The Corner

The F-Bomb, Too Late

Next Monday, we are bringing a book out (we meaning National Review): Digging In: Further Collected Writings of Jay Nordlinger. On our homepage today, we publish its preface, as a kind of explainer.

Let me quote a paragraph:

The opening chapter is “People.” You never run out of people, as a journalist. They supply endless and rich material. Bill Buckley used to quote someone (whose name has been forgotten, at least by me): “Ninety-nine out of every hundred people are interesting, and so is the hundredth, for he is the exception.”

This morning, I had a memory of Bill, and the trouble he had with one guest on Firing Line. This guest was impossible. He just would not play ball, would not provide an interesting interview.

His name was Demetrio Lakas, and he was president of Panama. Bill struggled with him for an hour. And then, as soon as the cameras were off, the president said, “Look, Mr. Buckley, I’d just as soon f*** Castro as sign a treaty with him.” (No asterisks.)

Where was such candor and liveliness during the show?!