More TV Days - Janet Langhart

by Jack Keegan


In 1978 a new TV show was inaugurated called "America Alive" The host was Jack Linkletter son of Art Linkletter whose House Party was a great show that was around for years, "Remember Kids Sat the Damest Things?"

I was assigned to the show to supervise the operation and use of radio mikes.

There were two Reporters with the show, Pat Collins and Janet Langhart. Since my partner on the show did not particular like to work with African Americans I was assigned to the miking of Janet. Going into her dressing room the first time I explained that I was there to provide her with an RF mike.

First I hooked the transmitter to the back of her skirt, then it was necessary to run the mike cable and the mike itself from the xmitter to the front of her blouse.This meant the I had with one hand reach under her blouse and reach down with the other for the mike. At this point she exclaimed that I had her half undressed and she didn't know my name. I said that I'm Jack and she replied that she was Janet. From then on we became very good friends.

Sometime later I was assigned to cover a boxing match at the Maximum Security Correctional Facility in Rahway, New Jersey. I believe it was a contest with Hurricane Carter as one of the participants. I came out of one of the building as the setup for the TV program progressed. A number of yards away was Janet Langhart, who at this time was working for ABC and was at the prison on another story.

Seeing me she rushed toward me and gave me a kiss on the lips, telling me how glad that she was to see me. I looked over my shoulder at about two dozen African American inmates behind a cyclone fence and wondered what they thought, who was this "Whitey" being given this big kiss by a "Sista".

Janet married William Cohen former Senator from Maine in 1996. Cohen was appointed Secretary of Defense in 1997 by President William Clinton.

When her husband became Secretary of Defense, Langhart was known as"First Lady of The Pentagon" due to her active and visible public role while Cohen was in office. She spurred several initiatives aimed at the morale and well-being of military and civilian employees of the Defense Department, including the Military Family Forum, the Pentagon Pops concert series, the Secretary of Defense Annual Holiday Tour (an entertainment revue), and her own series of interviews on Pentagon TV, Special Assignment A wonderful lady to know and work with.


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