Exclusive: People Magazine’s “Final Interview” Betty White cover story conducted via email, no one spoke to her

Homepage Celebrity Exclusive: “Final Interview” of Betty White from People magazine, conducted by e-mail, …

Was Betty White good enough to be interviewed for People magazine this fall?

The answer is: we don’t know.

But People magazine made a big deal out of their big, so-called final interview with White, which featured on the cover of their year-end double issue. And then, luckily upon the release of “The Front Page”, White passed away while the issue was on sale.

It turns out, however, that all three quotes from Liz McNeil’s cover were emailed to People. No one at the magazine spoke to White. The rest of the cover is a clip from old People interviews and quotes from friends and her manager.

I asked McNeil by email if she had spoken to White. People’s press secretary Julie Farin responded by email. She wrote: “Liz McNeil conducted PEOPLE’s interview with Betty White via email a few weeks ago.” In a second email, she added, “The answers are Betty White’s direct responses to Liz’s questions.”

So McNeil never saw White or spoke to him. No one at People did, which is not mentioned in the article. The cover story begins with three quotes from White that looked like this – minus the italics:

In this week’s cover story, White exclusively tells PEOPLE how she feels about turning 100. “I am so lucky to be so healthy and to feel so good at this age,” said the veteran actress. “It’s incredible.”

According to White, being “born a flirtatious optimist” is key to her optimistic nature. “I got it from my mom, and it never changed,” she says. “I always find the positive.

As for her diet, White jokes, “I try to avoid anything green. I think it works.

There is nothing wrong with a clip job. People have been doing them for four or decades. Maybe it’s important to put that in the room and not make it look like McNeil was chatting with White shortly before his death.

PS People trumpeted White’s agent announcement today that the star had died of “natural causes.” Yes, she was 99 years old. Ninety-nine.


Roger Friedman started his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years at Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His film reviews are published by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the film and television branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years, including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid-90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn’t so. mad) where he covered Michael Jackson. . He is also screenwriter and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive”, a selection from the Cannes, Sundance and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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