June 27, 2008

Scalia sighting

I'm most of the way through Nixonland, and happened upon this paragraph:

(Part of a section describing Nixon's non-public actions to help secure his re-election in 1972)

"Meanwhile there were the broadcast networks to flay - four of them, now that PBS, which unlike the other was relatively free of the need to placate corporate sponsors, had matured into a fearless news powerhouse. The White House's Office of Telecommunications Policy was crafting a public broadcasting bill. OTP general counsel Antonin Scalia had drafted a series of memos on how the Corporation for Public Broadcasting might be made a more pliant vassal of the White House. "The best possibility for White House influence is through the Presidential appointees to the Board of Directors, " he wrote; the best way to shed the influence of "the liberal Establishment of the Northeast" would be to strengthen local stations at the expense of the national organization. Such subtleties were all well and good until Richard Nixon read in his news summary that Sander Vanocur, late of NBC, who'd been a Nixon bete noire since the 1960 presidential debates, was slated to co anchor a new PBS newsmagazine. Nixon issued a blunt dictate: "all funds for Public Broadcasting to be cut immediately."

A few comments: (1) Scalia worked in Public Broadcasting? (2) He worked in the Nixon Whitehouse and somehow still managed confirmation? (3) Nixon was a seriously crazy bastard.

Full review coming.

Posted by baltar at June 27, 2008 02:42 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Books | Corruption | Law and the Courts | Politics


Crazy? I don't know about that. Vindictive, petty, insecure, corrupt, arrogant - I'd say he had all those characteristics and that you could fairly modify each one with "wildly". But I don't know if he was crazy - unless you mean paranoid, or something stemming from his drinking problem.

Posted by: Armand at June 27, 2008 03:50 PM | PERMALINK
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