Yeah, it’s old, but it is a classic.
Yeah, it’s old, but it is a classic.
…on the Sunday Talkies, I always get the impression that she just woke up from a three-day Mai Tai binge and just starts rambling to the pink elephant:
Now, when it is so obvious that she is contradicting herself within minutes that freakin’ Chuck Todd notices it, how can it be that she will have a dinner invite with all the other pontificating poltroons before the week is out?
It just boggles the mind.
(Also/too: what the hell is up with her hair?)
“The Republicans let Ronnie down, but the Dirty F***ing Hippies are still wrong on everything.”
Dame Peggington Noonington of the Brooklynshire Nooningtons, royal scribe of Lord Rupert, doth say that the Iraq clusterf*** haven given offense to thine Republican sensibilities, and that the pooch be-ith screwed royally.
It’s another mea culpa saying she got it wrong, but she had misgivings about it –sensed it dontcha know–yadda-yadda-yadda, but she never says who got it right, and she never will.
Drink-up, Bitchez, it’s a long retrospective and navel gaze, and she’s at least a pitcher of Mai Tai ahead of all of us.
Can the Republican Party Recover From Iraq? — The war almost killed the GOP. Whether it can come back is an open question –
by Peggy Noonan
ne Carte, s’il-vous plaît,” Peggy Noonan said as the suave man in the dinner jacket sat down at the Baccarat table opposite her at Shel Addison’s Casino. Noonan tried to keep her cool as the man bore a remarkable resemblance to her beloved Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, perhaps the greatest president ever.
“Sept à la banco,” the croupier said. Noonan smiled her Sphinx-like smile.
“Carte,” Noonan declared. The Croupier dealt her another carte. She turned over her hand, face up. An 8 of Diamonds and a Jack of Clubs, and raked in her winnings.
“Suivi,” Noonan said. “The house will cover you?” Noonan asked the Croupier.
“Oui Madame.” The croupier passed le shoe des cartes to the mysterious and stranger. “Monsieur, chargez-bien!”
The handsome stranger, who dealt une carte to himself–now le Banco–tucked it under the shoe, and une autre carte to Noonan, and then another carte to the shoe.
“Carte,” Noonan declared again. He flipped over his hand: King of Spades and the 9 of Hearts.
“I need another thousand,” Noonan said as she wrote a check to the Casino.
“I admire your courage Miss, uhh” the stranger said to Noonan.
“Noonan. Peggy Noonan,” she replied. “I admire your luck, Mister…uh?
“Romney. Willard Romney. I prefer my juice boxes shaken, not stirred.”
Noonan woke up with a start from her strange dream,
slightly sweaty glowing buckets and bewildered she noticed that yet again she managed to have her Lanz of Salisbury nightgown on backwards. “How did that happen?,” she wondered.
She looked around her penthouse (the Aviary 2, so spacious, so luxurious) and noticed that the old black and white Philco television was showing a test pattern. “Faithful, and reliable technology,” Noonan noted with smug satisfaction.
“Dreaming about Mitt as James Bond could be worse,” Noonan muttered to herself, “at least it was dignified gambling and not horse racing. “Mr. Romney is looking good, as are his crowds,” she said to a potted plant nearby. “When the camera shows people in the stands behind him as he speaks, they no longer look as if they walked in off the street or put a bet on a horse and are straining to see if it breaks from the pack. Now they look like people watching their horse take the lead, with no one coming up the outside.”
Noonan stumbled into the kitchen and saw that her loyal maid Conseula had laid out the essentials for mixing her breakfast, and just moments later she poured herself onto the terrace overlooking Central Park enjoying the sunlight and a refreshing Mai Tai, so sweet. A few pigeons fluttered about cooing and strutting. She thought again about her dream where Mitt screwed up perhaps the most famous line in all of cinema.
“Mr. Romney has a tendency to litter his speeches with applause lines,” Noonan the once-professional speech writer muttered to herself. “They come one after another. It’s old-fashioned, and it’s based on the idea that that’s all TV wants, five seconds of a line and two seconds of applause.” Noonan took a thoughtful sip and continued on musing.
“You know what Republicans on the ground think when they look at Mitt Romney?,” she asked a pigeon that fluttered next to her. “Please don’t blow it,” she giggled as the bird flew away. “They think President Obama can’t win but Mr. Romney can still lose. So they’re feeling burly but anxious, hopeful yet spooked.”
“Applause-line speeches are not right for a time of crisis, because they do not allow for the development of a thought, a point of view, an insight,” she swigged back her now-empty glass, smacked her lips and chewed thoughtfully on the pineapple wedge.
“Campaign professionals like applause lines in part because they think that’s all a campaign speech is, a vehicle for a picture of people clapping,” she muttered to the birds and then realized she had just said five minutes ago that she liked the image of his audience standing behind him smiling. “They don’t care about meaning, they care about impression. But in the end, the impression is bad: distracted candidate barking lines, robotic audience clapping.” The birds looked confusedly at Noonan. “Er, well,” she muttered looking away.
“But people like to listen if you’re saying something interesting,” Noonan declared feeling herself wake up to her topic. The pigeons seemed to be smiling back at her, approving of how she saved herself from self-parody.
“As for the president,” Noonan hated calling this man sitting in Ronnie’s chair the president, but she carried on anyway, “his big campaign speech last week in Cleveland not only was roundly panned but was deeply revealing, ” Noonan grimaced recalling it. Cleveland, of all places! The birds all cooed sympathetically with her outrage.
“I listened once and read it twice: It wasn’t a case for re election, it was a wordage dump,” and not, she thought, like one of her own columns.
Once More, With Meaning
Romney can win, but he needs more than applause lines — by Peggy Noonan
Media Matters read the column, too.
eggy Noonan was splayed out, face-down, at peace with the floor of her office when the phone rang at the crack of eleven AM, and caused her to open one bleary, bloodshot eye. Wondering where the phone was, she searched about frantically in case it was her employer, Rupert Murdoch.
Noonan ascertained that the phone was hidden under the sombrero of a mariachi player who was snoring peacefully nearby.
“Guuuud m’ing. Meep, be…” Noonan said to the sombrero and then grabbed the phone, cleared her throat and tried again. “Good Morning, this is Peggy.”
“Nooner,” screeched her old nemesis Nancy Reagan, “are you in or out? I have secured a quart of cat piss and some water balloons and I know where Don Regan is having lunch today, if it’s the last thing I do, I’m gonna get that motherf…” Noonan cut Nancy off.
“Nancy, I’m at work now, you know how Rupert likes to listen in on calls, call me at home tonight and let me know how it goes.” Noonan rang off, but not in time.
“G’day, Peggs,” Rupert’s voice boomed over the disconnected intercom. “Quite a boozer you had going on last night. Iced to the eyebrows. You gonna write you column on the 40th Anniversary of Watergate? Due today. Don’t be late. Sounds like the old bat’s gonna have a jolly, what? Let me know how it goes.”
The intercom went dead. “Some day,” Noonan thought to herself, “I must learn how he does that.” She steadied herself, hung up the phone, and returned the sombrero to the snoring mariachi player. “The trumpet player,” she snickered. “Blow, Gabriel, blow.”
“Watergate of course was the mother of all leaks,” Noonan mused to herself as she mixed herself an eye opener from the impromptu bar that was somehow in her office. “A culture of secrecy always finds a leak,” she thought as she took a long, deep quaff of refreshment. She stood up on her tiptoes, stretching her ample calves, and gave Ronnie a little kiss on his card board cheek, one little birdlike hand fluttered up to the pearl necklace, a gift from the great man himself. “Thank God that we had no scandals in our Administration,” she whispered to the cardboard cutout of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever.
“Unlike the current occupant of the oval office,” she grimaced. “What is happening with all these breaches of our national security? Why are intelligence professionals talking so much-divulging secret and sensitive information for all the world to see, and for our adversaries to contemplate?”
Noonan took a contemplative swig of Mai Tai, so sweet, so refreshing, and continued outlining her thoughts.
“What are they thinking? That in the age of Wikileaks the White House itself should be one big Wikileak?,” Noonan thought to herself as she mixed another Mai Tai.
The sombrero rang again. She answered it.
“Peggy, hi it’s me, Cokie, and you’ll never guess what just happened at Le Circ!”
Noonan grinned as the denouement of Donald Regan was reported. “Three balloons, Peggy, can you believe it, three balloons right on the kisser, and it smelled just dreadful. Oh, gotta go, George Will’s on the other line. Wait till he hears about this! Remember, don’t tell anyone Nancy finally got him!”
“Where was I?,” Noonan mumbled to herself. “Why is this happening? In part because at our highest level in politics, government and journalism, Americans continue to act as if we are talking only to ourselves. There is something narcissistic in this: Only our dialogue counts, no one else is listening, and what can they do about it if they are? There is something childish in it: Knowing secrets is cool, and telling them is cooler.” Noonan took a thoughtful bite out of the pineapple wedge, and slurped the juice as it tricked down her chin.
The phone rang again, and Noonan picked up the sombrero, put it down and picked up the phone.
“Peggy, as I live and breath, I finally got through to you! You’ll never guess who this is!”
Noonan felt her stomach flip-flop. “Colonel North, I told you to never talk to me again.”
eggy Noonan awoke with a start and discovered to her chagrin that she was in a multiplex theater of some sort, about to watch a debased entertainment of some sort, and in her hand was a waxy cup containing an icy drink of some sort.
“Oh no,” Noonan murmured to herself, “I’m not at that dreadful Palin movie again, am I?” A quick look around the nearly empty theater afforded her no succor. When she saw the Palin biopic, the theater was just as empty. She reached into her Channel bag (so supple, so chic) and poured the contents of her First Aid Kit (the clever name she had given her Christofle flask–so comforting, so chic) into the Coke. “Liberate me, Cuba,” she said to no one in particular, as she swigged a giant sip.
The screen flickered to life and the usual previews and admonitions played out, and then someone who bore a remarkable resemblance to Margaret Thatcher appeared on the screen. “Maggie, Maggie,” Noonan muttered. “Where’s Ronnie?,” she sighed.
“The left in America has largely thrown in the towel on Ronald Reagan, but in Britain Thatcher-hatred remains fresh. Why?,” Noonan queried the twelve-foot Thatcher, who for some reason did not reply.
“Because she was a woman,” Noonan replied to the screen. “Because women in politics are always by definition seen as presumptuous: They presume to lead men.”
Margaret Thatcher carried on, and paid no attention to Noonan.
Standing up, rather wobbly, Noonan shrieked at Thatcher, “David Lean wouldn’t be allowed to make movies today, John Ford would be forced to turn John Wayne into a 30-something failure-to-launch hipster whose big moment is missing the toilet in the vomit scene in Hangover Ten!”
The theater attendant escorted Noonan out of the complex.
“Our movie culture has descended into immaturity, deep and inhuman violence, a pervasive and flattened sexuality. It is an embarrassment,” she shouted at the perplexed teen.
“Well,” he replied to Noonan, as he put her into a waiting cab, “It’s not Bedtime for Bonzo.”
eggy Noonan stepped up to the open mic at The Chelsea Pier to tell her joke, cunning and short and cute. She had just heard it that morning as she was being frisked at her favorite Airport, her favorite because it was named after the greatest president of the last half of the last century, perhaps the greatest president ever, Ronald Wilson Reagan:
“Ten years ago, Steve Jobs was alive, Bob Hope was alive, and Johnny Cash was alive. Now we are out of jobs, out of hope and out of cash.”
Crickets, as they say.
Back at the bar, she asked her favorite barkeep Juan-Carlos what had gone wrong. “The TSA man’s joke was as good a summation of the current moment and the public mood as I’ve heard,” she said thoughtfully as she polished off a refreshing Mai Tai, and proceeded to enjoy the pineapple wedge, so sticky, so sweet. The prize for the best joke tonight is to have your drinks tab on the house. Noonan was determined to win.
“Maybe it was the way he said it?” JC replied. Juan Carlos liked to be called JC. The other, less handsome barkeeps often bitched that “the other JC only thinks he’s the son of God.” Noonan felt uncomfortable addressing him as her Savior, though admittedly she would gladly have communion with him. “Eat for this is my body,” she murmured to herself.
Noonan considered delivery as a possibility as she enjoyed a new Mai Tai.
The television bolted to the ceiling was showing in the ticker that the president’s jobs bill had failed. Noonan smiled slyly. “It’s not that it lost, it’s that nobody noticed,” she said with smug satisfaction taking a long pull on the short straw. “It failed because he was for it.”
Noonan tried that line on JC. “No ma’am, that’s not funny either.” Noonan grimaced.
Noonan remembered that Ronnie had once told her that being President was hard, but comedy was harder. They both laughed over that line. Her hand fluttered up to her ever-present pearls, a present from the great man himself.
“Juan-Carlos, do you know who looks most surprised by the rise of Herman Cain? Herman Cain!”
JC shook his head back at her, and continued to polish empty glasses. Noonan took a thoughtful sip of Mai Tai. “Well, ” she muttered to herself, “Mr. Cain’s strength is not his charm.”
Juan-Carlos was not even pretending to listen any longer. Noonan wondered why she continued to tip him if wasn’t going to listen to her. Then he bent over to pick up something on the floor and she remembered why she tipped him. She dropped another napkin on the floor and sighed.
“Jon Huntsman is not actually a blue-blood, patrician Rockefeller Republican, he just plays one on TV!”
JC brought her a fresh Mai Tai without her even asking. She smiled and gratefully slurped. “Ah, nectar!”
“People say that Chris Christie’s endorsement of Mitt is a huge boon!” JC smiled at her and shook his head “No” again.
“The first joke was the best one, Miss Noonan, give it another try.” He indicated that the open mic line was empty. “Just say it like the man said it to you. It’s in the delivery, I guess.”
Taking a gulp of liquid courage, Noonan waddled to the stage again, and stomped up the rickety steps, her ample calves stretching and contracting on each riser.
“Ten years ago, Steve Jobs be alive, Bob Hope be alive, Johnny Cash be alive. Now we outta jobs, outta hope an’ outta cash.”
This Is No Time for Moderation
America can’t trim and tweak its way back to economic dynamism — by Peggy Noonan
eggy Noonan picked up the princess phone in her boudoir at The Aviary 2 (her expansive new upper Eastside penthouse, so chic) to make a phone call and said to the dial tone, “Well Rupert, are you coming to my party in the Hamptons or are you not?”
The dial tone crackled away. “Crikey, Peg, you bluey, you take all the joy outta me lark. I’d be drongo to miss it. Can I bring a slab of VB and me relos? Enough ear basher,” and he rang off.
“The guest list,” Noonan muttered to herself, “is now complete.” She ran through her check list: catering, cater-waiters, bartenders, pool boys. With a satisfied smacking of her lips, she polished off her elevenses and rang the doorman to have her car brought around.
Noonan answered the door herself as the guests arrived–it is the little touches that always make a party, she thought to herself as she smoothed out the muumuu with matching bikini she had bought at Bergdorf and offered her guests a refreshing Mai Tai and pointed them to the pool out back.
“Oh, Peggy,” giggled Lindsey Graham, “you’ve out done yourself.” He took a fresh beverage from the waiter. “I simply adore the Pacific Rim,” and with that Senator Graham disappeared with the handsome Japanese waiter to the pool house.
“I simply adore the Pacific Rim,” and with that Senator Graham disappeared with the handsome Japanese waiter to the pool house.
Noonan grimaced a little when Rick Santorum handed her a jar prominently labeled Santorum Jelly. “We brought 40 of them to Iowa and returned with 38. Karen thought you might like some.”
“Too kind, too kind,” Noonan murmured accepting the jar. “Sarah and Bristol are out by the pool telling the most amusing story,” Noonan whispered conspiratorially, “about the Other Rick at the Governors’ sleep-over party in 2008.” Santorum made a beeline for Palin and Noonan chucked the jar over the neighbor’s fence. “Take that, Martha!”
“Summer vacations are treacherous things for politicians,” Noonan noted, “spend too much time clearing brush and you are labelled a dilettante. Spend too much time on the vineyard, and like Clinton, you are labelled as out of touch.” But, she murmured to herself, “even Ronnie, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever, even Ronald Wilson Reagan took a break now and then to ride his horse in Santa Barbara. Let me be clear, I’m not talking about Nancy.” George Will chuckled at her joke.
Just then Chris Christie ran naked through the crowd. “Cannonball,” he shrieked as he leapt into the deep end of the pool.
Just then Chris Christie ran naked through the crowd. “Cannonball,” he shrieked as he leapt into the deep end of the pool.
“I haven’t seen a splash like that since The Poisiden Adventure,” snarled a drenched Michelle Malkin. “What are you starring at, Coulter? Not getting in the water? Afraid you’ll dissolve?”
Coulter glared at Malkin, her Adam’s apple visibly trembling in her long, swan-like neck, as if she might suddenly cry.
“You stupid dick,” Malkin yelled, “Hormone replacement therapy does not give you a period.”
“Everyone is having a much better time here, at my party, my simple summer pool party than Barack Obama is having now in Martha’s Vineyard,” Noonan explained to a flower arrangement. “He’s been hearing unwanted advice–“Don’t go to Martha’s Vineyard!” his advisors must be saying to him.” Noonan paused to take a thoughtful sip of her Mai Tai.
“How could Obama not be depressed?” Noonan pondered as she nibbled on the sweet, refreshingly sweet, actually, Pineapple wedge garnishing her drink.
“He has made big mistakes since the beginning of his presidency and has been pounded since the beginning of his presidency. He’s got to be full of doubts at this point about what to do,” Noonan continued.
“His baseline political assumptions have proved incorrect, his calculations have turned out to be erroneous, his big decisions have turned to dust,” she said to the card board cut out of Ronnie that she brought in from Manhattan. Her little hands fluttered up to the pearl necklace, a gift from the great man himself, and her most prized possession.
“He thought they’d love him for health care,” she muttered to the blender jar that was whizzing up a replacement Mai Tai, “that it was a down payment on greatness. But the left sees it as a sellout, the center as a vaguely threatening mess, the right as a rallying cry.”
Noonan reached over to take a whack at a croquet ball. “He thought the stimulus would turn the economy around. It didn’t.”
Noonan continued, talking to an inflatable alligator raft. “He thought there would be a natural bounce-back a year ago, with Recovery Summer. There wasn’t.”
“He thought a toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball struggle over the debt ceiling would enhance his reputation,” Noonan frantically said to the Weber Grill. “The public would see through to the dark heart of Republican hackery and come to recognize the higher wisdom of his approach.” Noonan stepped on her muumuu and catapalted head-first into a bed of petunias.
“And they think that I’m crazy,” a stone cold sober Michele Bachmann said to her invisible friend near the ice chest.
Our intrepid spy and photo journalist DCap was there, and he took these exclusive pictures of the soirée chez Noonington:
eggy Noonan lifted her head up off the desk at the Aviary 2, the clever name she gave to her new Penthouse in the sky (so expansive, so chic), paperclips and sticky notes adhered to her face, to see who was calling her at this ungodly hour of the morning. She hadn’t had her elevenses yet, and last night’s pineapple wedge was fetid and smashed into the carpeting around her thick ankles.
The phone displayed a picture of George Will in his navy whites playing with his fleet of remote-controlled boats re-enacting the battle of Trafalgar in his backyard pool.
Picking up the phone, she put on her best professional voice, “Admiral, good to hear from you,” but it came out “Ad marble gooby daf beer doo!”
“Jesus Peggy, I thought I’d get you before you uncorked you lunch.”
“I’m as sober as a judge, George.”
“Bork! Bork! Bork!” they both barked at each other laughing. “What can I do for you, George?”
“Peggy, have you seen Obama’s speech yet? They released it already. He profanes the good name of Ronald Reagan. As the keepers of the Reagan Legacy, we need to act!”
Noonan always giggled at the way Will inserted himself in the sacred trust. Peggy wrote the speeches, Will only played Jimmy Carter in the practice debates. Hardly the same. Her perfectly manicured hands fluttered up to the pearl necklace, a gift from the great man himself, perhaps the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever.
“What do you have in mind, George?”
“We need to co-ordinate our attack in our columns this week!” he blurted. “If we both go after Obama’s speechifying from the position that he is no Reagan–and only we two can do this–we can take him down a notch or two before he hypnotizes the lemmings with his devilish oratorical powers!”
“Bloody hell!” Rupert Murdoch’s voice crackled into the phone, “Peg, that’s a fair dinky bonzer! Will, you dunny rat, fair suck of the sav, eh!”
“What the…” Will shouted into the phone.
“Pay not attention, George, Rupie retains the right to listen in on his employees now and again.” And then added, “Think of it as helping him as he has withdrawals from the recent unpleasantness in the UK.”
“Just looking for good oil, mate.”
Will hung up.
Dodgy bloke, eh Peg? His idea cracked me fat. Anyway, it’s a ripper. Jump on it, and don’t hit the turps.
“Dodgy bloke, eh Peg? His idea cracked me fat. Anyway, it’s a ripper. Jump on it, and don’t hit the turps.” and he crackled off.
Noonan was seated at her stool (“Miss Peggy Noonan” was engraved on the brass plaque–her prize for so many wins at Karaoke night) at The Chelsea Pier’s long bar, hitting the turps as it were. A Mai Tai, so refreshing, so sweet was nearby, as was her notebook with scribbles of thoughts, bits of phrases. “Research,” she said to herself, “that’s the key ingredient of my columns and the secret of my cunning success.” She thoughtfully slurped on the pineapple wedge in her glass.
She kept one flinty eye peeled on the TV bolted to the wall above the bar currently playing selected scenes from Will and Grace. A large Callista Gingrich impersonator sat down next to her and yelled at the bartender, “Who does a gal have to blow around here to get a drink?”
Who does a gal have to blow around here to get a drink?
Noonan grimaced at the coarse language, but wrote it down anyway.
“I’m really looking forward to hearing our President speak, aren’t you? Obama always says the right things to reassure us, doesn’t he?”
“We have to “eat our peas.” Noonan replied dryly. She waived a Benjamin over her glass and told the barkeep to give the faux Callista a refresh of whatever it was that she was drinking.
“Well, he excites me anyway,” Callista continued. “His last speech thrilled me, what about you?” she asked sipping on her (free) drink. “Thanks for drink, hon.”
“He was boring in the way that people who are essentially ideological are always boring. They bleed any realness out of their arguments. They are immersed in abstractions that get reduced to platitudes, and so they never seem to be telling it straight. And he was a joy-free zone. No matter how much the president tries to smile, and he has a lovely smile, one is always aware of his grim task: income equality, redistribution, taxes. Come, let us suffer together…”
The faux Callista turned a false eyelash to Noonan. “Say, you’re somebody famous, aren’t you? I’m sure I’ve seen you on TV, right?”
Noonan smiled shyly, extended her hand–momentarily putting down her Mai Tai–and introduced herself, listing all the pundit shows–This Week, Morning Joe, etc.– her news paper column, magazines, her books, and of course mentioned that she was Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter, “Morning in America,” and “Touching the Face of God.” Exhausted, she sat down in the warm glow of her celebrity.
“No, no, that’s not it. I know! You’re Mrs. Brady from the Brady Bunch right? You’re the one who got crabs from boinking some ex-mayor, right?”
Our good friend and Scissorhead Nonnie9999 from Hysterical Raisins presents us with this candid photo of the master grinding out a column. Thanks, Nonnie!
eggy Noonan always picks up the phone when Rupert calls.
“G’day, Mate. Look it, Nooners…”
“Rupert, I wish you wouldn’t call me that. It means something here, you know.” Lowering her voice she added, “something unsavory.”
“Don’t I know that,” he laughed into the phone, “I got the whole dossier on you and Jeff Greenfield. Lookit, don’t be a Mickey Mouse on me, I need you to be a good little jillaroo and teach the jumbucks. A few of them got ‘roos loose in the top paddock.”
Peggy sat down hard. Talking to her boss, the head of Newscorp always gave her a headache, and so she reached for her First Aid Kit, the clever name she had given her silver flask from Cristofel (so small, so chic), and pulled a good sip.
“Peggy, thing is some of the blokes don’t know Bourke Street from Christmas, so teach ‘em some journo. Think of it as summer camp.”
“Punditry 101,” Noonan clarified, “you want me to teach them to be pundits?”
“I know you are no conch, Nooner, so I’ll make it worth your while. Open tab at your favorite boozer. A buck’s night, if you like.”
Noonan’s ears pricked up.
Peggy Noonan opened a bleary eye and stared at the unwashed face of a child who was just staring at her.
“Consuela! Dammit, bring a pitcher of bloodies. I think I’m hallucinating again, there’s an urchin dans ma boudoir giving me the stink eye!”
Silence. And then she recalled the phone call with Rupert.