tv Open to Debate CSPAN December 26, 2016 10:30pm-11:46pm EST
>> welcome to the hoover institution's washington d.c.. i am the director here and it'si a real pleasure today to be able to introduce our honored guest. heather hendershot is a professor at m.i.t.. she is a professor of film and media player and has written a number of books. we met about a year ago in a conference put on by the sutton program at yale and i can see at the time that she had some real affinity for trying to understand the connection between the communications world and the media world on one hand and the conservative movement on the other.r. so this is a natural outgrowth of her previous work looking at that general area. open -- "open to debate" is the book. heather has watched maybe notr every single one of 33 years
worth of firing line episodes but critics. close to it so she's probably the reigning expert on all things related to the fire line. please welcome heather hendershot to the podium. [applause] >> thanks so much. it's really great to be here particularly here at the hoover institution because the hoover was so important in the research i did on the.rtant to i was at stanford where the papers are and of course theyrs have preserved all the episodes but the papers and transcripts i really could not have done it without without the who bringser addition great to be here. the ers keeping keeping up to blast me about the book is why did he write it? that people askt this book is why did you write it. the short, quick answer in part is this guy, i have been working on the book since 2011, about a year and half ago it became more urgent as our level of discourse
seem to be deteriorating in the shouting matches be increase. it seemed like an important time to be talking about a show that really valued civil discourse and civil debate to be people who disagreed with each other. part of the the reason was from that impulse. but the other source of the book is more personal but intellectual development. the book in 2011 what's fair on the air was about the extremist who emerged in radio and television, mostly local radio but somewhat on tv in the years following barry goldwater's defeat in 64, barry goldwater totally came out in the election, he got 10,000,000 10 million votes but he was trounced. people had a sense that the conservative movement instead,
but the conservative movement blossomed in the wake of that defeat. in in some of this was on this legitimate side when oakley was advocating for but also a lot of extremism, paranoia and people like the john birch society emergent, that president eisenhower was a conscious, dedicated agent of a conspiracy, so these folks took to the airwaves and with their conspiratorial paranoid thinking and buckley at first was appearing on some of their tv shows, this is him in the early 60s on a show called fast form which is created by a texas oil billionaire so buckley was a regular guest on that show but he figured out quickly that this guy was bad for the movement,
bad for the image of conservatism, he, he was an extremist and paranoid and just to tell you little bit about buckley, he emerged emerged as a national figure 1951 with the publication of god and yell and a tack on his alma mater. this made him a minor celebrity, the book etched into the bestseller list at number 14, he became known from this book, but he really became known a few years later and 65 when he ran for mayor of new york because if you run for mayor you become a national figure figure not just a local figure to new york city. he ran as a protest candidate on the conservative ticket. he he was protesting that john lindsay, was not conservative in any way, and buckley very
famously was asked what would you do, was the first thing you'll do if you're elected and he said demand a recount because it just seems so unlikely. sure enough he he did not win but he staked a claim for conservative republicanism. and this really put him in a position to start his own tv show just one year later, because he was articulate in the media and there was a great coup for his campaign and in the middle of it all there is a newspaper strike, that met the radio and tv coverage of the campaign increase dramatically and buckley was great on tv. his great impart not only because he was articulate, smart and charming, he was not afraid to show what he really thought and felt, so here he is, john lindsay, lindsey looks upset and
buckley so bored, because lindsay is not very articulate, smart and interesting and buckley complained that buckley wrote his own speeches with your playing syntax, just terrible syntax and so people wrote letters to buckley and set i disagree with you and i went out for you but thanks for being honest and pointing to how much of politics was a rigmarole. so for for example he would decline to go to parades because he was like were not going to talk about policy at parades that's just image stuff and he was really campaign part-time for mayor. so he was seen as an honest candidate even by people who thought he was much too conservative for them. so year after the campaign he started his television show, firing line which ran from 66 until 99 about 1500 episodes, and i want to show you a clip
from that first year with david, he was a tv talk show host well-known as a liberal, he had a show called open and, was called open and because it was open-ended, if the conversation was going well they would keep talking for a few hours to the end of the broadcast way, if it wasn't going well they cut it off at 30 or 45 minutes it's kind of amazing this was happening at the time so he was one of the earliest guest and now show you two clips from the show to show you flavor of the program. >> the first time in television history the people are interested on he who founded the program dedicated precisely to the proposition committed viewers to listen to as many as three hours at a stretch for many remain through communication with their reviews
and ideas for which we are very grateful and then a staunch liberal in every context of the title, mr. eleanor roosevelt would unquestionably when it there's nothing as a prevailing buyers, so we're at the point and you're most welcome, to give us your preliminary views. >> why think it was unwelcome to how you introduce me. [inaudible] on the oak asian and old programs you would bend in your -- [inaudible]
>> it what a genteel disagreement right, so he is just fuming, he is such a short fuse and buckley has not always a long cute views but in this case he does, the charming meeting of people who week clearly can't really stand each other and i will show you one more clip from the same episode. >> were not here to deny that by and large the surfaces have a television and they are liberal dominated. >> if you use it, of course i do. i think our country in the last 40 years has been a liberal -- in our churches, our schools and communication media,.
>> so that's really the dominant line at the time. it points to how lunatic it would seem if it had a conservative public affairs talk show 1966 and people think this is a liberal country, what are you talking about so it's kind of amazing. in addition to political guests, buckley also also had cultural figures, artistic figures, box specialist who is devoted to a bar can they would discuss bok and so on and i wanted to show you a clip from an episode with norman mailer to give you a sense of what he did outside the strictly political discussion. this conversation is not a political, is from 1968 and mailer has published armies of the night and shortly after he appeared on the show he won the pulitzer prize and was about the mark on the pentagon and the opening is buckley reading aloud from i believe time magazine, their coverage of mailer at this >> after more obscenity, mailer introduced law who got annoyed and requested to speak later.
i'll bellow but won't do any good. by the time the -- mailer was perky enough to get himself arrested. he explained with some pride on the way to the lockup. so, a tech. >> that's your time. >> it's good for the time. >> you were talking about maturation. i never -- >> i don't know what that means. >> that's the -- continuing correspondence. that's -- they talk of engaging in a scatological solo. that's what you get from the idea. so the confession i made what about victorrization.
-- between the -- the intervention. >> you can see you're a student of the subject. >> keep up with me. >> trying to refocus the discussion. the "time magazine" observed -- >> okay so maybe the first and last time the word was used on american television, and really on any television show. i'm sure all of you are very sophisticated and know what it means but is means urination. so, it's a very sophisticated discussion about the scatological about -- a charming debate between people with very different world views but people enjoy this kind of sparring match, talking about their ideas on the show. buckley also had the spokespeople of radical movements in '60s and '70s.
he had black power folks on the short-this milton henley and he is wearing a giant onc and had two security guards in fatigues behind him, who never moved throughout the whole thing, and they're up armed but probably usually are armed. some kind of negotiation with the producer to not have guns on she, and buckley never acknowledges they're there. never even makes eye contact. just talks to milton henry. and what is radical in part about the appearance of black power on the show is that the coverage of black power elsewhere was mostly sensationalist, up so bides and nixon conveyed to the network in the early '70s they shouldn't cover back power anymore, and ignore it. he encouraged them not cover vietnam as well but the continued to cover vietnam. but the dead minimize in the coverage of black power so if wasn'ts to learn about black
power you didn't subscribe to a newsletter, "firing line" was a good place to learn about it. whether you tight it was a great idea or terrible idea. you could here the ideas expressed unedited on the show and that was remarkable. he also had -- here's eldridge cleaver on the show. he also covered the women's liberation movement on the practice he had betty fer dna on early on, and he was not a very good speaker, kind of inarticulate and was not invited back for 18 years and was the voice of the mainstream liberal feminism. a better episodes with we germane greer who was published "at the female eunuch" and buckley enjoyed talking to her. let me show you a clip from that encounter from the early '70s. >> which appeared sometime like a contradiction in my book, i to
make he and she words equal or screen out she as forever incapable of equaling he grammatically. >> grammatically. >> you could be antifeminism by suppressing the female in a pronoun. >> the hierarchy. never heard of early man, you should refer to early humans which means you can't use -- >> not only that. what it mean is is that the real attitude is going to be concealed by a form of primitive censorship, and the actual situation won't change. it's like calling people -- when they're married. doesn't change the fact of their marriage. it's hypocrisy. >> you think of the answers on nomenclature is preposterous. >> such a trivial aspect of the real struggle and been given so much attention.
it's part of the general movement to coopt the struggle for existence, really, and turn it into something -- >> okay, so, it's a really interesting moment because actually the two people agree about the nonsense of the way that liberal feminism wants to change language and both agree that ms. is a bad idea. buckley things it's not -- it's so jarring. and she says, it doesn't change the structural relationship of marriage if you call yourself ms., so thought she was kind of loon tack as far as trying to -- lunatic as far as trying to take down the family but they agreed about this issue in laing and after the show he wrote a thank you note, a as he always dade, and sacker god dam it you're good and she did not want to come back on the show but he was a terrific show. they just debated at cambridge
student union the week before and she had resoundingly won that debate about women's liberation bay a photo of the cambridge students so in a way this episode was a rematch after that debate. buckley also had of course antifeminists on the show. the subject of the equal rights amendment came up and this is phyllis schlafly. the anti-fem is in activist and he also had margaret thatcher on the show twice, and this -- i want to show you a clip from the q & a. she was not there to talk about women's liberation, did not want to talk about gender issues at all but jeff greenfield, one of the common q & a guys at the time on at the questioner panel as a younge man, brought it up. and so this is their exchange. >> i wonder if your reputation, when you a cabinet member,
the -- was margaret thatcher, no snatcher because of your ox to the program and that and your ideological stand helped you overcome the stereotypical objections to a woman holding office. >> no. very surprised, as i said, that at home on the whole we just look at the person and not necessarily the sex. you're limited. you're a man. certainly. the public -- the interesting thing foss mr. is the local government has not restored the free will despite all the propaganda, but, look, i -- i think these questions are very trivial. you don't mind my saying so.
>> you can sense the sweet break -- the sweat breaking out, just been told off by margaret thatcher, and buckley is great because matcher is saying gender is to answer i-in uk and buckley is just poppycock, nonsense. if women are so qualified how come there rant more women in office and pushes back in an interesting way. another great episode was he did a few episode is with clare booth luce but this one episode, she specifically asked to be on she show to talk about feminism and they were old friends and he cooperate disagree with the idea of having her on the show so he did and he gave her this long, very positive introduction, and he concluded the introduction by saying, i should like to begin by asking if you find the way that people introduce you on
television talk shows to be condescending. here's what she says. >> i thank you for that warm and extraordinary introduction. you would be pleased to know the entire introduction which was -- only words and not a putdown. this is a high level of achievement for a man introducing a woman. you spoke of her inability on occasion to hold her tongue. now, had you been a man, would spoke out and made enemy for himself in the process, whether he was speaking out, right or
wrong, you would have said, he is -- makes enemies by what he said. he is overly candid. you might use many phrases. but the phrase "hold her tongue" is a phrase that men frequently use about children and with -- >> opinion of the truth. >> no. it comes out of man's need, desire, highly successful, over the centuries to master women. >> so that's the beginning of the show, and then at the end of the show, as he is about to cut to the q & a session he says to her, the notion that women are inferior to men is an original sin of which i am not guilty, that women are inferior to men never occurred to me.
there's different is patently obvious and i would not want to see them behind the wheel of every mac truck but you would find that insult organize would you, he is saying what do you really think. this is her response. >> i'm much too fond of you to tell you what i really think. perhaps -- >> one of the most charming and subtle and sophisticated of mail cough nists. >> i love that. it's flirty and bashful but she says, i never say it to you publicly, and obviously over a three martini lunch at his favorite italian restaurant you can imagine her telling him off quite a bit privately. so it's a wonderful sort of public moment of friendly disagreement between these two.
i warrant to read to you from the book from the introduction and then from the chapter on civil rights and black power movement, and give you a sense of the flavor of the book. that's 20 minutes, and then we will open up to q & a. all know the program was undenily his for 33 years, "firing line" was not his idea. it's hard to major a tv star lest interested in tv than buckley. he won an emmy for "firing line" in 1969 and was the longest running public affairs show with a single host in u.s. history. but buckley remained a tv industry outsider. it would be somewhat unfair, even uncouth, to describe buckley as a snob. he did write a fun novel about elvis presley, and if he failed to understand how anyone could
consider mick jagger a good singer, his voice couldn't be better than that of every fourth person lift nest the tell don't direct hi listeneds the the beatles during sessions with hi personal trainer. but he could not stand the beatle. in 1970 he consented to be interviewed by playboy magazine. made him practically hip. the appeared on the show, laugh-in, explaining didn't interview we playboy because i decided it was the only way to communicate my views to my son. and noting that he had only agreed papp on laugh insure because the producers offered to fly him out to california on an airplane with two right wings. at a press conference for buckley where henry gibson kerryed, mr. buckley, whole you're on television you're always seated. does this mean you can't think on your feet?
buckley responded it's very hard to stand up carrying the weight of what i know. as though opinion about nudity and entertainment he tersely replied, it's excessive. and asked finally whose image would be more hammered by his appearance on laugh-in, his or she show's, laughed and said i suppose it will make you more respect ail, coy wink, and me less so, and both probably to be desired. manage ode play along and be a good sport and remained the dig nye identified spate of conservatism. it's doubtful the watched laugh-in but had a fondses areness for all in family, archie bunker he noted is the greatest anti-conservative ripoff in history of modern offenses you. don't knee karl marx. you just neil archie bunker.
son buckley once acknowledgeds that anybody who wants to understand what is going on has to watch tv. the most bookish man i ever now, whether it at the chambers, watched television uninterruptedly from seven until 11:00 every night of his life. yet buckley also note head could's to watch tv and had no idea who joba the hut was, admitted to never watching professional football, and during his run for mayor of new york city, he was stumped by a reference to mickey mantle, all of which toy say buckler was neither unaware of the importance of mass culture, no are deeply plugged into it him. a devoteddalitiesman and hallways coloradoist. in a tv shoulder of songs from the school of music, here's the story, of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls.
how audacious it was for buck lee -- buckley to choo an exert senior from a tv show for his theme song. he setted down watch a movie ton tv. buckler loved the power to click from show to show and this family saw fit to slip a jar of peanut butter into his casket and also a remote control. individual program. s were fleeting interests to the founder and editor of america's most important conservative journal of pin, a man who tack vacations with the craig -- ronald reagan in barbados, how to a peanut and butter sandwich could only be -- and traveled to switzerland to write a book, taking daily ski breaks with david never vein good-ne have i in. would have been odd i buck lee had written the idea of hosting a tv show, even a political one in his 1989 book on "firing line" buck lee says the idea for the show was pitched to him in 1965 by a young entrepreneur.
buckley was agreeable to the notion but deferred production until 18966 so he could complete his symbolic run for mayor of new york. only in this novel of ronald reagan he reveals the "firing line" was the brainchild of tom o'neill o'neill's company syndicated the show. and then buckley wents to pbs. "firing line" was a 13-episode series but ultimately ran for almost 1500 episodes. to understand how impress sis the numbers are consider that today a very successful program runs seven seasons to are total of 154 episodes. there were 635 episodes of the long running gun smoke and 456 enseed odd of law and order. buckley claimed from the beginning perhaps with some pride that heirs ratings were
ex-signature g .. turn a profit oregon "firing line" or "national review." these were laubors of love and ideological dedication. buckley, the supreme free market capitalist observed that there are enterprise friday life that simply aren't devicessed to generate profit. they do vital work. and as an art and sad row cat for -- excuse me -- "firing line" was not the only unprofitable public affairs type talk show on tv. there was also david suskind's and -- but "firing line" was the was the only specifically conservative example of suchram. programming. it was a specifically conservative public affairs program it didn't mirror theothe other shows.
as described, my television program was modestly designed. it was to say the least not a good-looking show. carpete the lighting never varied and many of the guests their legs crossed, trousers riding up to reveal a pale white skin. the power spokesman for feminists sporting pantsuits and flaunting hairdos but only occasional visual relief. one could count on the destruction of the distinctive mannerisms and the inclination to dark his tongue out like a lizard. jeff greenfield who entered theg program noted that television was a visual medium. the only element on the pioneering line i had been able to detect us whether he would
someday part his hair with his tongue.r but it didn't matter they came with the ideas and when the show premiered in 66 it was the novelty of the conservatives explaining the position. whether you watch the show as a liberal or conservative viewer you would find them challenged. richard hofstadter attributed the thinking to paranoia and intellectualism and status anxiety.ed to be buckley seemed to be walking proof as to drive the point home one of the early guests was verr goldwater. they confirmed the confident claims about the liberalism and the weighting of the liberalism described.d. it was the support it needed to dominate the politics.
by extension it seemed a pipe dream of the possibility purged to the conspiracy theorists. these were the folks that seem to have a stranglehold on the conservative in 1996. buckley to forge a new image for the conservatism virtually from scratch. that is how the introduction concludes and we will skip ahead as you can see a bit more into the chapter on the civil rights and black power. as a right-wing conservative he was of course concerned about the kind of systemic upheaval called for by both approaches to the problem of american racism.
but it would be simple to reduce the approach to the resistance. he didn't oppose for example the discrimination or thece empowerment or existence of integrated schools or preferential treatment in thein hiring decisions but he did oppose most federal government intervention in these issues. it was one thing to express convictions in the columns and books and quite another to deal with them in dialogue with withd advocates of civil rights and blacblack power and on the othea side of the segregated status quo. on paper for example it might have seemed the south carolina senator strom thurmond on almost every issue whereas in person they became apparent that the racial issues with conservatives and liberals that man but many s subtleties of the position were revealed.leaders
they took advantage of the program as a venue to air the petitions and one does get a sense of the most using his programs in full. elsewhere the comments with the edited. they would ask hostile questio questions. they saw the light of day in the underground news letters on the machines. given the context there was more than self-restraint and play. they give a lecture before they appear on the show and was strictly off-limits.
before they started shootingis they would cancel out the payment for appearing on the show. if there was any guests that didn't need coaching how not to incur the wrath of the ftc it was maverick james farmer who was the picture of the decorum. where does the civil rights movement go now buckley made some of his libertarian arguments about parents having the right to send their childred to any school they wanted and complained people kept they wa discovering new rights and he argued he was pessimistic about what could be accomplished in america. he was a striking figure in the composure as he condescended baldwin but it was a frustration and anger that he seemed to tap down with each new sticker that he went. it was shades of james earl
jones and the concerns of the northern veterans. the fact of the matter is most of the victories were spoken to the south and not to the north. they couldn't care less if the cousin of mississippi could buyu a hotdog he said what about the wrath of my what about theheme. cockroaches? why don't they kill them is there a wall that says youi'm can't? i'm so tired of that argument. in harlem if you kill one you would come back to carr. the carcass away. buckley, why doesn't that happer in other cities are there specials in harle harlem why dot they do away with the refuge. farmer. when you have an entire -- look, i'm not suggesting the municipal lies and garbage collection.
you are in favor of the collection then? i'm in favor of socialized garbage.eryone lau everyone laughed and the attention was eased that he wouldn't lebut hewouldn't let gs insistencenothing . he suggested he's being melodramatic. there were moments in the program as when they discussedef the nature of the goals of the civil rights movement but the problem was the most memorable part of the show because they were so earnest comprehending the crisis despite those living in urban squalor that the problem was worse than in stamford connecticut and it was simply implausible to him. by the time he knew he was on the show in 1973, they had a falling out and he was still in exile in several leaders hadadea been killed and the fbi infiltrated the organization.
a year later they had a murder charge escape. he was all smiles and buckley was rhetorically flummoxed by his guests. at one point the host explained i'm attempting and losing track. maybe one of the difficulties you have as the tempo party is your total incoherence. that is to say people don't understand what we are talking about. i don't understand what you're talking about, and i am a very close listener. the propaganda was nearly coming up for air and he performed the pioneering line version of throwing in the towel.. he put down his clipboard signaling. for those already in sympathy they wouldn't have seemed ass incoherent and they would have come across as a remarkable revolutionary.
but they were already inclined to be skeptical of those clutching to find confirmed by the performance. he would have made him ask of et of himself without any help from you. there is no denying he laid on the revolutionary with a heavyha hand. the later episodes that address race mostly centered on the issues of politics and the legacy of the civil rights movement. if changed the thinking in the federalism and he said i once believed we could evolve our way up from jim crow but i was wrong.ve federal intervention wasy. necessary. the pro states right advocate had come around but by then almost everyone had at least in theory. jesse helms was still maintained
they should have been left alone with the race problem. he hadn't gone liberal. the racism and civi civil righth it, black power and the various strategies improving a lot of american blacks had reached in the 60s and 70s the topic was less control on the firing lines in the 1980s. in 1998, buckley had an interesting encounter with aclu director. he twisted his arm for years to appear on a two-hour debatetiled entitled result th that they are full of baloney. [laughter] it's a bit of a setup. he dug into the national review archives to find stuff he said about set civil rights and was completely unrespectable mps has buckley knew it.
they asked why are you so hard on my husband bill on television and he said so many terrible things. you have to do something about it in private. this was just friendly dinner party banter.e they directed the architect and got along smashingly. this time buckley one and they took the limo. not despite the fact that precisely because of it. the price of advocating themes debate was that sometimes he would lose and your opponent would prove you had been full of baloney.
debate. is that true and i was raised on this show and so what was the preparation on the show is one question and the other is i've been told don't know that english isn't the first language is actually spanish and is that true, and what is the source? >> it is a perfect documentary but it's a really good film and you know he didn't prepare for his first encounter. they were having a discussion at the democratic national convention in 1968 and they paid
them both handsomely to be on the show but before they were on, they asked would you do this commentary and he said okay. is there anyone you wouldn't want to appear with kai and they had several encounters and the first one is true he did under prepare. he was under prepare and he had practiced all of his quips. by the time they had their second discussion he was morehe prepared than he lost his temper and was forever kind of mortified by that. he had been uncivil and used cuss words on television and so on. so, he did to prepare fo prepare second part. the question about the show preparation, he had a researcher at the national review office and i've seen the force of the
research material they would give backgrounds and so on. he was a busy man said h so he e studying the material and this was a man i read a book about barbershop and couldn't take at break. he would prepare on-the-fly and type up the next call him in his limo in the back. so he was very well-prepared for the shows.s one of the things about the show is when people have their yellow legal notepads and maybe glasses and kleenex and water will see
this box nex what's next kind oo figure it out. so then the second question is true that language was spanish.g his nanny was spanish speaking when hspanish-speakingthen he ln frame should. he thought he was good in french but apparently awkward and weird maybe had a spanish accent. i don't know.he was h but he was homeschooled in the earlier years of his life and if they had they had a townhouse wl the kids. spanish on the first floor. at a certain point he was sentho to a british boarding school and they felt that it was better so he picked up a british accent that never totally went away.
it's kind of amazing hodgepodge language that brown and hissimi mother had a similar voice it wasn't quite as distinctive but there is a british inflectionopo underneath it. people thought this is how i talk to you he was interviewed on 60 minutes and they were like why do you talk like that and use such big words and he said that's just how i talk. precise words are the way to go. >> your book is excellent. i really enjoyed it. one of the things you say in conclusion there is a void and
landscape and there could be a place for the reprisal in the firing line we don't have this on cable news for a real honest intellectual combat and begin to question fobigquestion for you t he really helped sort of mainstream make the conservative movement habitable to the leftjk by not just taking on liberalsla that radicals and he helped people see conservatives were not radical themselves. that answered a need in the conservative movement of the 1960s and 70s and the american conservative movement in 2016 faces different challenges than the conservative movement. i appreciate i'm not asking as a conservative but what could it do for the modern conservative
movement in terms of credibility or in fact there is a lot that it could do. >> things are different now than they were, obviously. but we do have a resurgence of extremism and rhetoric and talk. to talk about the extremists, pull them out and there they art they come back again.he it's a constant source of battle in the movement to deal with the fringe right. there are left-wing people and management on both sides i guess you could say.space fo i would hope there would be a space on television today. there seems to be television fou
every one. you want a show about gardening or pat. it's such a subdivided marketplace of interest and there isn't one niche. there has to be room for that. what i say in the book and the conclusion you referenced is this could possibly be on hboh that has a reputation for quality. it's where the show was shot for many years and wouldn't have to have advertisements and you could just sit down and talk. so it might be sort ofcoul pie-in-the-sky but what ultimately could mean for thehe conservative movement is harder to speculate about. i think it's too soon to tell.
as the party has been corrupted acorrectedis the not the answert have a crystal ball to detect that. but if there were a venue where people who disagree very strongly can talk to their ideas would say cut off his bike in this kind of nonsense that we see on fox news and msnbc in the spectacle of shouting. i can't see any direct cause ane effect by its tedious and powerful, it's helpful. >> i hope that answers your question a little bit. >> the beginning of the show came on the heels of the vatican with the leading figures of american catholicism.
>> he stuck to the religious figures because he had to debunk some of their ideas. was for 30 or 40 years in the own private service in latin. so, he had on reverend sloan combined forgetting the name, but to talk about the role and they had these larger political activities and that was an interesting discussion. there were not a huge number in agreement with him except for malcolm who would convert fairly late in his life, but they would have dialogical discussions
about thdone logical discussiond salon and so forth. one thing that was interesting in the relationship to the christian right is that he voiced the kind of respect for what they were doing politically. but i think it's correct hee didn't get that kind of practice for this kind of loudism, the catholicism the way that they were practicing in the direct translation of the politics and religion in politics one way so on and so forth. so they thought some of the things that were pushing that they had very few of the people in the show. in the moment wheand the momente impacting the conservative movement in the 80s and 90s. he knew him outside of the medig
sphere. he speaks about how he wants a liberal portal a sick society that everybody can voice their opinion. i reaid i'v i read all of your literature and you seem very moderate here. you are different from how you convey yourself to your constituents. just acknowledging you are a radical guide. he wouldn't acknowledge it. one thing that's interesting is how he one piece on the christian right it's like it's their ideas are good but hes doesn't really welcome back to the show. if you want to look at his engagement with ideas that are facing catholicism and the best way to look at the episode is intact one of his favorite episodes was the pan along --
pamela canal debate. the other favorite episode played on the show and they had a conversation afterwards.ing >> i've been very much looking forward to it in the book. there's not enough to make a proper firing line in the society. had to come all the way here. my question is related to the making of the conservative movement intellectually. how do you think -- what was so special that helped him garner
the clout of the overreaching natural transcendence seeker that is needed to move the society and always be there in terms of overlooking the movement. as far as i see now, there is not a single person on the right with whom anybody on the righthn would agree within five or seven minutes and that is different. >> i wouldn't want to overstate that. he was very popular. there's always people on the far right and the more populist side was opposed to him that you are
right in this consensus among the movement it is hard to say how that happened with this sort of magic formula. he was so unique it's not like we will have to and so much i think a lot of what was funny about him as he had a fine tuned sense of humor that the conversation would turn very serious and it's part of what keeps us human and talking to the other side and so on. so that would seem quite lacking today. she's very funny except when he talks about humor.
i think that it was a key part of that and i think also just being in the mass media area like i said about this it's haro to imagine the key voice on television every one looks at because they don't have three channels plus pbs. we have hundreds of channels, so it is harder to make a splash in the media and rescue our extreme and about and paranoid or whatever those kind of things that are raised [inaudible]the o
at that specific moment where buckley responded to the current events would like to look at the current picture and so, unlike the news media cycle where you have to respond to what happened you could bring someone to talk about what is the future of the conservative party, which is exactly what he was talking about right now. where the republicans and conservatives go to try toep conceptualize it. that's what we need. and so, i hypothesized in the book that if it were around this moment, he would have episodes like what's up with the political candidates.
they would have the discussion about what's going on. people ask me all the time whatt have you really thought about this guy. it's not where we turn for our politics that he wrote an article about trump and ventura was a wrestler who became governor of minnesota and is the article to demagogues are coming. he describes him as a demagogue and a narcissist and he was offended by him and the notion that he was so proper and would
run for office without qualification. so, he would have been very proud. they were one of the first toth come out with a yosemite samtru caricature and really saying no way. it was one ideologicalon perspective. it was how the magazine negotiated in the days leading up to the election. it was a pragmatism in the national review what it's likeke okawhether it'slike okay this id now where do we go from here and what are we going to do and they
are speculating that they are wondering what's going to happen sorting it out. one is the ratings that you referenced in the book and the other with funding. how did the ratings matter or not matter. they were up and down a bit when he was syndicated on the market faces and produced before he goes in 1970.
they were scheduling him poorly. they wrote him a letter saying what are you doing we just won an emmy where every respectable person is in church going golfing. what are you thinking. so, he had to flee the markets to pbs and where the ratings were less relevant. one thing that's interesting about the show is a huge voice of the free market and for the tv show to succeed he acknowledged some things you don't do for profit.
they are doing just fine but the point was you could be in the not-for-profit. he did about as well and they never showed the ratings but they sporadically would hire to do numbers for them and send the numbers out to the producers ofn the program. they had upstairs, downstairs, and peace imports that were popular in the 70s and 80s and they did very well on pbs.
they had no viewers but theyhe l were getting young male viewersr specifically watching.yt it is beneath them to even consider. they were so chagrined whennmu margaret thatcher although hehe might not have even gotten it. he was probably like what is she doing.g. so, he got along on pbs and nixon tried to defund it and it
political scientist under the night the origin of homeland security. what was eleanor roosevelt told in the creation of the civilian defense? >> for many years eleanor roosevelt was interested in how the democracy was going to defend itself against what seemed to be annexed substantial threat of fascism and a part of the debate, she worked to promote social defense.
to argue it is strengthened at home. it was instrumental in the idea of the volunteer participation and every american had a role to play in the defense to make life more living in democracy. >> prior to world war ii was there much security full-time. it's in terms of the american military might the country was still deeply isolationist.
they are struggling to figure out a response. >> do you think homeland security which is now kind of what the office of the civilian defense has evolved into to make americans feel safe or ar the opposite effect over the years. i think that it's actually been both. there have been times when the department of homeland security has probably made some americans feel more secure. the government has been taking proactive steps. the department of homeland security created th a sense that there was a reaction and response from the government.
at the same time look at hurricane katrina. we have spent millions of dollars and merged all these agencies together to protect the country and get this massive hurricane strike and seemingly the federal government of the department of homeland security is incapable of saving lives on u.s. soil. hundreds of thousands of people died in hurricane katrina. then the people in tsa security agents and ther there's a lot of unhappiness about that. so it has been a mixed bag but i guess the question we have to ask, if there was no department of homeland security, would americans be clamoring for something like it so that is to say that it's good by any stretch, but i think people are reacting to it differently.