Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “Politics and the Press”

Firing Line Videos, Hoover Institution, taped on March 7, 1967, uploaded to YouTube on July 15, 2010.

Guest: Tom Wicker


A colorful discussion of that already old topic, bias in the media, in this case starting with the question, “Would the New York Times ever refer to an ‘ultra-liberal Republican’?” Wicker: “‘Ultra-liberal Republican’? I doubt it, since there are very few such animals, but I don’t know if there’s any particular ban against this in the New York Times. We have some bans on certain words but that’s not one of them so far as I know.” Buckley: “Yeah. But aren’t those bans most interesting which are sort of self-enforcing and inexplicit?… It’s easy for the New York Times to refer to ultra-conservative Republicans, but for some reason you’d have to…get a sort of special dispensation, the typewriters would reject it, if you referred to an ultra-liberal Republican.” Wicker: “Well, I think so. Typewriters have a high regard for the facts.” Buckley: “OK. Now you’re saying that there’s no such thing as an ultra-liberal Republican.” Wicker: “Well, only if you consider them in the Republican spectrum.”