Barry Grey
8 July 1999

Strange things happened when this reporter telephoned the Larry King Live program in Washington and CNN headquarters in Atlanta in an effort to get their side of the story reported by Robert Fisk in the British newspaper, the Independent. (See Was CNN involved in a NATO effort to assassinate the Serbian information minister?)

I asked to speak to Larry King's press spokesperson and was connected to Deirdre Kline, the publicist for the Larry King Live program. After identifying myself as a journalist with the World Socialist Web Site, I drew Ms. Kline's attention to the Independent article, whereupon she declared, “Oh, I have to take another call. It will just be a minute and I'll call you right back.”

Some twenty minutes later I telephoned CNN's office in Washington once again and asked for Deirdre Kline. “Deirdre Kline doesn't work here anymore,” said the voice on the other end.

“But I spoke to her not twenty minutes ago,” I replied. There was a pause and a flustered question: “Who does she work for?” I explained that Ms. Kline is the publicist for the Larry King Live show.

Next I found myself speaking to a man, who apparently knew of Ms. Kline and was even able to put me through to her extension. I can't say I was shocked when I failed to get the live Ms. Kline and instead got her answering machine. I left the obligatory message, and have since left one or two more, without receiving a reply.

Next I called CNN headquarters in Atlanta. There I spoke with Megan Mahoney, a public relations official for CNN News. She knew of the Fisk article, and would be happy to respond to its suggestion that Larry King Live, in coordination with NATO military planners, sought to lure the Serbian information minister into the TV center in Belgrade at precisely the time it was to be bombed.

“If you don't mind, I would like to reread the article and get back to you shortly,” said Ms. Mahoney. Her last words were to the effect that she might refer the matter to her boss.

No surprise, Ms. Mahoney never called, and subsequent telephone calls to her office have never gotten beyond her answering machine.

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