A E T N Logo P B S logo
Support the Programs You LoveDONATE NOW

Barnes and... A Conversation with Roy Reed

Loading the player…

Steve Barnes sits down with Roy Reed and discusses his newest book, Beware of Limbo Dancers: A Correspondent's Adventures with the New York Times. Reed, a native of Garland County who became a reporter for the New York Times in 1965 was thrust into the chaos of Alabama and witnessed first hand the Selma protest movement and the historical interracial march to Montgomery.

After his career as a reporter from 1956 to 1978, Reed taught journalism at the University of Arkansas for sixteen years. He is the author of two books:~Looking for Hogeye~and~Faubus: The Life and Times of an American Prodigal, and he is the editor of~Looking Back at the Arkansas Gazette: An Oral History.

TRANSCRIPT

HELLO AGAIN EVERYONE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. IT'S GOING TO BE A WONDERFUL PROGRAM AND OUR OLD FRIEND ROY REED IS WITH US. THANKS FOR COMING IN.

WELCOME.

ROY GREW UP IN ARKANSAS AND JOURNALIST SCHOOL AND A BRIEF TIME IN MISSOURI AND A LONG CAREER WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES. BACK TO ARKANSAS FOR THAT 16 AND A HALF YEARS I GUESS ON THE JOURNALISM FACULTY ON THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AND A ALONG THE WAY THERE WAS HIS MASTERFUL BIOGRAPHY OF THE LATE GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS AND SINCE THEN YOU GAVE ORAL HISTORY TO THE ARKANSAS GAZETTE AND BACK WITH A MEMOIR AND NOT A GENTLE ONE AND SOME OF THE CHARACTERS WERE NOT CONSISTENTLY GENTLE CHARACTERS. ANYWAY THE TITLE IS BEWARE OF LIMBO DANCERS. WHY DON'T WE GET THAT OUT OF THE WAY FIRST. BEWARE OF LIMBO DANCERS.

THAT'S A REFERENCE. I COULD SAY YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOK, BUT I WILL TELL THE STORY.

YOU CAN TEASE IF YOU WANT.

THAT WAS A PIECE OF GRAFFITI IN THE MEN'S ROOM OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ON MY FIRST OR SECOND DAY ON THE JOB. I DISCOVERED THAT GRAFFITI. THE MEN'S ROOM HAD THESE STALLS WITH THE DOORS THAT CAME ABOUT THAT FAR ABOVE THE FLOOR AND ENDED, AND INSIDE THAT DOOR SOMEONE HAD PENCILED IN A VERY NEAT HAND "BEWARE OF LIMBO DANCERS" AND THAT STRUCK ME AS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST PIECES OF GRAFFITI I EVER SEEN, AND ALSO DIFFERENT FROM ANY OF THE MEN'S ROOM WALLS THAT I CAME INTO CONTACT WITH BACK HOME, AND SOMETHING MADE ME KNOW AT THAT MOMENT THAT I WAS A STRANGE LAND. NOT HOSTILE, JUST DIFFERENT FROM ANYTHING I HAD KNOWN. IT WAS ALSO THE FIRST SIGN OF HUMOR THAT I HAD RUN INTO AT THE NEW YORK TIMES OR FOR THAT MATTER IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK. I EVENTUALLY CAME TO HAVE A MORE RELAXED VIEW OF THE CITY, BUT BACK THEN I WAS GRATEFUL FOR ANY SIGN OF COMMON HUMANITY THAT I COULD FIND THERE.

YEARS LATER THERE WOULD BE ANOTHER LIMBO INCIDENT BUT WE WILL LEAVE THAT FOR THE AUDIENCE TO DISCOVER WHEN THEY BUY THE BOOK. WAS YOURS A TYPICAL ARKANSAS BOYHOOD?

PROBABLY NOT. I WAS BORN AND BROUGHT UP IN HOT SPRINGS WHICH AS YOU KNOW HAS ALWAYS BEEN OFF TO ONE SIDE OF THE TYPICAL ARKANSAS TOWN. NOW, MY PART OF HOT SPRINGS WAS PURELY TYPICAL ARKANSAS. WE LIVED IN SOUTH HOT SPRINGS WELL AWAY FROM THE GAMBLING CASINOS AND THE RACE TRACK AND SIN IF YOU WILL. I WAS BROUGHT UP A BAPTIST AND MY PEOPLE DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO IF THEY COULD HELP IT WITH THOSE OTHER FOLKS, AND SCHOOL, YOU KNOW, I ENCOUNTERED SOME OF THEM. HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF BRIEFLY DATING A VERY NICE GIRL WHOSE DADDY WORKED FOR THE CASINOS, SO YOU KNOW WE -- I THINK THE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE THERE HAD SOME TOLERANCE FOR EACH OTHER BUT WE UNDERSTOOD WE WERE DIFFERENT. I WAS IN A PART OF TOWN THAT WAS MUCH LIKE FT. SMITH OR ELDER RAIDO OR PINE BLUFF, BUT THIS WAS ALWAYS THAT SECRET KNOWLEDGE THAT JUST A FEW BLOCKS AWAY THERE WAS THIS OTHER EXOTIC WORLD.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE THAT WORDS, LETTERS WERE GOING TO BE YOUR CALLING, YOUR TRADE?

I THINK I WAS 12 OR 13 WHEN I MET AN OLD MAN THEN IN HIS 70'S WHO WAS IN HOT SPRING TO TAKE THE BATHS AS A LOT OF PEOPLE DID. THIS FELLOW HAPPENED TO BE FROM ALABAMA AND HE HAD A LONG CAREER AS A LOT OF THINGS AND AMONG OTHER THINGS AS A JOURNALIST AND WHEN HE DISCOVERED THAT I WAS A BOY WHO WAS INTERESTED IN READING, AND ALREADY HAD SOMEWHERE GOT THE NOTION THAT I WANTED TO WRITE THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL. THANK GOD I STAYED CLEAR OF THAT WORK. HE HUMORED ME AND HE SAID "THE WAY TO BE A WRITER IS GET STARTED IN NEWSPAPERS AND GO TO THE MISSOURI SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND YOU MUST BE PREPARED FOR THAT" AND HE SET ME FOR THAT DIRECTION AND IT FOLLOWED ME PRETTY DIRECTLY TO A CAREER IN NEWSPAPERS, AND I WILL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL TO THAT OLD GENTLEMEN.

YOUR PARENTS VERY MUCH WANT THE YOU AND YOUR SIBS, YOUR SISTER -- THEY REALLY WANTED COLLEGE FOR YOU, NOT THAT YOU DIDN'T, BUT THEY WERE OF THE GENERATION THAT COLLEGE WAS A RARITY.

IT WAS. IN FACT NEITHER OF THEM HAD GONE PAST THE EIGHTH GRADE. THEY WERE COUNTRY PEOPLE. THE NORN PART OF GARLAND COUNTY, WELL AWAY FROM HOT SPRINGS, AND THE HIGHEST GRADE LEVEL IN THEIR SCHOOL WAS THE EIGHTH GRADE, SO THEY GREW UP EXPECTING MORE OUT OF THEIR KID -- WELL, WANTING MORE. THEY WEREN'T ALWAYS SURE THEY COULD HAVE IT, BUT THEY DID. YOU KNOW IT'S A FAIRLY TYPICAL AMERICAN STORY. THE PARENTS SACRIFICES FOR THE CHILDREN AND IT WORKED OUT.

YOU WRITE IN THE BOOK AT SOME POINT -- I DON'T HAVE THE DIRECT QUOTE, BUT YOU JOINED THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT WITHOUT KNOWING IT. YOU DIDN'T REALIZE YOU JOINED IT. TELL US ABOUT THAT. HOW?

MY DAD HAD A COUNTRY STORE. IT WAS 5 MILES OUT OF HOT SPRINGS AND HIS CUSTOMERS WERE NOT QUITE HALF BLACK, HALF WHITE BUT PROBABLY A FOURTH BLACK AND I GOT ACQUAINTED WITH THEM BECAUSE I WORKED IN THE STORE, AND ONE OF THE CUSTOMERS -- THERE WERE TWO OF THEM ACTUALLY. AN OLDER MAN NAMED BUDDY GRIM WHO KIND OF INDULGED ME AND BEFRIENDED ME, AND I GOT TO KNOW HIS WIFE AND HIS KIDS, AND UP TO THAT POINT BLACK PEOPLE HAD JUST BEEN KIND OF A DISTANT PHENOMENON. I MEAN I KNEW THEY WERE THERE BUT I HAD NO EXPERIENCE WITH THEM, AND IN FACT IF ANYBODY HAD ASKED ME MAYBE A YEAR BEFORE THIS EXPERIENCE IN MY DAD'S STORE "WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RACE ISSUE?" . I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE SAID "I DON'T KNOW. THEY'RE DIFFERENT FROM US" AND IF THEY SAID "WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SEGREGATION OF THE RACES?" WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I WAS A ABSOLUTE IGNORE RAMOS. I KNEW I HAD THE STANDARD PREJUDICES OF WHITE PEOPLE AND THERE WAS BUDDY GRIM AND ANOTHER MAN, A FAR DIFFERENT KIND OF BLACK PERSON. LEROY SAMUELS AND HAD BEEN IN WORLD WAR II IN THE ARMY AND WENT ABROAD AND SEEN HOW OTHER PEOPLE LIVED, AND HE CAME HOME FULL OF -- I THINK BITTERNESS IS THE ONLY WORD ABOUT THE WAY HIS PEOPLE WERE TREATED DOWN THROUGH THE GENERATIONS. HE WAS HIMSELF NEVER A CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST. THAT WOULDN'T HAVE CROSSED HIS MIND. HE TOOK HIS BITTERNESS OUT IN DRINK AND DRANK HIMSELF TO DEATH, AND BEFORE THAT HE BEFRIENDED ME AND WHY HE TRUSTED THIS SIMPLE WHITE BOY I HAVE NO IDEA, BUT I'M ALWAYS GRATEFUL WHEN I REMEMBER THAT HE DID. HE TAUGHT ME ABOUT THE CONDITION OF HIS PEOPLE AND THE WRONG NESS OF IT AND MADE AN IMPRESSION AND I WAS 15 WHEN THAT HAPPENED AND WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI IT WAS SIMPLE TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP AND BE ABLE TO BACK UP THIS NEW FOUND VISION WITH FACTS. I HAVE SOME VERY GOOD TEACHERS WHO TALKED ABOUT THE RACE ISSUE, BUT IT BEGAN THERE IN ARKANSAS IN THAT COUNTRY STORE AND THANKS TO LEROY SAMUELS AND MY GENTLE FRIEND BUDDY GRIM THEY BEGAN TO OPEN MY EYES.

FROM -- PERHAPS NOT SO MUCH DURING THE VISIT, BUT ALL OF THE VISIT BUT CERTAINLY DURING A PORTION OF THOSE DAYS AND ABSOLUTELY WHEN YOU JOINED THE TIMES YOU WERE ON THE SOUTHERN BEAT AND AT THE TIME YOU JOINED THE PAPER THAT MEANT THE RACE BEAT. IS IT FAIR TO SAY ROY THAT'S BEEN THE DOMINANT STORY OF YOUR LIFE, OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE?

YES ABSOLUTELY, YEAH. THAT WAS THE BIG POLITICAL ISSUE IN OUR COUNTRY FROM THE MID-50'S RIGHT ON THROUGH THE 60'S, AND I JUST HAPPENED TO COME ALONG IN JOURNALISM AT THAT TIME, AND IT -- YES, IT DEFINITELY WAS THE DOMINANT STORY DAY IN AND DAY OUT ALONG WITH A LOT OF OTHER STUFF, JUST PLAIN POLITICAL STUMP SPEAKINGS AND A BUNCH OF OTHER THINGS, AND JUST GARDEN VARIETY FEATURE STORIES, WHICH I ALWAYS KIND OF PREFERRED TO REALLY HARD WORK OF COVERING THE CIVIL RIGHTS STORIES. IT WAS HARD WORK. IT WAS REWARDING, BUT IT WAS A GREAT RELIEF TO TAKE OFF SOMEWHERE AND GO COVER SAY AN ELEPHANT HUNT IN OKLAHOMA OR SOME FRIVOLOUS STORY ABOUT PUTTING PIPERS ON THE HORSES IN SOUTH CAROLINA, BUT YEAH THE RACE ISSUE WAS THE BIG STORY OF MY CAREER.

ONE COULD EASILY IMAGINE THE RELIEF THAT YOU WOULD FIND IN GOING TO -- THAT'S ANOTHER STORY YOU CAN READ WHEN YOU BUY THE BOOK -- ABOUT DIAPERING THE HORSES IN CHARLESTON OR A LEMONADE STAND IN ALBANY GEORGIA BUT YOU WERE THERE AT THE BRIDGE WHEN THE BLOOD AND THE BONE AND THE FRESH AND THE HAIR LITERALLY WERE FLYING.

YEAH. THAT WAS PROBABLY THE MOST VIVID MEMORY I HAVE OF ANY DAYS WORK AT THE NEW YORK TIMES. MY STORY LEAD THE NEXT MORNING'S STORY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES AND I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE CREDIT FOR THE SUBSEQUENT DEVELOPMENTS. THAT DAY AT PETIS BRIDGE LEAD TO A DIRECT LINE TO THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT THAT LYNDON JOHNSON SIGNED INTO LAW THAT YEAR. I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE CREDIT AND THE "NEW YORK TIMES" AND THE PAPER OF RECORD, BUT SEE THE TRUTH IS IT WAS THE TELEVISION IMAGES THAT DAY THAT BROUGHT ABOUT THAT LATER DEVELOPMENT. THOSE IMAGES SICKENED MOST AMERICANS, AND IT WAS SHOWN OVER AND OVER, THE PICTURES OF BEATINGS. THE HORSE WHIPS, SHERIFF CLARK'S POSSE MEN HE CALLED THEM, THERE TO BACK UP GEORGE WALLACE'S STATE POLICE TROOPERS WHO BLOCKED THE MARCH.

POSSE WAS BASICALLY THUGS RECRUITED.

YEAH, YEAH, AND THEY RODE THEIR HORSES THROUGH THE TERRIFIED BLACK FOLKS STOPPED AT THE BRIDGE, HUNDREDS OF THEM AND ANNOUNCING THEY WERE GOING TO MARCH TO MONTGOMERY AND SEE THE GOVERNOR. THEY DIDN'T -- NOT THAT DAY, AND THESE GUYS ON HORSEBACK, SOME OF THEM USING WHIPS AND SOME OF THEM USING BILLY CLUBS TO BEAT THESE PEOPLE. JOHN LOUIS WHO HAD BEEN IN THE U.S. CONGRESS IN FOR 20, 30 YEARS. HE WAS THEN JUST A VERY YOUNG MEMBER OF THE STUDENT NOT VIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE AND ONE OF THE BILLY CLUBS CRACKED HIS SKULL THAT DAY. IT WAS A BRUTAL THING. THERE WAS AN OLD LADY EMAIL AND SHE GOT WHIPPED MERCILESSLY AND TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL, AND KIDS RUN DOWN BY THE HORSES. IT WAS THE MOST BRUTAL THING I HAD EVER SEEN AND LITTLE ROCK AT CENTRAL HIGH WE HAD FAIRLY SICKENING DEVELOPMENTS, AND IT WAS MEMORABLE PICTURES THAT WE SEE OVER LITTLE ROCK FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT NOTHING I HAD EVER SEEN WAS A MATCH FOR WHAT I SEEN THAT DAY AT PETIS BRIDGE. IT WAS A SICKENING THING TO SEE, AND I THINK WHEN MILLIONS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAW THAT ON TELEVISION THAT NIGHT AND THE NEXT DAY IT MADE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THIS COUNTRY WAS RUN.

WELL, IN ADDITION TO THE PETIS BRIDGE THERE WAS ALSO THE SHOOTING AND THESE MYRIAD EPISODES OF WHAT WE LIKE TO THINK ABOUT -- I HOPE WE'RE NOT BEING TOO POLLYANNISH ABOUT. IT WAS A DIFFERENT SOUTH. YOU TURNED AWAY IN DISGUST OR SHAME OR BOTH.

YEAH.

AND SO NAUSIATING, SO VISCERAL WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THIS THAT YOU ALSO CONFESSED I WONDER IF WE GAVE THE OLD SOB'S -- FAIR TO THEM. YOU WERE WATCHING THINGS ABSOLUTELY REVOLTING.

I WAS AFRAID YOU WERE GOING TO ASK THAT QUESTION AND IT'S HARD TO EXPLAIN THAT STATEMENT. I DID WRITE IT AND I WAS SERIOUS ABOUT IT. I WONDERED MANY TIMES WHETHER WE WERE FAIR TO THEM. YOU START WITH THIS. MOST OF US REPORTERS WERE BIASED TOWARD THE BLACK PEOPLE IN THAT RACE ISSUE. WE WERE. OF VARYING DEGREES OF LIBERALISM AS IT WAS KNOWN THEN, AND WE SHOULD MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT. WE WERE BIASED. HAVING SAID THAT I HAVE TO REALLY INSIST AS STRONGLY AS I CAN THAT WE ALL ALMOST TO THE MEN AND WOMEN REPORTER ON THE JOB SHOWED OUR BEST NOT TO SHOW OUR BIAS. NOW THERE WERE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THAT FELT THE OTHER WAY THAT DON'T BELIEVE THAT AND WERE CONVINCED THAT WE SAT DOWN AT THE TYPE WRITER EVERYDAY DETERMINED TO MAKE THEM LOOK BAD. WE DID NOT, BUT THEY'RE ENTITLED TO THEIR BELIEF. NOW, WHETHER WE WERE FAIR TO THEM OR NOT IT REALLY RESTS -- MY SELF QUESTIONING RESTS ON SOMETHING ELSE. IT WAS ALWAYS FAR EASIER TO TALK TO THE PEOPLE WHO FELT THE SAME WAY WE DID, THE BLACK DEMONSTRATORS, THE BLACK LEADERS, WHITE PEOPLE WHO WERE SYMPATHETIC TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS CAUSE, AND I CAN NAME A BUNCH OF THEM, AND SOME OF THEM BECAME GOOD FRIENDS OF MINE. IT WAS A HARD MATTER TO JUST GET TO THE PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE, AND GET HEM TO TALK. THEY DISLIKED US IN THE PRESS, MOST OF THEM INTENSELY, AND THEY DIDN'T WANT TO TALK TO US. NOW AND THEN THERE WAS AN EXCEPTION AND I SHOULD SAY A GOOD WOOD FOR AMOS THERE AND HE WAS THE LAWYER FOR THE COUNCIL AND HE COULD GET UP AT THE HOTEL BALLROOM AND MAKE STATEMENTS ABOUT THE EVILS OF INTEGRATION AND DENOUNCE BLACK FOLKS IN THE UGE LEST TERMS AND THEN PUT HIS ARM AROUND THE REPORTER "DID YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED? DID YOU GET THE QUOTES RIGHT?" AND A BIG FRIENDLY GUY AND HE WAS WILLING TO TALK, BUT MOST OF THE FOLK IT'S THE ONES IN ELECTED OFFICE WERE LIKELY TO TALK TO US BUT NOT IN A FRIENDLY WAY. YOU WOULD CATCH THEM IN ON THE RUN AND LIKE SHERIFF CLARK IN SELTA AND THE ONES THAT WERE HARD TO GET TO WERE LEADERS OF THE KU KLUX KLAN AND OTHER SHADOW ORGANIZATIONS WHO DIDN'T WANT TO BE KNOWN. DIDN'T WANT THEIR FACES ON TV, DIDN'T WANT TO TALK TO CERTAINLY A REPORTER FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES, AND MY DOUBT IS WE'RE IN THE PRESS MADE A HARD ENOUGH EFFORT TO GET THOSE FOLKS TO TELL US THEIR SIDE OF THE STORY, AND IF THAT'S TRUE I AM SORRY FOR IT, BUT I STILL HAVE NO USE FOR IT.

IN FACT SOME OF YOUR -- I'M NOT SURE THAT YOU DID, BUT SOME CLOSE FRIENDS OF YOURS IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS PRESS CORP PAID WITH THEIR FRACTURED SKULLS.

YES. A FRIEND OF MINE GOT BEAT HELPING OUT THE LOCAL COPS KEEPING THE TV GUYS IN LINE, AND I FELLOW FROM ARKANSAS NAMED JIM GILTMYER AND WENT TO WORK FOR -- WHO WAS JIM WORKING FOR? THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION MAYBE, AND ONE NIGHT THEY'RE IN THE CITY AND THEY'RE BUSY AND OLD JIM GOT HIS HEAD BUSTD AND STILL HAS A STEEL PLATE IN HIS HEAD BUT MAINLY THE PEOPLE IN DANGER WERE THE ACTIVISTS, THE PEOPLE IN THE MARCH, ESPECIALLY THE BLACK PEOPLE.

THE JOHN LOUISES'

YES.

AND WHOSE NAMES MAY NEVER BE RECORDED. IN THE NATIONAL PRESS IF YOU BECAME PRETTY EARLY ON PREDISPOSED TO ONE SIDE, IF YOU WANT TO PUT IT THAT WAY, YOU HAD YOUR COUNTER PARTS THOUGH IN A LOT OF HOME TOWN JOURNALISTS WHO HAD CAST THEIR LOT VERY MUCH WITH THE OLD ORDER.

THAT'S TRUE, AND THAT NEEDS TO BE REMEMBERED. THE TRAVELING PRESS CORP, MOST OF THEM FELT LIKE I DID AND THE OTHERS, BUT IN FAR TOO MANY SOUTHERN TOWNS THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER FOLKS WERE SYMPATHETIC TO THE SEGREGATIONISTS. I THINK FIRST OF ALL, FOREMOST OF ALL AND THE JACKSON CLAIRION LEDGER WHERE THE EDITOR OF THE AFTERNOON VERSION WROTE A FRONT AND WE W PEOPLE HEROIC AND CARTER AND HIS SON AND PUT OUT A FIRST CLASS NEWSPAPER WITHOUT RACIAL BIAS, AND THREE OR FOUR OTHER LITTLE TOWNS IN MISSISSIPPI HAD -- EVEN WEEKLIES HAD VERY BRAVE EDITORS WHO -- AND SOME OF THEM SUFFERED PUT OUT OF BUSINESS IN A FEW CASES. LOUISIANA HAD -- AT THE STATE CAPITOL HAD A HEROIC WOMAN EDITOR WHO WROTE THE TRUTH AND DEMANDED THAT HER REPORTERS DO THE SAME AND IT'S NOT A ONE SIDED PICTURE BUT MOST OF THE PEOPLE I REFERRED TO EARLIER WERE IN THE TRAVELING PRESS CORP AND HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON AND LOS ANGELES AND PLACES LIKE THAT, CHICAGO.

IT OCCURS THAT YOU IN THIS -- I DON'T WANT TO TURN THIS INTO A JOURNALISM TUTORIAL AND WE ARE GETTING PHILOSOPHICAL AND NOT REALLY BUT THOSE ON THE BEAT IN THE WORSE OF DAYS, IN THE FEVER MOVEMENT DAYS, AND I THOUGHT READING YOUR WORK AND OTHERS HOW IT MUST HAVE BEEN TO BE COVERING GERMANY IN 1939 AND 40 AND 41 WHERE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE OBJECTIVE YEAR YET YOU'RE WATCHING MONITORROUS THINGS HAPPENING AND THERE IS NO DISGUISING THE EVIL YOU'RE SEEING IN FRONT OF YOUR OWN EYES.

AND YOUR FIRST JOB AS A JOURNALIST IS TO WRITE ABOUT THE MONSTROSITY THAT YOU SEE. YOU CAN'T GET AWAY FROM IT. YOU HAVE TO DO IT UNLESS YOU'RE BOUND BY STATE LAW OR SOMETHING, AND IN FACT THERE WAS CERTAIN AMOUNT OF THAT. THE NEW YORK TIMES SUFFERED BECAUSE OF A COUPLE OF INCIDENTS IN ALABAMA THAT WERE COVERED AND IMMEDIATELY LIABLE SUITS WERE BROUGHT AND HERALD SALS BURY WAS BANNED FROM BIRMINGHAM. HE COULDN'T GO BACK AND IN FACT NO NEW YORK REPORTER COULD GO INTO ALABAMA FOR A YEAR AND IF YOU WERE FOUND YOU WERE BE SERVED A SUBPOENA AND MAYBE PUT IN JAIL AND CLAUDE COMPLAINED TO SALS BURY --

HE WAS YOUR NATIONAL EDITOR.

RIGHT AND COMPLAINED AND YOUR REPORTING KEPT ME OUT OF ALABAMA FOR A YEAR AND I AM STILL MAD ABOUT IT AND IT WAS TRUE. I DON'T THINK ANOTHER STATE WAS QUITE AS UNDONE ABOUT IT AS ALABAMA. I SHOULDN'T SAY THIS BUT I CAME AWAY FROM THOSE YEARS WITH A SERIOUS PREJUDICE AGAINST THE STATE OF ALABAMA, AND THAT'S CHEAP OF ME. I SHOULD NOT DO THAT, BUT I HAD SOME VERY GOOD FRIENDS THERE, FIRST CLASS PEOPLE, AND I STILL THINK OF THEM LOVINGLY, BUT AS A WHOLE IT LEFT A SOUR TASTE IN MY MOUTH FOR MANY YEARS AND I CAN'T GET AROUND THAT. I WILL NEED TO WORK ON THAT. IF I WAS A BETTER MAN.

WE HAVE REACHED ROY THE END OF THE 30 MINUTES THEY HAVE ALLOTTED US FOR THE ON AIR PORTION OF THE INTERVIEW. PLEASE STAY TUNED. WE WILL CONTINUE THIS CONVERSATION ONLINE IF THAT IS PERMISSIBLE WITH THE CONTROL ROOM CREW IN A FEW MOMENTS SO WE URGE YOU THOSE THAT ARE EQUIPPED AND I SUPPOSE THAT MOST EVERYBODY NEW DAYS AND JOIN US ONLINE AND WE WILL CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION WITH ROY REED AND THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR THIS PORTION ANYW

AETN.org > Programs > Barnes and... > Barnes and... A Conversation with Roy Reed