Tag Archives: Richard Nixon

RIP: David Frost and the rehabilitation of Richard Nixon

Frost NixonAdapted from a piece that originally ran in December 2011.

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When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. -Richard Nixon to David Frost

British television journalist David Frost is dead at 74. While it isn’t necessarily clear that a man who spent time as a comedian and game show host ought to have his visage chiseled into Journalism Rushmore, there is simply no way to ignore his substantive moments, which are headlined by his famous interview series with disgraced former president Richard Nixon.

This is more about Nixon, perhaps, but as we reflect upon Frost’s career and the public reception of the play and film about their encounter, it has become nearly impossible to think of him in any other context, at least on this side of the Atlantic. And if a media personality is to be judged on one moment, what better one than the events commencing on March 23, 1977?

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After a community theatre performance in late 2011 of Frost/Nixon, my companions and I found ourselves discussing a topic that has come to intrigue me a great deal: the curious rehabilitation of Richard Nixon. Continue reading RIP: David Frost and the rehabilitation of Richard Nixon

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Frost/Nixon: The rehabilitation of Tricky Dick and what it says about the soul of modern America

My colleague Michael Sheehan recent offered a tip of the cap to a local staging of Frost/Nixon, which starred our old friend Stuart O’Steen. If anything, Mike was understated in his praise of the show and O’Steen’s performance. Anytime the big-city Denver Post says nice things about a community theater production up in the hinterlands of Longmont you know something special is afoot.

After the show, as we waited for a chance to congratulate the cast, my companions and I found ourselves discussing a topic that has come to intrigue me a great deal: the curious rehabilitation of Richard Nixon. Continue reading Frost/Nixon: The rehabilitation of Tricky Dick and what it says about the soul of modern America

Shootout at the DC Corral

The independently minded political animal always wrestles with times of transition, and the changeover from the Bush to Obama regimes has been worse than most. During the Dubya years it was easy to identify the enemy and to hate him with a blinding passion. Sweet Jesus, George II and his sidekick, The Dick Cheney, played their roles with less nuance than the bad guy in Rambo 12: Return of Ming the Merciless (directed by Roland Emmerich), making it easy to identify with the loyal opposition just on principle.

But it’s important to remember that the enemy of my enemy isn’t necessarily my friend. They might just be fighting over which one gets to eat my tender bits. Continue reading Shootout at the DC Corral

America and its presidents: what the fuck is wrong with you people?

Let’s begin with a brief Q&A with America.

Q: Let’s say you’re sick with a potentially deadly disease. Who do you want for a doctor?
A: The smartest, most experienced and highly qualified expert in the field.

Q: You’re looking to invest your life savings. Who do you trust to handle your money?
A: The brightest, most agile financial mind I can find.

Q: You’ve been selected to participate in a “private citizens in space” program. Who do you want in charge of building the rocket? Continue reading America and its presidents: what the fuck is wrong with you people?

Democrats to Progressives: We’re just not that into you

not_that_into_youA modest proposal, perhaps.

It’s been entertaining watching American public “discourse” since the election. (I use that word in its broadest, most ridiculous sense, since nothing that hinges so completely on self-absorption, rank ignorance and pathological dishonesty can be accurately characterized by such a noble word. But indulge me. I’ve been working on my irony lately.)

On the one hand you have conservatives fainting dead away that we’re now in the clutches of a “socialist” president. Never mind that these folks wouldn’t know a real socialist if he was gnawing their balls off. Never mind that most of these folks think “socialist” is the French word for Negro. Never mind that Obama demonstrably is to socialism what Joe the Plumber is to brie-sucking Northeastern intellectualism. As arch-conservative TV pundit Stephen Colbert says, “this is a fact-free zone.”

On the other you have the righteous outrage of the progressosphere, which feels six different kinds of betrayed by a president who promised them the moon and stars and has now left them to what looks like at least a four-year walk of shame. If I might borrow from an old fraternity joke, imagine the following scene from the Oval Office: Continue reading Democrats to Progressives: We’re just not that into you

Dicktator-for-Life: Nixon, Cheney and Constitutional Calvinball über alles

dicksIn 1977, former president Richard Nixon offered up some interesting thoughts on the concept of legality.

FROST: So what in a sense, you’re saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.

NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.

FROST: By definition. Continue reading Dicktator-for-Life: Nixon, Cheney and Constitutional Calvinball über alles

How do you feel about free speech, Mr. Candidate?

Our friends over at Colorado Independent have a great new analysis up on free speech zones graveyards at the upcoming DNC. As Constitutional attorney John Whitehead explains, the Dems will be the only party this summer building a fence around open expression.

Protesters at the upcoming Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver in late August will be corralled into caged “free speech zones” made of chicken wire and chain link fences which are located more than two football fields from the delegates’ entrance. Those who attempt to exercise their First Amendment rights outside this makeshift cage, which is partially obscured by trees and sculptures, will be arrested. (Ironically, protesters at this year’s Republican National Convention will not face a cage or even policemen in riot gear.) Continue reading How do you feel about free speech, Mr. Candidate?

A progressive for our times

Let’s say this guy was running for president on a third-party ticket:

  • proven track record for getting country out of wars
  • strong foreign policy diplomat who forged stronger relationships with powerful developing (and enemy) nations
  • implemented the first significant federal affirmative action program
  • dramatically increased spending on federal employee salaries
  • organized a daily press event and daily message for the media
  • oversaw first large-scale integration of public schools in the South
  • advocated comprehensive national health insurance for all Americans Continue reading A progressive for our times

Buchanan, Kristol, Hannity and those ungrateful negroes: a banner month in race relations

I guess there’s probably nothing Earth-shattering about revelations that FOX News “journalist” Sean Hannity was BFFs with a white supremacist. I mean, even if you don’t expect it, it’s not the sort of information that’s going to turn your whole worldview upside-down, you know?

But the latest screed from Pat Buchanan almost buckles the knees. We don’t exactly look to Pat for enlightened thinking on race or, well, on anything. But even by his standards these March 21 comments are barely to be believed. Continue reading Buchanan, Kristol, Hannity and those ungrateful negroes: a banner month in race relations