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
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
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