Remembering William F. Buckley on the Liberal Media

In honor of William F. Buckley Jr. -- the man who quipped about standing athwart history yelling "Stop!" -- perhaps we might recall a few old Buckley snippets on the liberal media, long a persistent force on the national political scene. Here are a few samples from the 1971 paperback Quotations from Chairman Bill (compiled by David Franke), by the topic used in the book:

Walter Cronkite

On Friday May 15 Walter Cronkite telephoned Gettysburg to see if couldn’t talk Mr. Eisenhower into denouncing the Horrible Extremism of Senator Goldwater. People had tried before, but Cronkite isn’t just people, he’s Cronkite, known to the General as "Walter," and to J. Walter Thompson as "The Anchor Man." By the time General Eisenhower was through with Walter, he was so perturbed that he can never again be described as imperturbable: more correctly, he is imperturbable except on those occasions when he sets out to do Goldwater political harm and has to sit there and take it when Goldwater instead reaps political gain. – NR, June 2. 1965, p. 435.


It is said God enjoys good theater: perhaps the lights will go out halfway through a CBS spectacular on the dangers of the Extreme Right. – NR, May 8, 1962, p. 316.

Huntley-Brinkley (the old NBC Nightly News)

The night John Kennedy was shot, we found ourselves staring, incredulous, at Huntley and Brinkley, one of them saying to the other, What could you expect except violence in a country in which a prominent national magazine [National Review] "comes out for" hanging Earl Warren? "Of course," said David to Chet or Chet to David, "they pretended they said it in jest...but..." But?...Did Stephen Decatur really mean to damn the torpedoes to eternal perdition? What did the torpedoes ever do to him? Ah, my lords and oh, my lieges, what a dreadful time we are going to have maintaining the robustness of the English language. It is only obscenity that you can get away with these days...Hang it all (okay). Hang ‘em all (no: Huntley-Brinkley no like). – NR, July 2, 1968, p. 644.

The New York Times

It was about at the moment that poor General Eisenhower...delivered a speech, by TV-relay to the [1968 Republican convention] warning against a relaxation in our attitudes toward the Communists...The New York Times was so stunning by the General’s warning that its headline read, "Eisenhower Talk / Scores Red ‘Foe’." The editor, perfectly reflecting sophisticated public attitudes, obviously reasoned that a mere Red Foe would strike the reader as, somehow, wrong, rather as if you said: Wicked Walt Disney. Obviously it must be ‘Wicked’ Walt Disney. Obviously Reds as ‘Foes’ has to be carefully explained. Even at the Republican convention. – On The Right, August 7, 1968.

The Washington Post

[Senator William Jenner] was abused by the Establishment press, most persistently by the editors of the Washington Post, whose resolve never to coexist with anti-Communists has never wavered. – NR, July 19, 1958, p. 75.

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