The Planning (The Black Saturn, the White Mars)
Phil has always being trying to anticipate the possible outcomes of the events and often "studied the area". In particular, the residents of Seattle and Leningrad were organized to participate in a space bridge during the time of "glasnost". Vladimir Pozner was Donahue’s partner. Donahue says: "I’ve heard about Vladimir before, he was on television. I had a lot of suspicion about the Soviet Union and I doubted if we can trust them. I had my own small investigation about that Posner – a Russian, who did not sound like a Russian. I called Ted Copple, a very respected journalist, and he said: "I like him". And then I was able to relax and understand that I would not be manipulated. Thus a very important chapter in my life began".
The Lucky occasion (The White Mercury, the Black Jupiter)
The work on television, especially in a live broadcast requires incredible self-control and devotion, but at the same time, there should be frames and guidelines the presenter must stick to. Donahue was like a duck to water at this. In addition, following the rules of the TV show precisely, he could easily find a way out from the predicament. TV presenter recalls: "The radio station where I worked had its own television station. There was a program where the broadcaster invited a guest and asked him questions, and the audience in the studio just watched the scene without taking real participation in the program. Once the presenter fall ill, and the host of the company asked to replace him. I did it, but after the third question I did not know what else I could ask. It occurred to me to ask the audience, "Perhaps someone wants to ask a question?". This is how, properly speaking, a talk show was born". Donahue lifted it to a whole new level when there is a presenter, a guest and the audience is mandatory not only present, but also plays a crucial role, since it asks questions.
The Popularity (The Black Venus)
Phil Donahue was a mega-star of the American television. His program was considered one of the most popular talk shows of America for a long time and the presenter does not hide the fact that he likes his popularity even for a second: "I remember my first appearance in the live broadcast. It was 5:30 a.m., I read some report and had no idea what I was talking about. Perhaps, we were watched by 8 people, 6 of them worked at the station, but I was on TV! And all the girls who did not go out with me were kicking themselves now!"
The personal life (The White Sun, the White Mercury)
The culture of the 50’s defined particular roles. The marriage institution had a message to men: the secret of success in life and in marriage is to find a good woman. The model of the world in which Phil grew up was the following: mother stays at home and bakes cookies, and father makes money so you can buy more cookies next week. However, the real life gave surprises for people who grew up in this great era. Phil recalls: "I met my future wife when I was at the university. We got married when I was 22, and we gave life to 5 children over 6 years. I was not ready for marriage, to all of this responsibility. I thought this way: you marry, have children, wake up and go to work every day. Quite simple, I thought. But no one told me that my children would drive me crazy, no one told me how hard it would be to give birth to 5 children in 6 years with a woman who stayed at home while her husband worked, making interviews with all these wonderful people. The women's movement was starting to rise at this time. Women told me that children in this country get too much attention from mother and not enough from father, and I remember I felt very uncomfortable as they talked about me. I worked all the time. I was very active, and it became obvious how miserable the mother of my children was and we divorced. We had several discussions about the roles and family life in the good old states on the show since then".
The possibilities (The White Mars, the White Sun, the Black Jupiter)
The profession of a journalist is very versatile, as this person is the owner of the information and of those who will receive it. He can present it precisely in a way he wants, to make it profitable for himself. It depends on him how true and interesting it will be given to wide audience. Phil shares this idea: "Journalism is a very powerful thing, and I suddenly realized how strong I was because I worked for a local radio station! I, skinny young journalist, could stop the mayor in the middle of the hall, to ask him a question. I played softball with the police officers, was part of the community, attended meetings, announced the birth of children in a local hospital, got acquainted with the judges, police officers, prosecutors... I watched the procedures and things I was not present at before. This is how I simply fell in love with journalism, it was a noble calling for me. Just imagine... After years of my education and life in a wonderful science world, all of a sudden I find myself in the real life and see dead bodies, corruption, people thrown in jail. I felt like I'm in a high-speed train on the way to knowing how everything is arranged in the world".
The Healthy criticism (The Black (Grey) Jupiter inversion mastered over the years)
Phil was American to the core, because he "was born in the best nation on earth, which wins everything and is the best in everything". In addition, he was an Irish catholic, a part of the community which prayed zealously for their country and for the enlightenment of others, but over the years, with the release of his show, he was becoming more critical. This was a kind of school of life where he had the opportunity to chat with the greatest people, to hear a variety of views, and to get the education, which was impossible to get at any university. There was a turning point. He began to criticize the government, its policies and actions. "I see and criticize what is bad in our country. A lot of people believe that you should not say anything bad against the president. And these calls are very effective. It is enough to say that to criticize the head of state means not to be a patriot. I believe that to criticize the government for its mistakes is a courageous patriotism".
The Self-sufficiency (The White Moon)
Donahue is not just a legend of television. He is one of the most important figures politically, at least in terms of the media. The American media have very few people who holds one’s own, have the courage to breast the flow, assuming the risk and even suffer the consequences. Phil said: "Even knowing how complex and multifaceted problem is, knowing that most likely you will not see the victory at the national level, continue to work. Even when there are no cameras, journalists are not interested in this issue, it is not on the front page, and it’s a minor problem. People, who continue to talk about those issues, are holy for me".
The center of attention (The Black Saturn, the White Sun)
Phil Donahue was a great TV presenter. He made the talk show something new. His demeanor at times was a bit harsh, rough, and even egocentrical. He gesticulated vividly over and over again, threw the microphone form hand to hand, pointed with his fingers, interrupted the interviewees, commented everything and did not stop for a second. He managed to talk with the guests and the audience in the studio and on the phone. Annoying slips, sudden silence, or the absence of any alleged reaction did not bother him. At times it seemed that he forgot about the viewer who thoughtlessly decided to speak in the live broadcast. He tormented everyone in a long and painful waiting, stretching the intrigue, encouraging different ideas and opinions. His topics have always been burning, issues - sensitive and comments - bold. His talk show was intelligent and informative. His way of asking probing questions, his curiosity and boundless enthusiasm with running up and down the aisles of his studio to get as many comments from the audience as possible, is legendary. He was not afraid of the sharp and direct questions. On the contrary, he made his career on these very sensitive issues.