Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “Vietnam Protests”

Firing Line Videos, Hoover Institution, taped on June 26, 1967, uploaded to YouTube on August 13, 2010.

Guest: Benjamin Spock


Dr. Spock, Mr. Buckley begins by recounting, has said that the threat to our children from “nuclear annihilation” is “a thousand times greater than all the dangers from the usual children’s diseases.” So, “I’d like to begin by asking Dr. Spock whether he carries in his head a comparison of the number of people who have died during this century from disease in contrast to those who have died, not from war, but from persecution, for instance the 6 million Jewish dead in Nazi Germany.” (The answer is, No, he doesn’t.) There is sometimes more heat than light generated here, but whether one views Dr. Spock as specimen or hero, the exchanges are fascinating. Spock: “I don’t know Bettina Aptheker but I have met Stokely Carmichael on a number of occasions, and I got the feeling he is a very sincere and America-loving person, even though he says things that distress some people from time to time.” Buckley: “He’d be incensed if you called him an America-lover. I mean that quite seriously. For the last two years he’s been going around the country begging people to believe that he hates America, and here you are accusing me of taking him seriously.”