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The “Start of a Beautiful Friendship”


WFB to LBJ Special Advisor John P. Roche, Sep 20, 1967, regarding a request for a transcript of an episode of Firing Line JRP appeared on:

Dear John: I find that a transcript was indeed made of our program. I haven’t read it over but I don’t need to do so to assure you it is unquestionably inaccurate, illiterate, etc. etc.

JPR to WFB, Sep 21, 1967

Dear Bill: Thank you for the transcript. It will serve my purposes unless somebody tries some outrageous tactic (like attributing your views to me!)

WFB later gave Roche a gift subscription to National Review, starting the day LBJ left office. Over the years John Roche, a liberal anti-Communist, became a great supporter of National Review. WFB reprinted John’s syndicated columns in the magazine, so far as I know an honor he only otherwise reserved for himself. Neither man compromised their views, but after the rise of the New Left in the 1970s the old divisions seemed less important; commonality exceeded variance; and intellect recognized intellect as barbarians howled at the gates.


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