ABC’s Connie Chung scores first Condit interview
NEW YORK (AP) – Embattled Rep. Gary Condit will give his first television interview on the Chandra Levy case to ABC News correspondent Connie Chung.
Chung won a furious behind-the-scenes competition for the interview, considered the biggest ”get” in television news since her ABC colleague Barbara Walters interviewed Monica Lewinsky.
The interview will be taped for air Thursday night, Condit aide Michael Dayton said. Chung will talk to him from Condit’s district in Modesto.
Condit, a Democrat, has been in virtual seclusion as stories swirled about his romantic relationship with the missing intern. Police have said the 53-year-old married congressman is not a suspect in Levy’s disappearance and that there’s no proof a crime was committed.
Chung was chosen for the interview even though Walters and fellow ABC News correspondent Diane Sawyer were also reportedly seeking it.
Condit’s political consultant, Richie Ross, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Until Monday, CBS News had high hopes that Condit would speak to ”60 Minutes,” where it likely would have been assigned to Ed Bradley.
NBC News’ Stone Phillips also was seeking the interview. But Condit was considered unlikely to speak to that network because it devoted more time to the Levy disappearance than its rivals.
At the same time, CBS was considered to have a strong chance because anchorman Dan Rather resisted the story on the ”CBS Evening News.” Rather didn’t do a story on the matter until July 18. Levy’s been missing since May 1.
Condit has been planning his strategy, even while hunkered down in his California home, with a barrier of campers and pickup trucks parked outside to shield against television cameras. He is expected to send a letter to his constituents outlining his plans.
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