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Interview With Martha Stewart

Aired February 7, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the interview you've been waiting for. She's made news in the times and the tabloids. She is here to dish it out, too, no pun intended. And she'll take your calls. She's, of course, Martha Stewart, and it's a good thing, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's the third year in a row that Martha's been with us in and around Valentine's Day, and later we'll see some of her ideas for this year's Valentine's. She joins us from New York. Always good to see her.

Let's get right to the things that have been the most talked about of recent date, and that's Kmart in crisis. You've had a working agreement with them for 15 years. What's your overview?

MARTHA STEWART, "MARTHA STEWART LIVING": Well, it's pretty sad to see an American icon, a company of such broad interest and popularity go into bankruptcy, actually. And we hope that now it will be freed of its obligations that had been really hampering it for quite a few years. These are financial in nature. They have a lot of leases that were really, really weighing the company down in interest charges, bad leases, old leases. And we hope that -- and stores that they don't even operate anymore. So we hope that Kmart will come out a healthier, leaner, better company as a result of this bankruptcy.

KING: Martha is chairman and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. We are told that your contract allows you to get out in case of bankruptcy. One analyst said losing Martha Stewart's brand would be devastating to Kmart. From the way you sound, you're not getting out.

STEWART: Well, we are again, partners with Kmart. We have been working with them for 15 years, Larry. It's pretty hard to run out on a partner that's down. You know, that's not our style. But there are lots of possibilities for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and we're weighing all our opportunities right now.

KING: But you're not deserting Kmart is what your saying, right?

STEWART: We're not deserting. We don't have plans to desert Kmart. But we are in talks with the new chairman, a very nice man called Jim Adamson. And we are very close to the company and we are working with them to help them, actually. KING: Last year, sales of Martha Stewart items, sheets, towels, housewares, rose from $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. You are not part of the financial problem.

STEWART: No, we're not. Our sales have been really strong and really good. And I think that's a result of the everyday product that we create for the mass marketer, Kmart. You know, we design all this fabulous stuff and we work with the Kmart buyers to find -- to find manufacturing sources all over the world to make this really beautiful product. It's a product that we are really proud of, Larry, and we want to see it on the shelves. We want to see it for sale and we want to see people running in to buy it.

KING: How much have they been hurt by the Wal-Marts and the Targets and the Costcos?

STEWART: Well, I think there's room in America. This whole mass market -- this whole mass market retail business is somewhere in the vicinity of $700 billion. Did you know it was that much?

KING: No, I -- $700 billion?

STEWART: Billion, yes. And Wal-Mart is by far the giant in this area. The convenience stores are another area that are taking customers away from even Wal-Mart. And there's also then smaller mass marketers like Kohl's and there's the big Home Depots for the do-it- yourselfers. And so Kmart is -- it's Kmart and Wal-Mart and Target in one quadrant of all this mass market retail business that's going on.

And I think that, really, Target's found its niche. It's a fabulous store. Wal-Mart has certainly found its niche and Kmart had a great niche and kind of lost its way for a while.

KING: Now will this hurt it, all the -- you know, perception becomes reality. Will talk of Kmart being hurt hurt Kmart?

STEWART: Well, I just hope that people understand that bankruptcy doesn't mean that the stores are closed. You know, I'm not a spokesperson for Kmart. Kmart is a retail partner of Martha Stewart Living. We sell our own design product through that channel at mass market in America. We're also selling similar product in Canada. We're selling similar product in Japan right now at the Sayu (ph) stores. So we do have other places to sell the product if, indeed, anything bad happens, ultimately with Kmart. But I really, you know, I really hope that they survive this and that it is a momentary, not a permanent, kind of problem for them.

KING: Have you been approached by the Wal-Marts, the Targets, the Sears, the Home Depots, JCPenney, Kohl's, any of them?

STEWART: I'm not really at liberty to say, but there are other opportunities, yes.

KING: But at this minute, you are sticking with Kmart?

STEWART: Yes. KING: What does K stand for in Kmart?

STEWART: The Kresge company. Do you remember Kresge?

KING: Ah, I remember Kresge's.

STEWART: Yes. And this is an outgrowth of that old, old company that was founded many years ago.

KING: They were competitors of Woolworth's.

STEWART: Yes, they were.

KING: They had a similar front. They had a red front, Kresge's.

STEWART: And Kmart -- when I joined Kmart 15 years ago, it was the largest mass marketer in America, selling something like $44 billion worth of goods. And Wal-Mart was a minute second. They were down -- they were selling about $15 billion. And Wal-Mart just surged ahead, and as Target has, too. But they are all about the same age.

KING: Did you ever think -- I mean, you are one of the wealthiest women in the United States. Your stock went public at $18 in October, hit a high of $40. Today, it closed at $15.15. I guess, based on the stock market, it started at $18 three years ago, that's a success. Did you ever think you would have this kind of financial status?

STEWART: Well, you know, I told you before, Larry, I don't think about that. I think about building a great company. I think about running a great company. I think about working with a great group of people. We have about 660 employees now in New York, working really hard to create not only merchandise for the mass market, but also merchandise for Martha by Mail, our catalog for the specialty level of retailing. We're doing furniture and floor coverings and paints. And we also publish one of the most popular magazines in America, "Martha Stewart Living."

KING: Is money a means to you, a freedom? Is it power? What does it represent?

STEWART: Well, it represents, in America, success. If you have made it financially, generally, you've been a success. And it's kind of fun to work for money, but it's also fun to work for a real result. And I think that that result is -- gives me more pride and more a sense of accomplishment than the money that I've earned.

KING: As a single, attractive woman, do you think that being...

STEWART: I knew you'd get there on Valentine's Day.

KING: Yes, well, do you think that being this famous and this rich intimidates potential suitors?

STEWART: I don't know.

KING: You don't -- would you think so? I mean, poor guy making only, say, $4 million. How is he going to even associate with you?

STEWART: Sound pretty good to me.


KING: You don't think it does, though?

STEWART: I don't think so.

KING: Martha Stewart is our guest, talking frankly about lots of things. We'll get back to talk about lots of things. We'll have some of her Valentine ideas, of course, and we'll be including your phone calls.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. A tribute to Ronald Reagan, including our last interview with the former president Saturday night on "LARRY KING WEEKEND." Don't go away.


STEWART: Here's our Victoria set. South Beach cafe, Aspen benches. Key West. Lahoya. Ten different styles and so much more. OK, girls.

See the new everyday garden furniture now at Kmart.




STEWART: You're pretty smart, Cookie Monster. I always thought you were very smart. These are very large cookies. What did you think, too big?


STEWART: Uh-oh. Code word. No, no, project.

COOKIE MONSTER: You making cookies?

STEWART: No, project. Project.

COOKIE MONSTER: You making cookies?

STEWART: No, I made a mistake.

COOKIE MONSTER: No, please! please! me want cookies. No, please.

STEWART: Wait until they are cooked. Wait until they're cooked.

COOKIE MONSTER: Please! please! please!

STEWART: ... until golden in a 350-degree oven and rotate the baking sheets halfway through.


KING: I love the Cookie Monster. Love him!

STEWART: Have you been watching him a lot these days?

LARRY: Are you kidding? That's the best television there is. That and, "Pardon the interruption" with those two sports nuts.

STEWART: I had Elmo on...

KING: You had Elmo on?

STEWART: Yesterday. It was so much fun. He's a genius. All of those characters are geniuses, but Elmo was phenomenal. I taught him the difference between potashoo and profiteral (ph) . He liked that.

KING: What is the difference?

STEWART: Profiteral is made from a potashoo puff.

KING: Oh, I didn't know that. I thought it the other way around. I thought potashoo was made from a -- never mind. You are always the subject of tabloids. Here in this one, "The Examiner" says where Rush Limbaugh can hear again and Judge Judy's biggest mistake -- "Martha Stewart, Fraud! She's falling apart." Sure don't look it tonight. And this one has you as ballooning to 212 pounds.

STEWART: Did you see they had Oprah at 300 and something pounds this week? What we have to put up with these ridiculous rags, I tell you.

KING: When it comes to that, obviously they take an unflattering picture from an angle. You've never been over 200. How do you react?

STEWART: Well, I'm a journalist. You know, Larry. I write -- I think I write 50 columns a year now, and I wouldn't write a lie. I wouldn't write a distortion of the truth. I just wouldn't think of it. And I'm sorry that they have to make money that way or try to make money. I think they're not making so much money these days.

KING: Also, you are the focus of a lot of humor on Saturday night live.

STEWART: That I like.

KING: You like that because?

STEWART: It's farcical and actually kind of inventive. And if someone can -- if somebody wants to -- Ana Gasteyer, if she wants to spend her life looking like me, all the better.

KING: There she is. She's great at it, isn't she?

STEWART: She's fantastic. She's quite a good actress and a very good impersonator. She really likes to spend a lot of time watching my shows. I think she can profit from it nicely.

KING: Do you think successful women have it tougher than successful men? The successful man is called tough, the woman is called a bitch. They focus on a man's appearance, I've never heard a successful man's appearance discussed.

STEWART: I haven't heard about your weight. I haven't read that you're 300 pounds.

KING: Why do you think that is?

STEWART: I don't know. I think it's still -- there's still a little bit of inequality at the top, first of all. Very few CEOs are women, still in America, although I understand from statistics that many, many, many more women are becoming entrepreneurs, running successful businesses. They may not be the giant corporations, but those women who do run the giant corporations have, you know, we have a real hard job.

And we have to behave appropriately for the job. We have to make deals. We have to talk like -- talk the business talk. And I think sometimes coming out of a woman's mouth, business talk sounds -- maybe it does sound a little tough.

KING: Yes. You have had a long personal and professional relationship with Oprah, right?

STEWART: Oh, yes. I was on her show when she was still down in Baltimore, when she first started. I took my first book there about 20 years ago. It was fantastic to meet her then.

KING: And you've remained friends ever since?

STEWART: Oh, definitely, yes.

KING: And she was on this show recently discussing this very same thing, of women and success and the like. And she agrees with you that women do have it extra tough.

STEWART: Yes, well, it's a -- it's kind of difficult to survive in a world that is always kind of pounding you down. And not very many women put up with it, actually.

KING: What do you think is special about her? What did it for Oprah?

STEWART: Oprah? I think her openness. I think her -- she has a lot of curiosity, like I have a lot of curiosity. She really has it. And I think being curious and wanting to know more and more and more about a lot of different things really makes you a more interesting TV personality. It certainly makes you a more interesting person. She just has an affability about her and a niceness about her that permeates everything she does.

KING: Curiosity is essential in this business?

STEWART: Oh, very, very important.

KING: If we don't wonder about things outside of ourselves, what are we?

STEWART: That's true. You are curious.

KING: Insatiably curious.

STEWART: It's just amazing.

KING: Are you that way? Do you ask questions of everybody?

STEWART: Of course. And I want to learn everything. It's just my way, and it's -- I think, why I'm such a good teacher and why people trust the information I put forth all the time, because I really try to learn before I talk. And I try to observe. You know, I can even make a piece of sushi now.

KING: You're kidding?


KING: Do you do anything with sushi? See, I don't know about food. What do you do? You just take a fish and gulp it down?

STEWART: I eat it. I love it. It's my favorite food.

KING: But it's not cooked?

STEWART: No, it's raw fish and rice. But it's delicious, and sushi chefs train for seven years before they are allowed to put a piece of sushi in front of someone.

KING: Trained in what, if it's not cooked. Trained in looking at it?

STEWART: You have to grow the rice. You have to make the rice wine vinegar to put in the rice. You have to catch the fish. You have to learn how to cut it up. It's a lot more complicated than it looks.

KING: Is it an acquired taste?

STEWART: What, Japanese food?

KING: Sushi?

STEWART: No, I don't think so. I think you either love it or hate it.

KING: There's no middle ground.

STEWART: No, I don't think so.

KING: Have you come up with any of your own sushi recipes? STEWART: Well, let me see. Not my own, actually. I think it's all been invented before. These are wonderful things. And you can make vegetable sushi if you like. You can do, like cucumber or oshinka sushi. You can do all kinds of things.

KING: We're going to talk about lots of things, Martha, including in a little while we'll get to September 11. But let's discuss something close to us. We're going to congratulate David Letterman on his 20th anniversary on February 1, 20 years ago. David made his late night debut as the host of "Late Night" on NBC and moved to CBS in '93. I've been on his show quite a few times. He's been on this show. You've been on his show many times, but he will not do your show. He hasn't recently done this show, but he wants to be on Oprah. What's your read on David?

STEWART: I love him. I think he's one of the most creative comedians on television. I watch him every single night. I think that he is a curious guy. He's a different person in real life than on TV.

KING: Very.

STEWART: Yes, very different. And he's very smart. And he likes to buffoon it up a little bit on his show. But I think -- I love doing the show with him because he likes to make messes of my perfection. And that's a lot of fun.

KING: Let's watch a clip with David Letterman. Watch.


I want to find out...

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": You have a big thing on your lip. What the hell is that?

It's gotten -- since the show has begun, it's gotten larger. That's all I can tell you. I wasn't going to say anything, but now it's like the moon is coming up.


Bring in this camera. Bring in the steady cam. Get right in there.

See if you can get it.

Can we get Mr. King some Blistek?


KING: Right off the wall, right, Martha?

STEWART: Off the wall.

KING: Why won't he do your show? STEWART: Well, I've asked him only about twice. So I've never made a big deal of it. I've invited him to dinner a lot of times. He's never come. I think he's driven around my property in Maine. He seems to know an awful lot about my property. So I think he was trespassing once. Not positive. But...

KING: Why doesn't Oprah put him on?

STEWART: I don't know. I never asked her. I'll call her tomorrow.

KING: I will too. We'll take a break and come back with more of the extraordinary Martha Stewart on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be including your phone calls. Don't go away.


STEWART: Some people have been so inspired by nature, like pine cones, that they have -- uh-oh -- don't burn yourself.

OPRAH: OK. I didn't burn myself. Just got a little glue stuck there.

STEWART: That they've created entire rooms out of things like pine scales. Entire rooms. And I went to a place in England where there was a grotto that is completely encrusted with shells.


OPRAH: I'm feeling really good about that. I'm feeling like I came to Martha's and I accomplished something.




STEWART: There are all kinds of little and inexpensive ways to make the kitchen more orderly. When you're washing fine china, for example, why not just line your sink with terry cloth towels? This helps a lot, keeping chipping and breakage to a minimum, if not nonexistent. And also, when I'm finished washing, also another hint, line your kitchen counter with some more terry towels, old bath towels. And you can turn your dishes upside down. They'll almost dry themselves.


KING: Martha, do billionaires wash their own dishes?

STEWART: Well, I had a dinner party the other night, and guess what? I washed all the dishes.

KING: With you, it doesn't surprise me. All right. Let's discuss September 11, that tragic, tragic day. You were in Japan, right?

STEWART: I was. I was launching my new business in Japan, Martha Stewart Japan. We took our whole company over there. We've done television. We've done a magazine called "Martha Stewart Martha." Here it is, in Japanese. Can I show that?

KING: Yeah, sure.

STEWART: Yeah. And we are on television every day there with our program dubbed in Japanese and we are on the shop channel. And so, we were really happy to go over there and do this. And then, we got back to our hotel room on September 11, early evening, and there we saw everything happening. It was horrifying, and especially, you know, I have my offices are on 42nd Street and also on 26th Street, all facing south. So everyone who works for me saw the whole thing, and it was horrifying.

KING: We understand you had a remarkable experience at a temple outside Kyoto. What happened?

STEWART: Oh, we did. We went to the Miho Museum, and attached to the Miho Museum is a very beautiful temple. And it's a sect in Japan, a religious sect, and the lady who is the god, they call her the goddess, we asked her if we could go and see the temple. And she gave us permission. And you go across a valley and up a mountain.

And the temple was designed by Yamasaki, the same architect of the World Trade Center. And as we approached, the bell tower chimed out "America the Beautiful." And you know, we all just started to sob. But it was just so nice and so thoughtful of our hostess, and incredible that the world around just sympathized and was as horrified as we were.

KING: Did you have trouble getting back home?

STEWART: Yeah. Took a few days, almost a week.

KING: What was the impact -- what do you think the impact has been on homes and families, people like yourself? Are we less into it, or more into it?

STEWART: I got so many calls from so many people about this subject. And I really think that Americans really did take to their homes. I think -- and they have continued to pay more attention to their homes. I think that when you stay home, you look around. You cook. You want comfort food. You want to redecorate, because you notice that you've kind of neglected the stuff that matters. Maybe you need some new sheets. Maybe your draperies are frayed around the bottom. Maybe the dog bed is really dirty, and you better get the dog a new bed.

Those are the kinds of things you notice when you stay home. And I think that there will still be an upsurge in gardening. And the basics, the traditions that really make American family life so special.

KING: What was the impact on you as you?

STEWART: Oh, I feel that I've lost my sense of complacency. I don't walk down the street the same person. I look up a lot. I worry that there may be another problem here in New York or elsewhere. And I never felt that way. I was just the freest, happy go luckiest kind of person, and I really feel a little bit of a strain now.

KING: You have security concerns?

STEWART: Personally?

KING: Yeah.

STEWART: No, I don't like to think about things like that. I'm me, you know, and I'm not worried about stuff like that. But I'm worried about the security of all of us. I don't -- but I'm not going to dwell on it. I'm going to continue living as I've always lived, and try to make the best of everything. This was an extraordinary happenstance, and I hope for sure that it will never happen again here.

KING: Do you fly commercially?

STEWART: I do. I just came home from Germany on Sunday. And the flight was fine. Lots of security. I think I went through seven X-ray machines on my three-day trip, and I was frisked for five minutes by somebody in Germany, a woman, you know, guard. I don't know why. But it was OK. The plane was crowded. People seem to be traveling.

KING: As you know, a man today -- probably know -- a man tried to kick his way into the cabin of a United Airline flight from Miami to Buenos Aires, and he was subdued.

STEWART: Oh. Well, that happened even before September 11.

KING: Do you find yourself profiling when you are at an airport? Do you find yourself looking around, wondering about people you see?

STEWART: Well, I've always been observant and I always see things sort of before other people see them. So, that's just my nature. I'm always looking around, and watching, and observing. So I don't find myself doing it anymore than I used to.

KING: The magazine, how well does it do?

STEWART: Well, we are just chugging along really well.

KING: In a tough business.

STEWART: Yeah, but, you know, we did extremely well last year. Even with downturn in advertising, "Martha Stewart Living" only experienced a 2 percent drop in advertising. And the average for all magazines is more than 12 percent drop. So we have wonderful, wonderful advertisers who have stayed with us because we have those customers. We -- our rate base is now up to 2.4 million copies a month. That's quite extraordinary.

KING: Your whole industry is based around you. I would guess a lot of people pray that you don't retire.

STEWART: Oh, I'm never going to retire. I don't know if everybody in my company wants to hear that, because there are other people that could take my place, but I don't -- I have no intention of retiring. Like you. I'm like you, Larry.

KING: Yeah, they'll carry me out. Our guest is Martha Stewart. We'll take a break and come back, and include your phone calls for Martha Stewart.

By the way, you know, last night we had the parents of Danielle van Dam on, the 7-year-old girl in Southern California who is still missing. She is still missing. Police are treating the case as a kidnapping. We had the parents, Damon and Brenda, with us last night. We want to repeat the information we gave you last night. For the latest information on the case, for the up-to-the-minute story, call 1-800-251-9927. If you have any information yourself, please contact the San Diego police department. You can be anonymous, 619-531-2000, and there is a Web site with pictures and information on Danielle, it's

Right back with Martha Stewart and your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Heidi Fleiss tomorrow night. A major program Sunday night on heart disease. Don't go away.



BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN: Women go crazy over cocoa.

STEWART: Hot cocoa.

COSBY: Oh, yes!

STEWART: With big dollops of whip cream in it.

COSBY: Where did you get dollop from?

STEWART: I don't know. Doesn't it fit perfectly --

COSBY: It's a wonderful word. I thought it was a Martha Stewart word.

STEWART: It's a dollop.

COSBY: Why didn't you just do that in the beginning --

STEWART: Because it would of made a mess, and I don't like to make messes.

COSBY: Oh, I know. I am sure glad I don't. STEWART: Last time we had Bill on the show, he called my mom. And my mom was so happy to hear from Bill. So this morning, where was mom? We called her again.

COSBY: Oh, this doesn't smell right, Martha.

STEWART; It does so.

COSBY: I fooled you.



KING: Martha Stewart with Mr. C, Mr. Cos. Let's take some calls for Martha Stewart. And then we are going to have some Valentine's expressions of Ms. Stewart in a while.

St. Joseph, Missouri. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Martha.


CALLER: I have a question for you, I always watch your show and making these gourmet dinners, and I was just wondering, do you make simpler foods when you go home in the evening, like Hamburger Helper?

KING: Do you ever go home and have a tuna fish sandwich, you know, a piece of lettuce, a banana and a cup of yogurt and go to bed?

STEWART: Yes, that's for sure.

KING: I do.

STEWART: I do. But sometimes I make an omlette and sometimes I'll have -- oh, on Monday night when I went home and had a dinner party, we had ox tail stew with watercress and polenta. That was really good.

KING: That's not an everyday food Martha.

STEWART: We had tangerine Jell-o, but we made it out of fresh tangerine juice and it was delicious.

KING: Martha, you ever have a hot dog?

STEWART: Yes, you know Pinks out in L.A.? Well, go there. Because guess what, I know have the Martha Stewart hot dog on their list. You can order it tomorrow, Larry.

KING: Martha, you are everywhere, aren't you? Your everywhere, aren't you? ever go to Burger King?


KING: Just want to get that straight because that would panic us. Glenpool, Oklahoma. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry and Martha, and I love your mother, too, Martha. And I enjoy her being on.

KING: We're going to see her with her mother in a minute.

CALLER: Oh, good. I really appreciate you bringing the old- fashion living values from the days gone by and incorporating it into our high-tech world. And my question is, what's the favorite thing your mother has taught you, whether its embroidery or gardening, whatever?

STEWART: Well, she taught me a lot about sewing and home keeping. But I think she also taught me about the value of the family and about the home. I think that's probably the nicest thing that she's instilled in me.

KING: How did you get to be -- what was the first thing you did that made you public, that the public was conscious of who Martha Stewart is?

STEWART: I wrote a book called "Entertaining," remember?

KING: I had you on for that book.

STEWART: You did, indeed. I think that's really what started the whole career in the world of good living.

KING: So you had you been known as the hostess with the mostest around? Did someone suggest you ought to do a book on how to entertain people?

STEWART: No, I thought of doing it myself. But a publisher did encourage me. Allen Mercken from Crown Publishers. And I worked really hard on the book. It was a lovely success and that really started me on this whole, whole thing about living.

KING: Can you --

STEWART: The magazine could have been called "Entertaining," because that was the first book. But I thought "Living" was a little limitless a subject matter.

KING: You can't teach taste can you?

STEWART: You can't really teach taste, but you can teach good taste. And I think --

KING: Explain that.

STEWART: Well, everybody has taste. Some people have bad taste. Some people good taste, naturally. But you can kind of alter the bad to good, if you work hard at it.

KING: You can?

STEWART: I think so.

KING: And therefore, you feel someone who may not know how to coordinate colors can watch a Martha Stewart and suddenly know how to coordinate?

STEWART: Definitely. And guess what? We just came out with a new book called "Decorating With Color." And this is -- you ask the right questions.

KING: I don't know what I'm talking about.


STEWART: And this is a really good book. It has so many ideas about colors. Colors are one of my favorite things. And I don't think I could survive without great colors.

KING: How often does a book come from you?

STEWART: We publish about three or four books a year, not just my own, but Martha Stewart's Living Books. They are really useful books. As the magazine is useful, the books are just as useful.

KING: You mention Manhattan, aren't you based in Connecticut?

STEWART: No, no, Martha Stewart Living is a New York company. With offices, as I said, on 42nd Street. And also we have brand new gorgeous offices, and you have to come see them, on 26th Street. We have a whole floor, 150,000 square feet...

KING: Wow.

STEWART: ... and right on the Hudson River. Really beautiful. That's the Chelsea area and during September 11, the FBI came and took over the second floor in our building. So we were really well protected by the FBI.

KING: Are you concerned about this book coming out, "Martha Incorporated" by Christopher Byron, it's supposed to be rough?

STEWART: Oh, have you read it yet?

KING: No, I didn't read it.

STEWART: Well, I'm coming out with my own book. I'm writing my own autobiography. I'd rather read my own, because I have sort of an inside track. You know what I mean?

KING: You may know yourself better. Did you read that one, though?

STEWART: Chris'? Mr. Byron's? No, I won't read it.

KING: Do you know him?

STEWART: I do know him. KING: Are you hurt that he wrote a book?

STEWART: Well -- hurt? I'm not hurt. I think that he could have written a much better book if he was working with me on it.

KING: You didn't cooperate with him?

STEWART: No, because I had my own contract.

KING: When does yours come?

STEWART: Probably next year.

KING: We look forward to it, Martha.

STEWART: Yes, it's going to be fun.

KING: As we go to break, we're going to show you Martha with her mother. Aforementioned by a listener. And we're going to get some Valentine tips on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


STEWART: Did you learn how to bake from Mr. Mouse, our next-door neighbor?

MARTHA'S MOTHER: He was a German baker. And he taught me how to make tarts, and handle yeast dough because when I was growing up, and my mother was doing all that, I really didn't have much time to be baking and cooking.

STEWART: Why because you were taking care of the kids?

MOTHER: No, because I was going to school.

STEWART: Oh, you were a student.

MOTHER: And I became a school teacher, remember?

STEWART: Oh, how could I forget?




STEWART: Here is a really clever and beautiful and easy to make Valentine. In a wonderful red-lined envelope, an accordion Valentine that just pops open, and on every one of the hearts and on every one of these sections you can write whatever your heart desires. So it's really four graduated hearts, scaled to size, and then of course you'll need some decorative papers like these. They can be origami papers, they can be wrapping papers, just to cut out four contrasting hearts.


KING: Before we see what you brought us this year, where do you think of these things?

STEWART: Oh, well, they are -- you know, the ideas are no problem. Getting to do them all is the big problem, finding time.

KING: You jump up in the middle of the night and say, I've got an idea, an accordion Valentine?

STEWART: Definitely. I have a big creative team, too. We all work around the clock to come up with the ideas.

KING: Before we see some of this year's, let's take a call from Lindsey, Ohio, for Martha Stewart. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry and Martha.


CALLER: Martha, I love everything you do and stand for. You are an inspiration, I think, to men and women everywhere. But I'm wondering what you would say to the average woman who may be intimidated by all you are able to do?

STEWART: Well, I don't think any woman is average. Shame on you. Don't be average. I think we're all special. So I think that all of us have our good traits and our bad traits, and I think we should just concentrate on the good. Is that good?

KING: To New Brunswick, New Jersey. Hello.

New Brunswick, hello. Munchton (ph), New Brunswick -- I was told New Brunswick. I know it's New Jersey, but now I hear Munchton (ph), which I know is in New Brunswick. Go, Munchton (ph).

CALLER: Hi, Martha. I just wanted to say, I love you and you're my hero. And I'm probably the only teenager in the world that loves you so much, but I wanted to tell you that.

STEWART: How old are you?

KING: How old are you?

CALLER: I'm 15.

KING: Don't worry, she'll have a book coming out next week, "Martha for 15-Year-Olds." It'll be out next week on your desk.

CALLER: And I was just wondering if you get so tired of being so perfect all the time.

KING: There's a good question. Go ahead, perfect.

STEWART: Watch me a little more, you'll see how not so perfect. KING: You ever fall down in the kitchen, you ever have things spill over? You ever -- what are you -- give me something you goofed at?

STEWART: Sure. We have those things all the time, but we edit them out. We're not live, Larry.

KING: Secrets.

STEWART: Someday I'll show you my blooper tape, how would you like that?

KING: I'd love it. We'll air it.


KING: Show me now what you got for Valentine's.

STEWART: Well, of course I couldn't pass up the heart-shaped cookies. We'll send these right out to you FedEx.

KING: Please do, they're great. FedEx.

STEWART: A whole box made with our copper cookie cutters and our glazing sugars and all of that.

KING: And give some to the crew.

STEWART: Of course, our Anna pink roses.

KING: Never forget the crew.

STEWART: Oh, no, the crew is here. They'll all have a cookie. Don't worry. Don't worry.

KING: What else do we have?

STEWART: We have these beautiful roses from Martha by Mail for Martha's Flowers. And for Valentine's Day, there's 24 roses for $98. The vase now comes with roses you like, and that's only $10...

KING: Wait a minute. Martha by Mail?


KING: You have your own rose company?

STEWART: Well, we have our own roses, grown for us specially. And these are -- we're thinking pink this Valentine's Day. And order ahead. Timing is everything. You know what they say. At least Valentine's Day is not on a Monday this year, when we had so much -- everybody had so many problems about a couple years ago when Valentine's Day was on Monday.

KING: So when you say Martha by -- do you order those through a Web site? STEWART: Yeah, you can go to Go to Martha's Flowers, and order to your heart's delight. They are really pretty.

KING: And it's how much?

STEWART: $98 for 25 gorgeous roses. And the vase is with it.

KING: Now, back to the cookies. What makes the cookies special?

STEWART: Well, they are butter cookies. They are melt-in-your mouth. They are gorgeously decorated. You want me to take one out and show it to you?

KING: Yeah. In fact, eat one.

STEWART: I'm dying to eat one. I haven't had dinner yet! Oh, I don't know if I can open this up, there's a big...

KING: See, if I were there, we'd be munching them. But I'm not.

STEWART: I know.

KING: I don't want to eat...

STEWART: Well, here, you can munch on chocolate. How about a beautiful chocolate? These are for you too. I'll send these out.

KING: Who makes those?

STEWART: Well, a wonderful chocolatier. His name is Jacque Torres (ph). He used to be the pastry chef at Lasserke (ph). You've probably eaten his desserts.

KING: I have eaten those desserts.

STEWART: He's now started a fabulous chocolate company, and he makes these especially for Martha by Mail. And you can order these, again, and have them, you know, sent to you for, I think, they are about $55 for this gorgeous silk box, silk ribbon. And, again, order early.

KING: Is Valentine's Day a big day around Martha Stewart's conclave? Is Christmas your biggest? What's your biggest time of year?

STEWART: Well, Christmas is big, Valentine's is wonderfully big for flowers and chocolates, and for me it's big because I get to send all my men friends little greetings and little presents and stuff.

KING: Why have you chosen pink this year?

STEWART: Just to be different. That's all. I think those pink roses are gorgeous.

KING: They are. Do you have a valentine?

STEWART: Do I have one?

KING: Yeah. You know what I mean? Do you have a certain someone who will get a special Martha Stewart...

STEWART: I have someone this year that I will send flowers to, yes.

KING: That's what I mean. There's someone who will get flowers from you?


KING: And does anyone know of this person yet?

STEWART: Oh, I don't think so.

KING: Has his name been printed?


KING: If it were printed, would he be bugged?

STEWART: Would he be bugged? I don't know. I hope not.

KING: Will you tell us who he is so we can all...


KING: Why not, Martha? Really, why not? You're so open, your house, your mother, your flowers, your cookies, your dolly rimples, your plates, your washing machine. Come on!

STEWART: Have a happy Valentine's Day. Listen, I understand that you and your wife are coming on my show.

KING: Yeah, I heard that. We're going to come on.

STEWART: Oh, please, you'll love our studio...

KING: Now, she can cook.


KING: Oh yeah. I'll stand there because I don't know how to make...

STEWART: OK, well, you can make messes or eat, OK? But we're going to be so excited to have you on the show.

KING: You like ordinary people too. You like regular, everyday people, right?

STEWART: I like regular, everyday people.

KING: I'll bring my producer Wendy Witworth (ph) and her husband Ralph. STEWART: Oh, good.

KING: The four of us will stand there, and I'll back off and then you play -- you know, watch -- do what you do with them, and I'll just sit in the corner. OK?

STEWART: It's a deal.

KING: It's a deal. Where do we do that show?

STEWART: Up in Connecticut, right in Westport.

KING: Oh, there is something in Connecticut?

STEWART: Oh, yes, that's our beautiful state-of-the-art studio up there.

KING: You are in Westport?


KING: You know how poor we were when we were kids? We couldn't say Westport. It was impossible.

All right, we'll be back with our remaining moments with Martha Stewart on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Monday night, Imus. Tuesday night, Cronkite. In neither case do you need another name with it. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we have all of those (UNINTELLIGIBLE) here. This is, you know, the hand one. This is really (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

JULIA CHILDS: That's not as good, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one is good, too. You can also -- yeah, this one will be good.

CHILDS: And here's another...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is another one.

CHILDS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and going like that.

STEWART: Oh, that's good.



STEWART: You can see they've done this before.




STEWART: I keep a bowl of water right here for washing the dog's paws, and some old rags. Come here, Paw-Paw (ph). Want to show how you get your paws washed? Come here. Turn around. Turn around. Sit right there. Good dog. Good dog. Here.

So we just dip each paw in the water. Make sure there's no pebbles and no salt, and the paws get wiped. You like that, don't you? See? pretty dirty.


KING: Is that a dog or a bear? What kind of dog is that?

STEWART: Well, some people think he's a lion and some think he's a bear. He's a Chow Chow.

KING: Ah, a Chow Chow.

STEWART: It's like a stuffed toy. I opened the cookie. Look.

KING: Uh-oh.

STEWART: You're missing out.

KING: Did you eat one? Take a bite. Go ahead.

STEWART: I started. No, I'm going to save this one. I bit into this one already. Look. Pretty good, delicious.

KING: Houston, Texas, hello?

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hi, Martha. I think you are simply awesome. My question for you is, I, like you, am a big dog lover. And recently, I lost one of my dogs tragically. Have you lost one of yours and how have you handled the grief?

STEWART: Well, I wrote a nice story about big Max. He was one of my Chows. And he died after 16 years of being my most favorite pet ever. And it was hard to take. It just is and it takes a long time. Do you have another dog?

KING: I'm sorry. I hung up by mistake. What's a good tip? Is it a good idea when a dog starts getting old, if you like the breed, to buy a puppy in that breed?

STEWART: No, no, no, no. That's the worst thing.

KING: Why not? I thought that was a good idea. STEWART: Not when they are old. Let them have their nice life and then get another dog unless they've grown up with another dog. They feel replaced if you get it before they die, I think.

KING: Really, I thought they'd like it, sort of like seeing a little one of their own continuing on.

STEWART: No, jealousy sets in.

KING: Really? Even at an advanced age?

STEWART: Oh, sure. Well, it depends on the dog.

KING: OK. Atlanta, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Martha. I love cooking with you every night on the Food Channel.

STEWART: Thank you.

CALLER: And you put so much into your work. You work such long hours. What is your favorite way to relax and spoil yourself when you have time to yourself?

STEWART: Well, I like to work out at the gym. That's one way to relax, actually. I like to read. I like to garden. And sometimes I'll even watch Larry King.

KING: Do you vacation?

STEWART: Oh, yes.

KING: Do you have favorite spots?

STEWART: Oh, I went...

KING: Larry, I've got a new vacation magazine out. Let me show it to you. It comes out a week from Monday. Where do you like to go?

STEWART: I like traveling anywhere, pretty much. Over Christmas, I went to panama. That was very interesting, on the West Coast. It was extraordinary. Did a lot of snorkeling, a lot of tuna fishing, and that was fun. I like to go where there's culture, where there's interesting, indigenous cultures, crafts, artisans. I like to see all that stuff.

KING: Do you like recognition? Do you like being noticed?

STEWART: Oh, I don't mind. And it happens pretty much everywhere now.

KING: You're never without controversy. A Washington businesswoman, Kathryn Reynolds, recently canceled a $38 million donation to Smithsonian. She was taking the action because the philosophy of scholars at the institution were at odds with her. She had a list of candidates for her exhibition saluting Americana, including Michael Jordan, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey.

Scholars felt there was a low-brow approach to history and didn't like the strings attached. What did you make of that? You have controversy when you're not involved.

STEWART: I know. I know. Kathryn is an extremely generous woman and her gift was in really the best -- with the best intentions. She thought that giving $38 million did entitle her to a little say in what the money would be used for. And I...

KING: It was honoring American achievers, right, Americans who have achieved well?


KING: How would Oprah and you and Michael Jordan not fit that category?

STEWART: Well, she started a foundation called the American Academy of Achievement. Not too many people know about this.

KING: I'm honored to be in it.

STEWART: I know and I've seen you there.

KING: The golden plate.

STEWART: That's the same Kathryn Reynolds.

KING: That's her?


KING: They turned down $38 million?

STEWART: From her. So it's kind of sad because she's been trying to do good work and good things and I think that she was misunderstood, actually.

KING: Boy, that's a shame because that's a wonderful thing. It's a great honor to be asked to be in it. And then they do a wonderful thing with A-student kids from all over the world.

STEWART: Well, it's a mentorship program for the best students in America. And those students learn a lot. For a weekend they get to spend like three days with some of the greatest minds in the world, including Nobel Prize winners, including pacifists, including politicians. I mean, they have a great time.

KING: It is, and it's always been great sharing time with you, Martha.

STEWART: Well, thank you.

KING: And thank you very much.

STEWART: And happy Valentine's Day to you and your family. And I love coming on your show.

KING: It's always great having you with us. And we'll look forward to coming on your show.

STEWART: Thank you.

KING: The wife will cook though. I'll watch.


KING: Martha Stewart, the chairman and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. And by the way, remaining loyal, as she said tonight, to Kmart, despite the difficulty. She has her contract with them and she is holding forth and you can still get her products at that chain of stores.

We have a very special announcement to make tonight. Our senior producer, Carrie Stevenson (ph), who has been with this program for 12 or more years -- I think it may be 13 years -- started as like an intern, gave birth today to a seven-pound, 10-ounce, 21-inch tall baby boy in Washington, D.C. The proud father is Todd Foley (ph). Todd and Carrie are both doing very well, and I heard Carrie is doing better than Todd. The baby is as yet unnamed.

Do you have a name for Carrie's baby? Send it to Martha Stewart and Martha will include it in her next magazine, "Baby Names" from -- oh, only kidding. Carrie, we couldn't have been happier for you, dear, and we wish you the best of luck with your little baby boy with no name, and you too, Todd. Carrie Stevenson -- and we expect you back at work tomorrow morning.

We'll be back to tell you about tomorrow on this show. Don't go away.


KING: Heidi Fleiss is back and she is on our show tomorrow night. Over the weekend, we'll salute Ronald Reagan and give you a major program dealing with heart disease. Monday night, I can safely say the funniest morning radio show host in America, Don Imus. And Walter Cronkite will be with us on Tuesday.

And joining us now in New York to host "NEWSNIGHT" is Aaron Brown on this Thursday night -- Aaron.




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