He Could Care Less About the Grey Lady

 

Peter Robinson’s always-interesting Uncommon Knowledge, this week featuring the authors of The Presidents’ Club, includes a great story about Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. When President Nixon was told that one of Governor Reagan’s strengths was that he did not care what the New York Times wrote about him, Nixon unconvincingly tried to play me-too, claiming that he didn’t care what the NYT said about him, either, which anyone who knows anything about Nixon knows is not true.

The story reminds me of something Marc Thiessen once told me about his former boss Jesse Helms.  When Thiessen brought Helms a draft letter to the editor complaining about something the Times had written about Helms, the Senator responded as follows: “Son, this is fine, and you can print it, but I want you to know that I don’t care what the New York Times writes about me, and nobody I care about cares what they say about me, either.”  Try as he might, Nixon could never come close to Helms in the category of Times apathy.

There are 10 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @FuneralGuy

    Please.  When you don’t care a whit about something, you couldn’t care less.  When you could care less that means you do care.  Sorry, but that misusage always drives me nuts.  

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DianeEllis
    Funeral Guy: Please.  When you don’t care a whit about something, you couldn’t care less.  When you could care less that means you do care.  Sorry, but that misusage always drives me nuts.   · 3 minutes ago

    That’s the point, Funeral Guy.  Nixon did care.  Hence the title (which is my doing, not Tevi’s).

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    @PaulARahe

    Pravda-on-the-Hudson no longer matters very much. Nor does Pravda-on-the-Potomac. Peter should give up his subscription to the former. It dates him.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @FuneralGuy

    Sorry Diane, I should have read your post a little closer.  The headline was a red flag to a bull.  Again, my apologies. 

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  5. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DianeEllis
    Funeral Guy: Sorry Diane, I should have read your post a little closer.  The headline was a red flag to a bull.  Again, my apologies.  · 9 minutes ago

    Oh, not a problem.  My fault for trying to be too clever with a title for Tevi’s post!

    The anecdotes from Tevi’s post were actually what compelled me to watch the latest UK episode.  I would have anyway, since our Guest Contributors this week are the interviewees, but I find presidential anecdotes fascinating.  This one is well worth a watch.

    • #5
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    @tevitroy

    Diane — thanks for clarifying the title’s provenance and meaning.

    Paul — I don’t expect Peter to be giving up on his precious and infuriating NYT anytime soon.

    • #6
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    @

    The Manhattan Vatican of Liberalism is still the most influential dogma-shaper of the faithful. It’s influence with the general public continues to wane, however.

    • #7
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    @DavidWilliamson

    English nit- picking – it should be “couldn’t care less”

    • #8
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    @AlohaJohnny

    I also highly recommend the latest “Uncommon Knowledge”.  I have added the book to my wishlist and hope to get to it soon.   Peter’s interviewing skills are magnificent.  Despite his too many last questions….

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @kylez

    I guess Diane should have put “could” in italics.

    • #10

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