TOPICS > Politics

Who’s Who?

February 6, 1996 at 12:00 AM EDT


JIM LEHRER: Last night Rosenblatt weighed in on who he thought the author was, and Roger has returned tonight with an update and it’s so good to see you again, Roger.

ROGER ROSENBLATT: It’s very good to see you again, Jim, but this is a very embarrassing moment.

JIM LEHRER: Last night you said you nominated Lisa Grunwald.

MR. ROSENBLATT: I did, and she called me right after the broadcast to say it wasn’t she. She may be lying, of course, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I just apologize to you, to PBS, to television in general.


MR. ROSENBLATT: But I have other candidates.

JIM LEHRER: I know, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but first of all, to remind people, or those few people who may be watching tonight who were not watching last night, Lisa Grunwald is the sister of Mandy Grunwald, who was a–who’s a political consultant and very much involved in the ’92 Clinton campaign. What did Lisa Grunwald say to you? What were her denial words?

MR. ROSENBLATT: Well, it was the usual mealy-mouthed stuff that you get from writers and it was the denial and the non-denial, but I had to accept her word for it, although I did tell her that since I had said so on the NewsHour that it was as good as true. She didn’t seem to accept this, so I went back to the book and looked at the material again and made another analysis on exactly the same evidence and came to an entirely different conclusion.

JIM LEHRER: What conclusion?

MR. ROSENBLATT: That the author is clearly now–I should have seen this before–either William Styron or Ward Juste–exactly on the same evidence that I used last night. Both know Washington, both know politics, and both have homes in Martha’s Vineyard. As you may remember, last night, I used the Martha’s Vineyard passage as the crux of my analysis.

JIM LEHRER: Because Lisa Grunwald has spent some time in Martha’s Vineyard.

MR. ROSENBLATT: Yes, that’s true.

JIM LEHRER: Let me ask you this, though. Why–we could understand why Lisa Grunwald, because of her sister Mandy Grunwald, would choose to publish this book anonymously. Why would–what would be the motivation for William Styron or Ward Juste, both of whom, very accomplished novelists, et cetera, why would they want to do it anonymously?

MR. ROSENBLATT: Money. I think they’d want the money from it. It’s clearly a marketing ploy in order to get more money by calling themselves anonymous, and the second book either one will get as a result of this, they’ll double or triple the advance because of the success of this one. I called Random House today. There are 300,000 copies of this book in print.

JIM LEHRER: Three hundred thousand–the original printing I understand was sixty thousand.

MR. ROSENBLATT: That is correct. Now they’re in their eighth printing.

JIM LEHRER: Well, now back to our conversation last night, I–I had made the point in fact about the marketing, that this was more a marketing thing, but, but you still believe that whoever did this seriously chose Anonymous as a way to sell the book, not to protect themselves.

MR. ROSENBLATT: Well, it could have been. It’s an old tradition, 17th and 18th century satirists in the court in England used to write under pseudonyms to protect themselves from political retribution, but I don’t know how you can deny the marketing success of this book with 300,000 in print.

JIM LEHRER: Yeah. But how would anybody have known that, Roger? That’s my point?

MR. ROSENBLATT: Well, Anonymous would have known it, but of course we don’t know about Anonymous.

JIM LEHRER: Right. Well, look, we’re not going to ever talk about this again.

MR. ROSENBLATT: Why is that?

JIM LEHRER: Well, I mean, I think we’ve pretty well done this, so when was the last time you read–when did you read the book?

MR. ROSENBLATT: I haven’t seen it in a long time. I actually, Jim, haven’t seen the book since they sent me the galleys to correct.

JIM LEHRER: I see. Well, Roger, thank you very much. Nice to see you again.