The current issue of the Weekly Standard is out and several good articles, including a couple on the North Korean fiasco, are available online. The cover story is an article by Noemie Emery on the Democratic party line on Republicans: “Greed, Oppression, Patriarchy.” Although her article is somewhat impressionistic, her analysis is consistent with Ronald Radosh’s more detailed account in his interesting book on the Democratic Party since 1964, Divided They Fell.
Andrew Ferguson also has a feature article that is both funny and acute, on Richard Nixon on the occasion of what would be his ninetieth birthday: “Still the One.” Ferguson’s article addresses the source of the hatred felt by the liberal elite toward Nixon despite the fact that “he was the most liberal president of the past sixty years.”
Ferguson recounts several hilarious Oval Office conversations that Ferguson has listened to in the Annex devoted to housing the Nixon tapes. As Ferguson listens to tapes pulled randomly from the archives, he says, “there were moments when I thought [the archivist] was pulling a gag, slipping a Rich Little tape into the machine.”
Ferguson last quotes a conversation between Nixon and arts guru Nancy Hanks in which he discusses the movie industry, among other things: “‘Now, Nancy, it turns out, 52 percent of the movies we see here in the United States were made abroad. What I want to do is find a way to keep these damn foreign movies out. Oh, I know they’re supposed to be so damn great and so forth. To tell you the truth, I don’t see many movies. Saw ‘Love Story.’ ‘Patton.’ But my point is, I will not have America slip to number two in the world when it comes to movies.’
“Mrs. Hanks protests that the popularity of foreign movies is owing to their superior quality.
“‘Well, then, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to take it to the movie industry. You tell ’em, You’ve got to start producing good movies. Say: No more of this weird stuff! Shape up!
“‘The family movie is coming back, you know. People don’t like arty. They don’t like offbeat.
“‘But the film industry, they’re trying to reflect the intelligentsia’–the word drips with venom–‘and that is their big mistake. Following the intelligentsia is where they always go wrong. Look at these film schools today. All they do is the weird stuff. They produce weird movies. They produce weird people.'”
Ferguson provides a persuasive answer to the question he raises in the article.
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