This is brilliant. They’ve found new audio of then-President Richard Nixon complaining about a TV show he stumbled upon that was glorifying homosexuality: “All in the Family.”
It’s hard to imagine Nixon wasn’t familiar with All in the Family. The show was centered around the father of the family, Archie, who was a lovable bigot, and the show basically lampooned Archie’s biases in order to show how absurd they really were.
What’s particularly fascinating is the obsequious conversation coming from Nixon’s lieutenants. It reminds me of my time working in the US Senate. A tad too much sucking up all around.
(H/t Steve Rothaus, though the transcript is mine.)
Nixon: CBS came on with a movie. They had two magnificent handsome guys, and a stupid old fellow in it. They were glorifying homosexuality!
Ehrlichman: Was that a panel, sir?
Nixon: Hell no, it was a movie!
Haldeman: No, that’s a regular show, it’s on every week. And usually it’s just set in the guy’s home. It’s usually just that guy, who’s a hardhat.
Nixon: That’s right, he’s a hard hat.
Ehrlichman: And he always just looks like a slob.
Nixon: Looks like Jackie Gleason.
Haldeman: And then he has this hippie son-in-law. And, uh, usually the general trend of it is to downgrade him, and upgrade…
Nixon: Upgrade the hippie son-in-law.
Haldeman: Make the square hardhat to be bad.
Ehrlichman: What’s it called, I’ve never seen it.
Nixon: Archie is the guy’s name.
Ehrlichman: Now that’s real family entertainment, isn’t it?
Nixon: The point that I make is that goddamit, I do not think that you glorify, on public television, homosexuality! You ever see what happened, you know what happened to the Greeks? Homosexuality destroyed them. Aristotle was a homo, we all know that. So was Socrates.
Ehrlichman: But he never had the influence that television has.
Nixon: The last six Roman emperors were fags. You see, homosexuality, immorality in general, these are the enemies of strong societies. That’s why the communists and the left-wingers are pushing it. They’re trying to destroy us.
“Magnificent handsome guys”? What straight guy says that?