Originally published in Romanian. Translated for Alianta.
John Florescu, journalist and famous American TV producer, is the guest of Adrian Artene in the ALTCEVA podcast, which was broadcast on Saturday, July 29, starting at 7:00 PM.
In the podcast, John Florescu spoke about what American presidents were like when the cameras were off.
Adrian Artene: “The first time you came into contact with an American president was with Nixon, but subsequently, there were so many American presidents that you have interviewed face to face.”
John Florescu: David Frost conducted the interviews, I was his producer. He did interviews with many personalities. At the White House, the first time, I think he did it with George Bush Sr. That was a very special period, first he was at the White House, and, in addition, it was the election period with Clinton (note: Bill Clinton).
It was amusing, we were there with Clinton and Mrs. Clinton, just before New Hampshire, which matters a lot (note: he is referring to the US elections). And there was a scandal with Gennifer Flowers. There was a scandal in the press then.
In fact, Bill Clinton’s candidacy program was separate from Mrs. Clinton’s. But we tied them both together. However, there are two discussions: one discussion, negotiations with Mr. Clinton’s campaign and another with Mrs. Clinton. But we insisted they be together. But actually, it was 20 minutes with Mr. Clinton, 20 minutes with Mrs. Clinton, and 20 minutes together. They hadn’t seen each other for three weeks. We did the last interview with Bill Clinton when he was in front of George Bush, 40 hours before the elections.
In Ohio, where we were too, the candidates were very close to each other. Every day there is a poll and they were at 47 and 48 percent.
And we had at eight o’clock, across the country, one hour for each candidate.
Then, with 12 hours before the interview, Clinton advanced by one percent, and the campaign manager called me and said he wouldn’t come. However, the advertising was already done across the country and I explained to him that if Bill Clinton doesn’t come, we will have to tell the viewers that he accepted the invitation and then said he no longer participates,” recalls John Florescu.
Adrian Artene: “This is how history is written even at this level and through you, we penetrate the backstage of the White House and learn these details. But which of the interviewed American presidents seemed the most rigid to you and, conversely, who seemed the most open? How was Carter?”
John Florescu: “Carter is military and he was in Minneapolis and he is a little rigid. Reagan had head problems, I saw that he had Alzheimer’s.
I saw George Bush, both father and son, in difficult periods,” John Florescu further told.
Who is John Florescu
John Florescu has his origins in Romania. He is the son of the well-known historian Radu Florescu and is a descendant of an old boyar family from Wallachia. He studied history, political science, philosophy, and economics at Boston College (USA) and Oxford (UK).
For two decades he was the “man in the shadows” of the famous David Frost from the BBC. He produced over 150 hours of television shows for networks such as CBS, HBO, BBC, The History Channel, Discovery-Times, PBS, Disney.
He interviewed six presidents of the United States. He currently runs the Romanian branch of the PR and consultancy firm Centrade. He is the founder of Chainsaw Europe.
In the podcast, John Florescu also talked about the blood connection between the Florescu family and Vlad Dracul, about what the New York Times headlined at his father’s death, and about the personalities that fascinated him: Margaret Thatcher, Muhammad Ali, and Jacques Cousteau.
Watch the full podcast with John Florescu only on the YouTube channel Altceva with Adrian Artene.
Read the original version of this article, in Romanian, on the Gandul newspaper page.