President Richard Nixon was caught on his own secret taping system in the Oval Office during the 1970s complaining that the popular CBS TV series “All in the Family” glorified homosexuality. Nixon, who resigned after Watergate in disgrace, was unfamiliar with the show, thought it was a movie, and thought two unnamed actors in it were “magnificent, handsome guys.”
His comments about homosexuality were both ignorant and offensive.
Nixon in the recording calls Aristotle a “homo,” and adds, “so was Socrates.” He tells Watergate felon John Erlichman that homosexuality is immoral, “the last six Roman emperors were fags,” and says “the Communists and left-wingers are pushing” immorality because “they’re trying to destroy us!”
If you’re thinking Nixon sounds like a typical, paranoid member of today’s radical religious right, you’re right — in part.
CNN last week published the audio below from the ’70s as part of a documentary showing “a side of Richard Nixon that most Americans have never seen.”
But what’s somewhat shocking is that it appears CNN has drastically edited the audio from what seems to be the original, which we were able to easily find online.
In the original, Nixon also uses words like “fairy” and “queers,” but says he doesn’t oppose homosexuality on moral grounds, rather, he doesn’t want it to be glorified. Essentially, Nixon says gays should stay closeted.
It’s a fascinating look into the mind of the nation’s 37th president, a man who was born exactly one century ago, January 9, 1913.
Comparing Nixon’s comments — as ugly and vile as they were — to those of today’s professional anti-gay hate group leaders, like Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer, shows the anti-gay right has become even more radicalized than Richard Nixon ever was.
Here’s CNN’s version:
Here’s what appears to be an unedited version, published in 2008:
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