Exploring the History of Firing Line with Margaret Hoover

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Margaret Hoover, Host of Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, to discuss the history of the iconic series as well as her thoughts on the current state of the Republican party.

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"That's Firing Line. We have the host right here. She is, in fact, Margaret Hoover, Host of Firing Line with Margaret Hoover on PBS. Hey! Hi! Welcome to the PBS family! Thank you so much! Is this not the greatest broadcast network around? It is a total... really, truly an honor. I mean, all of us grew up with PBS, especially... I mean beginning... this is the most brilliant marketing strategy ever. Get them while they're young. Sesame Street. [laughter] Mister Rogers. Right? But you gotta keep them with compelling programming? Yes you do. And so that's what you do, and that's what I'm trying to do, and it's really... actually it's like the honor of a lifetime to be able to be a part of this. Well, for those of us who are old enough to remember William F. Buckley, '66 to '99, he did Firing Line. He had his own unique style, fair to say? Totally fair to say. Do you know, he was the longest running television host in television history. More than Johnny Carson. And now you're at 30 years? Yeah we're just about at 30 years. So, you know, you could beat him. Four more years. Do I dress better than Buckley? You dress... I don't... yeah, I don't think he thought his dress was the distinguishing... No. I know I'm not as... ...feature of his performance. ...smart as Buckley. [laughter] I think it was... How smart was William F. Buckley? Buckley was incredibly... Like scary smart? He was smart, but what... the thing that he was best at was his locution. He would use multisyllabic words, over and over and over again. It forced everybody to sit and watch his show, before you could watch with multiple screens, with a dictionary in your lap. And a thesaurus. So you could try to figure out what he was saying. I mean that was the signature riff about... Sure. ...Buckley, is his choice in words and his mastery of the English language, both with the pen and with his tongue. And a conservative intellectual who made people think, whether they agreed with him or not, and you take on the mantle of the show with your own brand, your own style, your own approach. You identify as a quote-unquote, "conservative". You're clearly an intellectual. But it's different times. Very different. So let's put this right out there. The Donald Trump brand of, quote-unquote, "conservatism", "Republican conservatism" - you're shaking your head as I speak, and the Margaret Hoover brand, not that you are here on...