"In journalism school, I realized that a woman journalist should be willing to be treated exactly as a male journalist. Along the line, I decided that I really didn't want to stand out and push and shove in my trench coat in the rain and snow with the men. After I started working in television, I decided that instead of reporting, I really wanted to be a producer because that's where, behind the scenes, you got the whole picture. That was always what interested me."
About This Interview
In her four-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Betty Cole Dukert speaks of her early interest in journalism and her brief production experience in local radio and television. She recalls her five-decade tenure at Meet the Press, where she rose through the ranks, ultimately serving as executive producer. Dukert offers a history of the show from its earliest years and discusses her experience behind-the-scenes. She chronicles her overseas trips, guests who appeared on the show, and the relationship between the series and the world's political leaders (including Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Yasser Arafat). Dukert also describes the methods of several of the moderators who served on the show including: Ned Brooks, Lawrence Spivak, Bill Monroe, Marvin Kalb, Roger Mudd, Chris Wallace, Garrick Utley, and Tim Russert. Finally she speaks of her retirement, the legacy of Meet the Press, and offers advice to aspiring news producers. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 14, 2003 in Bethesda, MD.