More Barbara Honegger
James was able to get hold of a little more information on the Clock Lady, who will apparently appear in Loose Change, the Final (Nearly) Cut. Here's a 1985 article from Newsweek, entitled The Munchkin's Musical I've bolded the more entertaining passages.
Whatever its lasting contributions may turn out to be, the Reagan administration will long be remembered for its colorful and abundant ephemera. The resignation last month of Education Department aide Eileen Gardner (briefly famous for her view that a handicapped person's "external circumstances . . . fit his level of inner spiritual development") was only the latest in a long series of mini-controversies. The strangest of all, perhaps, was one that began on an otherwise dull Sunday in August 1983. Barbara Honegger, a special assistant in the Justice Department's civil-rights division, published a guest editorial in The Washington Post, attacking the president on women's issues. On Monday she quit her job.
On Tuesday a Justice Department official memorably dismissed Honegger as "a low-level Munchkin"; on Wednesday White House spokesman Larry Speakes sneered that the last time he'd seen her "she was the Easter Bunny at the White House Easter Egg Roll." (Speakes was mistaken, but Honegger had been photographed in a rabbit suit in 1980.) The next day Honegger produced a photo of herself with Reagan and crowed that it was "the Munchkin with the Wizard of Oz." White House aides began whispering that Honegger was a believer in ESP who claimed she'd ridden on Halley's comet; others began to wonder about her when she bombed on ABC's "Nightline," claiming that since Reagan had been in office she was "the only individual who saw the whole picture." The media backed off as quickly as they'd latched on. Honegger's entire passage from obscurity to obscurity took about two weeks.
When the fuss died down, Honegger joined the Jesse Jackson campaign as a coordinator for women. Then, last May, she moved back to California, where her parents own valuable real estate -- including the small, tidy house overlooking Monterey Bay in Pacific Grove where she now lives. Outside her picture window, sunbathers loll on their blankets; inside, Honegger, 37, sits with her back to the blue Pacific, her black dress buttoned to her chin, and talks animatedly about her latest response to the events of August 1983.
'Zingers': After thinking "very, very deeply and seriously and lightheartedly" about it, she decided against the lawsuits she'd been planning against government officials. Instead she's writing a musical satire whose working title is "The Wizard Because"; a "New York producer," she says, is "very, very interested." In the show, Honegger is a Munchkin, Reagan is the Wizard, the heartless, ax-wielding Tin Woodman is David Stockman and Dorothy -- for whom there is no Washingtonian counterpart -- has trouble getting back to Kansas because of Reagan's farm policies. Honegger's collaborator, a woman named Raye Dyer, is a former Gary Hart campaign worker. "There'll be some zingers in there," says Dyer. "Oh, yes, there will be." Parody, Honegger adds, is the best answer to the ridicule she endured, "a response in kind -- with a positive message. Oh, we're so excited."
But the ridicule still stings. "The image of me was a caricature," she says. To "let you know who I am," she produces medals awarded her by the Hoover Institution (a conservative think tank at Stanford University) and a volume of scholarly essays she helped edit there. After graduating from Stanford (she majored in creative writing), she spent five more years there as a "graduate student at large" doing research in "the neurophysiology of communications." She never claimed she rode on Halley's comet, and although she has a master's degree in parapsychology (from John F. Kennedy University, an evening and weekend school in Orinda, Calif.), she cooled toward the study of "anomalous communication" when she found that the data was not sufficiently credible.
Defection: Despite the damage done to her own credibility by the White House -- and despite her vote last year for Walter Mondale -- there's still a photo of her with "the Wizard" on her desk and she's still proud that she worked for him. "This president has sold the American people on themselves," she says. And she sounds almost compassionate when discussing the administration's reaction to her defection. "I feel that the White House, for reasons that are not clear to me, was actually threatened," she says. "This White House has very rarely been out of control. All I can think is that the people who make policy at the highest level must truly feel guilty about their positions, because they overreacted."
Honegger plans to apply to law school soon; the degree, she thinks, would help her should she finally run for public office. "My goal in life," she says, "is to serve the truth." Meanwhile, she's busy finishing "The Wizard Because" -- and starting her own business, a public-relations firm called Zeitgeist. (Its motto: "The Right Idea/The Right Time.") For this enterprise she has a new partner (who she says is "an elected official in the Monterey area") and a new idea. They pick a company they'd like to represent, "find out what its needs are and, unsolicited, present a complete concept." Zeitgeist descends on potential clients, she says, "like a bolt out of the blue." So far there have been no takers. But Barbara Honegger is not easily discouraged.
You can see the pictures of Honegger at her desk and in the rabbit suit here.
Here's some musing on David Duke and Barbara Honegger from somebody called Rayelan (probably the Raye Dyer mentioned in the Newsweek article).
I did not know that David Duke was living in Russia. I find this interesting because years ago I was told by one of Gunther's bosses, a four star Admiral, that the Soviet Union and the United States were going to change scripts.
At the time the Admiral said this, my ears perked up, because a year or two before he said this, I had been working with Barbara Honegger, the author of the first book with the name, October Surprise. She was writing a musical satire....