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December 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In advance of his swan song on CNN Thursday night, Larry King has responded to the frequent criticism of his interviewing technique that has obviously rankled him over the years — that he rarely challenges his guests and tosses only softball questions at them. In an interview with the New York Times, King remarked, “I don’t know what a softball question is. … All I know is I have no agenda. I ask short questions, and I listen to the answer.” (Another criticism is that that he doesn’t listen, that his mind appears to wander since he rarely asks follow-up questions.) King’s interviewing technique was endorsed by two rivals, Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren and CBS’s Katie Couric. Van Susteren told the Times, “He makes his guests feel very comfortable and want to talk, and they do.” Said Couric: “There’s something about being very direct, no frills. It’s never about Larry. It’s always about the person with whom he’s speaking.” King himself put it this way: “If you look at media now … all the hosts of these other shows are interviewing themselves. The guests are a prop for the hosts on these cable networks. The guest to me was always paramount.”