One of the happiest things about life in America is the certainty that, every year or two, a fresh batch of Nixon tapes will be released to the public. In the past few weeks, students of the thirty-seventh President have been busy working their way through four hundred and twenty-six more hours of very special Presidential conversations, bringing the total to 1,779.
1. True or false: President Nixon's immediate response to the news that George Wallace had been shot was to tell his aides to circulate a story that the would-be assassin "was a supporter of McGovern and Kennedy. . . . Say you have it on unmistakable evidence."
2. During an Oval Office discussion, a guest made a statement that prompted Nixon to ask, "You believe that?" "Yes, sir," the man assured him. "Oh boy," Nixon said. "So do I. I can't ever say that, but I believe it." What preceded this exchange?
(a) White House adviser John Ehrlichman called J. Edgar Hoover "a little light in the loafers."
(b) The Reverend Billy Graham said that the Jews had a "stranglehold" on the media which "has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain."
(c) Attorney General John Mitchell suggested that it "might not be a bad idea" to "beat the shit out of" some of the "folks on our enemies list."
(d) Vice-President Spiro Agnew complained that the media had "made too much of a fuss about" the My Lai massacre.
3. Which TV program so offended Nixon that he declared, "I do not think that you glorify on public television homosexuality . . . any more than you glorify, uh, whores."
(a) "All in the Family."
(b) "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In."
(c) "Love, American Style."
(d) "The Odd Couple."
4. Which world leader did Nixon hate so much that he could hardly refer to him without using the words "son of a bitch"?
(a) France's Georges Pompidou.
(b) West Germany's Willy Brandt.
(c) Canada's Pierre Trudeau.
(d) Chile's Salvador Allende.
5. True or false: Nixon suggested that the famous photograph of him standing next to Elvis Presley was a fake.
6. What was Nixon's reaction to a Jack Anderson column revealing that the Ambassador to France, Arthur K. Watson, had got drunk on a plane from Paris and had groped the flight attendants?
(a) "Look, people get drunk."
(b) "People chase girls."
(c) "It's a hell of a lot better for them to get drunk than to take drugs. It's better to chase girls than boys."
(d) All of the above.
7. Complete this quote from Nixon to former Texas Governor John B. Connally: "Look at the Justice Department. It's full of ______."
(a) dead wood
(c) homosexuals and what have you
8. What city did Nixon say had become so "faggy" that he "can't shake hands with anybody" who comes from there?
(a) San Francisco.
(b) Key West.
(c) New York.
(d) West Hollywood.
9. What was Nixon referring to when he told his national-security adviser, Henry Kissinger, "I don't give a damn. I don't care"?
(a) Hostile political cartoonists.
(b) Rising unemployment.
(c) Civilian casualties in Vietnam.
(d) The student deaths at Kent State.
10. Fill in the blank. When Billy Graham said that he'd been invited to a lunch with a group of Time editors, H. R. (Bob) Haldeman told him, "You meet with all their editors, you better take your ______."
(a) tape recorder
(b) own sandwich
(d) Jewish beanie
11. How did Nixon describe the antiwar movement?
(a) "A gaggle of chronic malcontents who are so far left they can't even see what's right with this country."
(b) "A wild orgasm of anarchists sweeping across the country like a prairie fire."
(c) "A big, fat boil that needs to be lanced, and the more painfully the better."
(d) "A bunch of filthy dope fiends who won't be happy until everyone is fornicating in the streets and so forth."
12. True or false: According to Nixon, marijuana is worse than alcohol because, while people drink "to have fun," they smoke pot "for the purpose of getting high."
13. Complete this quote from Nixon to Bob Haldeman: "You know, it's a funny thing—every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it's because _____."
(a) they're so high-strung
(b) they need something to do at their fancy-schmancy parties
(c) most of them are psychiatrists
(d) reefer goes good with pornography
(1) True, (2) b, (3) a, (4) c, (5) False—he said that about the famous photograph of a naked nine-year-old Vietnamese girl running away from a napalm attack, (6) d, (7) d, (8) a, (9) c, (10) d, (11) b, (12) True, (13) c.