The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent

Caro, Robert A.

Alfred A. Knopf, 1982

p. 241

LBJ was a mean man who abused reporters and ordered his wife around. He tongue-lashed reporters who had not reported his successes with sufficient enthusiasm to suit him, and whenever they hinted at criticism of him. ‘He even ridiculed them for no reason at all, displaying as he did so that keen insight into other men’s feelings that enabled him to wound them so deeply.’ He once ridiculed Dave Cheavens of the Associated Press, a sensitive, sweet-tempered guy who was fat and short. Once, when Johnson was moving across a plowed field, Cheavens was falling behind. Johnson to Cheavens: ‘C’mon Cheavens. Won’t those little fat legs of yours carry you any faster than that?’