Skip to main content

tv   Open to Debate  CSPAN  December 25, 2016 7:45pm-9:01pm EST

7:45 pm
your teammates and sportss and winning together not to use sleep with. >> cyd zeigler "fair play" 20 -- t20. and american sailors first-hand account of pearl harbor. were taking phone calls,
7:46 pm
. >> welcome to the who restitution washington d.c. office i am the director andnd it is my pleasure to introduce our honored guest guest, heather hendershot a professor at m.i.t. professor of film and media and in number of books we that to one year ago at of buckley program and i could see at the time she has a real affinity to understand the connection between the communication and media world and uh conservative movement so this is of a natural outgrowth of the thatious work. and open to the debate not to watch every single one
7:47 pm
bit that was the reigning expert so please welcome heather hendershot to the podium. [applause] >> it is great to be here at b the hoover institution because it is so important with the research i did on the book and of course, they preserve the papers and the transcripts from the hoover institution is great to be here. the first thing people ask h me was why did you write that? but the short quick answer in part and writing the book since 2011 and then it was
7:48 pm
more urgent as our level of discourse was deteriorating. tht to have civil discourse and civil debate but it is from the impulse to with the intellectual development and to be broadcasting in the public interest with the extremist mostly local radioocao but the years he got 10 million votes but he was trapped and people had a sense that the conservative movement is dead but it
7:49 pm
blossomed in the wake of that defeat and that was on the business side he was advocating for but there was a lot of extremism of the people who thought fluoridation of water was a conspiracy president eisenhower was part of the conspiracy so they took to the airwaves with their paranoid thinking and buckley at first was appearing on some of their tv shows that was created by the texas whaled billionaire so buckley was a regular guest on that show but he figured out quickly that this guy was bad for the movement and the image of
7:50 pm
conservativism. and and just to tell you little bit about buckley he emerged as a national figure in 1951 ford is liberalism and aa minor celebrity so he was h known from the book. but he really became known in at 65 when he ran for the mayor of new york because then your as national figure not just local. he ran on the conservative ticket, protesting that john lindsay was running on the republican ticket but was not conservative in any wayon m. buckley famously was asked what is the first
7:51 pm
thing you would do if you were elected? he said demand a recount. [laughter] and sure enough he did not win but he put up the claim for the conservative republican is some and then to start his own tv show one year later because he was in the indiana and in his campaign there was a newspaper strike so thehe radio tv coverage increased dramatically and buckley was great on tv and so charming. but he was not afraid to show what he really thought and felt. so buckley is so bored.
7:52 pm
he is not very articulately or smart that he wrote hisan own speeches with spirit ands -- terrible syntax so to say i disagree with. [chanting] never vote for you but thanks for being honest and pointing to how much policy is bigger role but then as a crime to go to parades' we will not talk about policy he did not want to do that.nd hs he was writing his magazine and editorial columns so he was seen as honest peopleon thought he was much too right wing more conservative for them so one year after the campaign he started his television show "firing line" 66 through 99 about 1500 episodes and i will
7:53 pm
show you a clip a liberal talk-show host was his guest and the segment was called open end because open-ended of the conversation was wa going well they would go for a couple of hours of is the end of the day if not it would be 35 minutes so he was one of the earliest best of the shows i will assure you we quick clip to give you a sense of the flavor of the program. >> for the first time in television history who founded the program open end precisely to that proposition to list to as many as a three hour stretch of the ideologues with the
7:54 pm
flavor of their ideas but to be a staunch liberal in then disaster to discuss is there anything such as a prevailing bias? bu and you are most welcome. [laughter] >> the file was some well, how would you introduce me?un [laughter] >> and would think he would abandon your tradition and your behavior but i forgive you. >> what a genteel disagreement.
7:55 pm
to have such a short fuse so if if is a charming of, beating of those in cannot stand each other and then i will show you one more clip from the same episode. >> that we cannot deny by and large the industry that is liberal dominated quick. >> i think with our country the last four years to trust our legislators and communications media there is nothing sinister. >> so that is expressing the dominant line at the time that to have a conservative public affairs talk show 1966 it is a liberal country would be talking about?nts to
7:56 pm
in this amazing but in addition to political guest he also has cultural figures and artistic figures and the specialist that was devoted to balk but i wanted to show you a clip from the as of with norman mailer outside of the strictly political types of conversations of course this is not a political from 1968 and norman mailer was published earlier after he went on theol show and won a pulitzer96 prize and the opening is buckley from "time" magazine with their coverage at this event. >> but then they ignored the
7:57 pm
request but it won't do it any good. he explainederky enough and to explain that it was a little off-putting. >> ag was talking about maturation. >> that is part of the correspondence. >> but that is rare that they are engaging is that like of monkey? that is what you get but as a confession it is about
7:58 pm
alliteration. >> into those sacks of c maturation. >>. >> and then to refocus the discussion. >> so maybe defer stem last time the word was used on any television and show. is a very sophisticated discussion at charmingog debate with the world viewsg of the sparring match and thus spokespeople going on throughout the '60s and '70s
7:59 pm
quite notably had black power people on the show we have him back to security guards behind him and they are unarmed and the producer did not have guns on the show nt never acknowledgesow they are there. he never even make site contact. but what is radical as the parents of black power is elsewhere it was a nixon convlist sound bite and he conveyed to the networks to cover black a power anymore just to ignore viet. assets said do not cover vietnam either. . .
8:00 pm
>> i'm going to show you a little clip from that encounter in the early 70's.ntradiction im
8:01 pm
i used to make he or she words in estimation or i use to screen out she as forever incapable of equaling he in a summation, grammatically. there is. [inaudible] >> refer to early humans. >> but not only that, what it means is that the real latitudet is going to be concealed by censorship by on -- calling people mirrors when, in fact, they married and doesn't change the character of marriage and it's a thought of hypocrisy. >> the answer is on nomenclature is propros -- the way liberal
8:02 pm
feminism wants to change language because they agree that it's a bad. if you call yourself miss, he thought she was trying too -- lunatic and as far as trying to take down the family and they agreed with this one issue. he wrote her a thank you note as he always did to his guests and he said, god damn it, you're good. come b [laughter]
8:03 pm
>> they had debated cambridge students.on in the way it was rematch after that after that debate. the antifeminist activist and this i want from q&a. she really did not want to talk about gender issues at all. but jeff, this is their exchange . >> i was wondering if your reputation when you were cabinet
8:04 pm
member, margaret thatcher, did that in your ideological sense overcome some of the objections to a rrom -- a woman office? [laughter] [inaudible] >> the interesting thing for me is the government has not in spite of all propaganda. but -- [inaudible]
8:05 pm
[laughter] >> he really takes it but you can sense the sweat off his lip. he's great. thatcher is saying, it's just not relevant but buckley is nonsense. women are so qualified, how come there aren't so many women in office. he did a few episodes. you know, he couldn't disagree with the idea of having her on the show so he did. he gave her long introduction. i should begin by asking if you find ways to be condescending.
8:06 pm
here is what she says. [inaudible]this is a >> this is a high level for men and women. we spoke of inability on occasions to hold his tongue. had you been thinking of -- when
8:07 pm
he was speaking out, you would v have said -- [inaudible] >> the reference they used about children and women. >> no, it's coming out of desire, highly successful. >> okay, so that's the beginning of the show and then at the end of the show as he's spotted to the q&a session, he says to her, the notion that women are inferior to men is the original which i am not guilty. they are different is obvious
8:08 pm
but yet, i would not want to see them behind the wheel of every mack truck but i think you would find that insulting, or wouldyou you. this is her response.o >> i'm much too fond of you to tell you what i think about you. [laughter] >> i think you're one of the most charming and subtle and sophisticated male chauvinist. [laughter] >> so i love that, excuse me. that's flirty and bashful. she says, i will never say to you publicly and over three-martini lunch you can imagine her telling him off publicly. it's a wonderful public moment of friendly disagreement between the two.
8:09 pm
now that i have shown you a bit of the show, what i want to do is read from the book, i want to read excerpts from the introduction and then the chapter of civil rights and black power right movements and that's about 20 minutes and then we will open up to q&a. although undeniably his for 33 years, was not buckley's idea to begin with. he was not all together surprising. it's hard to imagine interested in tv than buckley.. he won an emmy for firing line in 1969 and longest public affair in history. buckley remained industry outsider. it would be somewhat unfair even to consider as snob. he did write a novel of elvis
8:10 pm
presley, of course. and if anyone could consider mick jagger a good singer, he did at least listen to the beatles during his weekly sessions with his personal trainer. this was perhaps choice as he really could not stand the beatles. he consented to be interviewed by playboy magazine. this made him practically hip. same year nbc comedy show, explaining that i did an interview with playboy because i decided it was the only way to communicate my views to my son. and noting that he had only agree today appear because agreed to fly him on california in an airplane with two right cast member henry gibson, queried, mr. buckley, you are always seated, does this mean you can't think on your feet, buckley responded, it's very
8:11 pm
hard to stand up carrying the weight of what i know. [laughter] >> asked his opinion about nudity and opinion, he replied, it's excessive and as finally whose image will be more harmed than appearance on laugh-in, hen laughed and said, well, ii suppose it will make you for respectable, wink inserted here and both of those are probably to be desired. he managed to play along and be a good sport while remaining dignified face of conservatism. he did admit to a real fondness for all in the family. rt bunker he noted in a 1979 firing line-up is anticonservative rip-off in history of modern offenses. you don't need carl marx, all you need is bunker.
8:12 pm
buckley acknowledged that anybody who wants effectively tt understand what's going on, has to got to watch tv, the bookish man i had ever knew, whittaker chambers watched television uninterruptedly for about 7:00 till 11 m -- 11:00 every single day of his life. he honestly had no idea and admit today never watch professional football. during run to mayor he was stumped to ricky mantle. buckley was neither unaware of mass culture nor deeply plugged into it himself. he got his kick listening to bach. here is a story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very
8:13 pm
lovely girls, how adishous it was to chose theme song. although he sat down to watch an old movie, the buckley love was the power to click from show to show. vacati thought that a peanut and bacona sandwich could only be improved by 1949 bottle and travel to switzerland to write a book taking daily ski breaks. given his high culture, it would have been odd if buckley had actually originated the idea of hosting a tv show even a political one. in 1989 book on firing line, the idea for the show was pitch today him in 1965 by a young
8:14 pm
entrepreneurial. buckley was agreeable to the notion but production until 1966 so he complete symbolic run for mayor of new york, he publiclyro revealed that it was conservative business tom o'neil . produced and syndicated the show from 1966 until 1971 when firing line left market behind for compared stability of pbs. firing line was an initially imagined as 13th episode seriese but ultimately ran for almost 1500 episodes. to understand how impressive the numbers are for a weekly show, consider that today a very successful program typically runs seven seasons. 154 episodes. there were 635 episodes of the long running gun motor vehicle s and 456 episodes of law and order. buckley claimed from the beginning perhaps with pride that his ratings were scanty or
8:15 pm
meager. buckley will never turn a profit on firing line or national review for that matter. these were labels of love and, of course, ideological and observed the enterprises in life that simply aren't divide to generate profit. they do vital work. as an art and advocate for -- excuse me, i lost my place. firing line was not the only unprofitable public affairs talk show type on tv, there was david, open-end, for example, ah well as the mike wallace interview and the meet the press, firing line was the only- conservative example of such programming. if firing line was unique is public affairs program, it did mere the esthetic of other public affair shows as buckley
8:16 pm
described my television program was modestly designed, no production values, explained one horrified tv executive. it was to say the least, not a good-looking show. the lights never varied and many of the guests were men in suitss their legs crossed, truesers above sox to pail white skin, the exception, black power spokesperson, feminist, supporting smart plaid pantsuit, antifeminist with only occasional visional relief. his almost british accent and inclination to dart his tongue out like a lizard. the celebration program noted that television is said to be a visual medium, the only element of interest on fire line i have been able to detect is whethern mr. buckley will part history
8:17 pm
with his tongue. [laughter] >> it really didn't matter, viewers came for the words and ideas and also when the show premiered in 1966. whether you watch the show as liberal or conservative viewer you would find politics defended and challenged.challenges in 1964 right-wing political think to go pra -- parona and whether you thought they were important, buckley seemed to beu walking proof of insufficiencycl of claims. claims about the tribe of liberalism and the waning of the extremism that he had described. buckley was determine today show the world that conservative was alive and well and struggled in the foot hole it needed in order to dominate american politics
8:18 pm
and theorist of the society should not be taken for the conservative movement. too truly understanding firing line we must consider how buckley used the show and for claim on what seemed a pipe dream, these were the folks who seemed to have a strongle hold on american conservatism when firing line began in 19 66. so that is how the introduction concludes. and i'm going to skip ahead, as you can see a bit more deep dive into the show to the chapter of civil rights and black power. in first ten years of air, she focused on power movements, as right-wing conservative buckley was concerned about the kinds of systematic called for both approaches to the problem of american racism.
8:19 pm
but was it much too simple to reduce approach to resistance. he did not oppose, for example, elimination of racial discrimination, encouragement on black person economic empowerment and integrated schools or preferential treatment but did oppose most federal government intervention on the issues. one thing to express conviction on columns and books and quite another to deal with them in dialogue with advocates of civil rights and black power or on the other side advocates for racists and segregated status quo. this is what it's so unique. in person quickly became apparent. it was in conversation about racial issues with conservatives and liberals that many of buckley's position were revealed. black power and civil rights leaders took advantage of
8:20 pm
buckley's program as a venue in which to rare their positions and, indeed, one gets sense thought they were using his program to air ideas in full away from the sound bite culture from the rest of the media. elsewhere comments would be edited.f on firing line they had to put up with right-wing white guy with hostile questions. they only saw the light of day in underground newspapers and news letters on machines. given this context the radicals generally avoided and more than self-restraint in play here. pro producer a large man with untucked shirt gave a stern lecture. forbidding dirty words, he would have to sensor his thought patterns. there was extra concern and
8:21 pm
buckley made a point by suggesting before they started shooting that the ffcc wouldnt cancel out payment for appearing on the show. if there was any guest that did not need coaching, it was civil rights maverick james farmer, he was a very picture and where does the civil rights movement go now in 1966, libertarian arguments about parents having the right to send children tot any school they wanted. he come -- complained newwe rights. baldwin was pest mystic -- pessimistic about what can happen in america.
8:22 pm
bard nguyen's concern about negro ghettos are very important. most of our victories spoken tos the south and not to the northto and the 17-year-old dropout inea harlem couldn't care of second cousin in mississippi. man, what about the rats that bite me, what about the cockroaches. buckley, what if they kill the rats s there a law that says you can't kill rats. i have rats and put traps all over the place. i've never been able to get rid of them. farmer, you know in harlem if you kill one rat two more come back to carry carcass away. buckley, well, why doesn't that happen in other cities, is theer special refuges there in harlam. farmer, when you have an entire family that's the state's duty to remove garage, isn't it. buckley, look, i'm not, ironingi suggesting demunicipallizing the
8:23 pm
garbage collection. i'm in favor of socialized garbage. everyone laughed including farmer and the tension isefly briefly eased but buckley won't let go of the ghetto rat problem. they are rhetorical defined moments as when they discuss the nature of the goal offense the civil rights movement but the discussion in the ghetto is the most memorable part of the showe because buckley is so ernst and yet so very incapable of xre -- comprehending that the right rat problem was worst in harlam thak connecticut. black panthers were struggling. several leaders such as fred hampton had been killed and fbi
8:24 pm
infiltrated the organization. later would flee to cuba. buckley was rhetorically flumoxed by his guest. i'm losing track of it. maybe one of the difficulties you have is chief spokesman for black panthers party is totally incoherent. i don't understand what you'reha talking about and i'm a very close listener. finally buckley performed the firing line version of throwing. in the towel. he put down his clip board. signaling that he realized the attempting to tame his guest, with viewers in sympathy, it would not seem incoherent as buckley found it. newton would have come as
8:25 pm
revolutionary, those inclined to be skeptical of the radicallist would certainly found deaths confirmed by performance. liberal firing line in cambridge, massachusetts, i thought newton made an ass out of himself without any help from you. whether or not newton had made an ass out of himself, the black power movement was spiraling and this was one of the firing line episodes to address the topic. later episodes that addressed race centered on issues like electoral politics and the legacy of the civil rights movement. remarkably many years later buckley would acknowledge thinking regarding federalism and voting right. i once believed that we could evolve from jim crowe, i was wrong. federal intervention was necessary. the antiracism prostates right advocate had come around but by then, almost everyone had at least in theory, twitlight years holmes maintain that had the
8:26 pm
south should have been alone with the race problem. buckley may have shifted thoughts but certainly not gone liberal in general where race was concerned. in fact, interest in discussing racism, strategies for improvina a lot of american blacks hadad reached in the 60's and 70's, topics of race was significantly less central on firing lines in the 80's. buckley appeared and appeared in two-hour firing line debate, it's full of po -- bologna. [laughter] >> he read it a lot on the show. old rational review material as completely irresponsible and
8:27 pm
buckley knew it. pat asked him, why are you so hard on my husband bill on television? well, pat, he says so many terrible things. you have to do something about that in private. needless to say she did not. she was just friendly dinner banter.y director of aclu and conservative movement got along smashingly. he insisted they take the subway and nathan's on cony island. this time they won and took the limbo. not despite the fact that in several occasions he backed him into a corner on firing line but precisely because of it. sometimes you would lose and your opponent would prove decisively that you add one point really been full of bologna. [laughter]
8:28 pm
plaur [applause] >> can i take some questions? yes. >> where to begin. first of all, this is the best idea i have had in a long timeha to come to this. >> thank you for coming. >> every single word, every single word, i love every moment of it. i cannot wait to finish the book which will be this weekend. okay.have seen the re gorvadov. >> best of enemies. >> exactly. what did you think of it and particularly the documentary, it says that gorvadov knew that barkley wouldn't prepare for
8:29 pm
debate such as it was, is that true? and what was the preparation for the shows? i was raised on the show and so what was his preparation on the show? that'll be one question. the other question is i've been told but don't know that english is not buckley's first languaget it's actually spanish and isll that true and what's the sourcew of that kind of cut glass -- >> right. >> lovely way to put it. o first of all, best of enemies, i want to plug the movie. the last five minutes say a few things that are a little tooin overreaching about this being the beginning of fox news and civil debate, i don't think that's quite spot on but it's a really good film but they do note that buckley did not prepare for first encounter, they were having discussion atda democratic national conventions in 1968, they paid them to be on
8:30 pm
the show, abc did but before they were on, they asked buckley, would you commentary and he said, well, yeah, okay, is there anyone that you wouldn't want to appear with. got you thing. they had several encounters on television and the first one that buckley did underprepare and he practiced all of his offf the cuff clips. he was really prepared. by the time they had second discussion, buckley was more prepared and at tend he lost temper and he was mortified by that that he had been uncivil and used cuss words on television.nd the question about the show preparation, he had a researcher in national review office and it was for some years and a few
8:31 pm
other people came in and out. i've seen the fold years of research material, they would, photo copy, newspaper magazine article, background, they had all the materials in front of them, he was a very busy man, he would be studying the material on the way to the show, read the books that had been written, this is a man who read a book at the barbershop. he couldn't take a break. he would prepare on the fly andb then he would do the show and get back in the limbo and type in the next editorial on the special typing table in his limbo in the back, right, he was very well prepared for the shows. you would see one of the charming things about the show, the way people have their note pads around them, legal pads and maybe glasses and kleenex and they felt kind of clutter, no production values, this is poorly designed and you'll see him during interview.ri you see this with the clip i showed you.
8:32 pm
what's next, kind of figuring it out. so in an answer to your secondnd question, it's true that buckley's first language was spanish. his nanny was spanish-speaking and he learned spanish first and english and then french, apparently awkward and weird. maybe it had a spanish accent. i don't know. but he was home-schooled in the earlier years of his life and they had a townhouse with all of the kids, i can't remember eight or ten kids and they would rotate from floor to floor like, okay, spanish on the first flooe and then, you know, politicald science on the second floor and go down to math. h at a certain point he was sent to british boarding school. they sent him away, they thought that was better. he picked up british accent that never totally went away and then there was a little bit of connecticut thrown in there. so i don't think you sensed a spanish inflection at all, but
8:33 pm
it's kind of amazing sort of hodgepodge of language backgrounds that he had and his brother james buckley had similar voice, it wasn't quite as distinctive and weird but there's the subtle almost british inflation underneath it. he was interviewed on 60 minutes right before reagan was sworn in and they said, why are you talking like that, use big words, he said, that's just how i talk. i talk to my dog that way. i use -- you know, that's the best way. you just need to find the right words to express what you have to say and sometimes precise words are the way to go. >> thank you. >> sure. yes. >> your book is excellent, i really enjoyed it. >> thank you. >> one of the things you say in the conclusion is that you think and you said as you talked about it, i listened to your interviews on the radio but there really is a void and
8:34 pm
contemporary landscape and there could be a place for firing line that we really don't have on cable news, thirst for honest intellectual comeback and my question for you is given that buckley really helped sort of mainstream and make the conservative movement palatable to the left, it's not just taking on liberals, really taking on liberal radicals as you point out. he helped since conservatives weren't radicals in the contrast. sort of american conservative movement in 2016, it faces different challenges thanking the conservative movement. i wonder if there were to be firing line, what service could it play and i appreciate thatt i'm not asking you as a conservative, what could it do
8:35 pm
for a modern conservative movement in terms of credibility and -- because i think, in fact, given in trump era, new era, there's a lot of could do. >> i agree. it's important to note things are different than they were than the 60's, obviously. we do have resurgence, extremism, right-wing rhetoric and talk and birthers, there's been a lot -- i sometimes talk about the extremists as the kind of weeds in the garden and buckley pulled them out and there they are, constant sort ot battle within the conservative movement to deal with the right and, of course, on the liberal side people and management on both sides, i would say. i would hope there would be a space on television today and, you know, we are in a neat era where there seems to be television for everyone.
8:36 pm
if you want a show about how tou buy a house and flip it, if you're interesting in pits, i mean, it's such a subdivided marketplace of interests and the thought that there's not one in there for sophisticatede political discussion that's not cut up with clips, that's unthinkable. there has to be room for that and what i say in the book, in the conclusion that you reference, you know, possibly this could be in hbo which has reputation for quality, it's where the show was shot for many years and it's a place where a show wouldn't have to be interacted by advertisements and talk. so maybe sort of pie in the sky but easy to imagine what the discussion would be and what it could mean to conservative movement, it's hard tore speculate about. it's too soon to tell what's going to happen next for the republican party. they are at a cross roads now.
8:37 pm
will a third party emerge? i can't really -- i don't have a crystal ball to predict that.t cut off his mic and nonsenseis that we see on fox news and also msnbc, overproduced spectacle of shouting. i can't say, you know, in a direct cause and effect way. tv is not that powerful but tv is helpful, though. i hope that answers your question a little bit. yes. >> the beginning of the show came at the end of the heels of vatican two. i wonder if he had any figures of american catholicism.
8:38 pm
>> he stuck to liberal religious figures because he wanted to debunk some of their ideas. he was concerned about the political involvement of the church and, of course, he was not thrilled of vatican two. 30 or 40 years. >> he had on reverend, reverend, dropping the name, yes, from yale to talk about what is the role of political activism. larger political activities. that was an interesting discussion. but there were over the years not a huge number of catholics who were in agreement with him except for malcolm who would convert to catholicism very late but they would have theological discussions, discussions about
8:39 pm
the nature of faith and so on and so forth but one thingan that's interesting in this relationship to the christian right that he voiced a respectful on what they were doing politically but i think -- it's hypothesis, and i think it's great that he didn't get that kind of face practice, this kind of loud, you know, sort of seemed cruel to him compared to catholicism and politics, religion politics in bun way and so on and so forth. he really had very, very few of those people on the show and at a moment when they were really impacting the conservative movement and in the 80's and 90's, he didn't really care for pat robinson, he wasn't having people on the show and
8:40 pm
one of the interesting is withle jerry where he comes on andel speaks moderately about how he wants a liberal pluralistic society in which everyone can express their opinions. you seem moderate here. you're very different from how you convey yourself to constituents. acknowledging you're spinning yourself for a mass audience but we know that you're a radical guy and he wouldn't acknowledge it.. so one thing that's interesting is how he wants all the big political players on and when in comes to christian rights, yeah, their ideas are good but he doesn't welcome them on the show.. i would say if you want to look at engagement with ideas of faith in catholicism, the best ways to look at the malcolm bridge episodes, his favorite ep sod, one of his favoriteis episodes was an episode with malcolm that they shortened a half hour and ran every
8:41 pm
christmas for years. the other was panamá canal debate with ronald reagan. for most conservatives and theth other favorite episodes which was actually bbc interview anda they replayed it on the show and they had a version afterwards. >> i'm a huge fan, in russia probably there's not enough fans to make a proper firing lineri friend society. hayed to come all the way here. my question is related to the -- the making of the leader of conservative movement intellectually, how do you think, what was so special about buckley that really helped him
8:42 pm
garner the crowd to overreaching transcending vigor that would come without -- that would -- if needed, cost aside the society and would always be there in terms of overlooking the movement. as far as i see now, there's not a single person on the rightth with whom everybody on the right would agree within five or seven minutes and i think that was different. >> i won't want to overstate that everyone agreed with buckley on the conservative side, but he was very popular. there were always some people on the far right that said this guy is an elitist and went to yale. you're right.
8:43 pm
he was so unique. it's not like we will have another buckley who was thatan smart and funny and that was soh much, i think a lot of what wass appealing about him is he had a fine-tune sense of humor that the conversation would turn very serious but he had a sensibility that politics has a humorous side to it and keeps us human and talking to the other side and that's something that seems quite lacking today. notably one of the episodes of firing line, he's very funny except when he talks about humor and it's worth watching, it's a terrible show. it's appealing in awfulness. it's like the word godzilla we have ever seen. i can't believe i'm seeing this.
8:44 pm
i'm not sure quite sure how he did. the humor was a key part of that and i think also being in a mass media era like i was saying about the -- so it's harder to make a splash in the media in certain ways unless you are extreme and loud whatever those kinds of things, ratings grabbers. anybody? yeah. [inaudible] >> how you play that part with buckley.
8:45 pm
how would he -- money that develop a conversation? >> someone like the president elect, you mean? yeah. towards the end i am talking about specific moment where buckley responded to current events but he always like today look at the bigger picture and so unlike, someone to talk about what's the future of the conservative party. where republicans go and the big picture, what we need, and so i hypothesize in the book if he were around this moment, he would have an episode of what's up with outsider political candidates. he had titles like that.
8:46 pm
they would discuss how this person comes out of the blue, was it like the president, they would have a conceptual discussion about what was going on and sort of sort it out. now, as for president-elect trump specifically, people asked me all of the time, we don't have to speculate. he wrote an article in magazine in 2009 or '10. he wrote an article about trump and jesse the body ventura, governor of minnesota and the article was called something like attack of the demagogues or the demagogues are coming. and he handily takes down trump and he was offedded by, oftenned by him. buckley was still proper.
8:47 pm
he would have been the role the national review took. at the same time the magazine had place for conservatives who supported mr. trump. their official line was that they did not support him but the magazine was a space where different conservative points of view could hash it out but was never strictly ban on one ideological perspective and so i think he would have been pleased with how the magazine negotiated . this is what happened, now where do we go from here. what's he going to do.
8:48 pm
they're speculating about polling and so on but they are being issued focus and what's going to happen with iran and sorting it out. so, yeah. >> two quick follow-up questions, one with respect to ratings which you referenced.ntn and then they were up and down,
8:49 pm
the system and they were scheduling him poorly and people who loved the show. he moved to sunday morning, only emmy. buckley wrote him a letter. relv and one thing about the show, you have this person who is this huge voice of the free market and he has to leave free market for his tv show to succeed and as he freely acknowledged some things you don't do for profit,
8:50 pm
you do because they are good. why would you do this when it doesn't make money, well, do you expect the catholic church to make money? in fact, the catholic church is doing just fine. his point that you could be nonfor profit endeavor and it was worthy. wasn't he was on pbs, he did about as well as other public affair shows on pbs. pbs never published, showed the ratings but would hire to do numbers for them and then send the numbers out to theirs producers running the programs and he was, you know, okay, which means like on the low end. the highest numbers for pbs were sesame streets. they were really -- upstairs and downstairs and british import that is were popular in the 70's and 80's.
8:51 pm
much better and pbs was thrilled because they had no young viewers except the toddlers frot sesame street. they kept getting young malero viewers watching and specifically watching money python and what is money python, beneath him to even consider that this was a good tv show, i actually say in the book, he must have been so when margaret thatcher in a public address. he might have even gotten it. the liberal party is dead, this is a dead liberal party. he was probably just like, what is she doing. he got along on pbs and then when the reagan administrationnn defunded pbs, nixon try today defund it and all of the pbs programming had ups and downs
8:52 pm
from that. to read the letters that buckley sent out to people raising money. he said like, joy, reagan has defunded pbs, now i need you to pay for it. not surprising he was supporting the free market, capitalism, a lot of wealthy capitalists, yes, here is a way to keep show and in particular the foundation, but other private foundations and so and so forth funded the show over the years and so he never -- he had ups and downs on pbs but basically there was never doubt that he would get the money he needed once it was defunded in the 80's. last question. o yes. >> in your preparation and research on the book, you must have read some of his books, i'm sure a lot of them, did you have any favorites among those that
8:53 pm
you thought sort of really got to him, his other stuff request you felt he was really -- >> i believe it's cruising speed. it's like '72 or so. that's a really fun one. i would recommend cruising speed. a lot of people unmaking of the mayor the most. i think it's okay but cruising speed is a really fun and interesting read and he's sort of at the peak and he's dealing with political issues but giving a sense of his lifestyle but not so much, okay, okay, you have a limbo and sail bout and it's not so heavy handed with some of the later books and, you know, he talks about personalities, like he went to a gay bar with truman, he and his way was comfortable with that. wait, what. i think probably cruising speed
8:54 pm
would be one that i would recommend. >> on that note, please join me -- [applause] [inaudible] >> thanks for coming out today. >> thank you. >> here is a look at some of the staff pix from politics and prose bookstore in washington, d.c. olivia lang explore it is solitary lives of prominent artists in the lonely city. in novelist first nonfiction book, the great derangement he argues climate change is being ignored. pupulitzer prize winner examines the future of genetic manipulation in the gene. another staff pick from politics and prose store is grunt by mnari roach who reports on the
8:55 pm
science that's being used to improve the safety and effectiveness of america's military. atlantic magazine contributor argues islam is essential to understanding middle eastern politics in islamic exceptionalism. and in order -- ordinarily well, behind antidepressive medications. that's some of the staff picks, many authors have or will be appearing on book tv. you can watch them on our website, >> marlene trestman. >> tell me about ms. margolin? >> sure. i would like to say that before
8:56 pm
there was a notorious rbg as justice ginsburg is well known. we owe her essentially the fair labor standards act and the equal pay act. she championed those laws in her 30 years as an associate solicitor at the labor department and she was mentor to me. >> what were some of the significant cases that she was involved in as well as the fair labor act? >> all on the fair labor standards act and so it was really the whole body of work that caused chief justice warren to say that she had put the flesh on the bare bones of the fair standards act and without her work the bare bones would have been totally inadequate. her most -- her most perhaps significant case standing alone was the first case argued under the equal pay act, established
8:57 pm
the rule that still exists today that jobs need only be substantially equal and not identical to warrant equal pay and that is the standard that we still add here to today. >> in your research, did you go into her personal life at all? >> i did. it was a real big decision to do that because she was so jealously guarded about her personal life but i was encouraged by gender historians to tell the life of a pioneering, trailblazing lawyer, woman, i needed to do so. when i found out not surprising she had affairs, she had affairs with people that wouldn't interfere in her trailblazing career. you could say her pension for passion may have caused a federal judgeship. i think it's important for
8:58 pm
people to know today the choices today that an ambitious career woman of 1930's had to make and the choices she had to make to pursue her career. >> do you think because of the climate that it's a little bit difficult to interview or to do research on a woman versus a man in history? >> freed me to dig deeper than perhaps i could have if she were alive. the thing that makes it harder to do research about a woman is that there were so fewer pieces of documentation. she had never been asked to do an oral history although all of her counterparts had been well documented. she never kept a journal or dairy perhaps for fear to be used against her. that's a particular challenge for people writing about women
8:59 pm
that isn't often the case with men. >> how were you able to do research with such little available? >> well, it took a lot of digging, not only was her nephew very generous in allowing me free use of her paper to the extent it existed, but i say that i found essentially her needle in famous people case act, so because she kept such elite company, justice douglas, justice jackson, i could actually find in the miscellaneous correspondence file and she kept a bundle of letters and photographs, but i compared handwritings to figure out who she was writing to and who was writing to her. investigation and making sure i kept it to a high-level of certainty. >> you mentioned she was your mentor, what is your background?
9:00 pm
>> it wasn't really in a professional setting. betssie grew up in new orleans. i too was an orphan and became award from the same agency that cared for her. when i graduated from the same high school that she went to 50 years later my high school guidance counselor introduced us . so i think she saw in me a little bit of herself, that little girl from new orleans. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily, in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> on this week's after words programs, john hopkins uner


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on