Thursday, February 28, 2002
added by this website]
Billy Graham make derogatory comments
about Jews on tapes
BY JAMES WARREN
CHICAGO - (KRT) - Rev.
Billy Graham openly voiced a belief
that Jews control the American media,
calling it a "stranglehold" during a 1972
conversation with President Richard
Nixon, according to a tape of the Oval
Office meeting released Thursday by the
"This stranglehold has got to be broken
or the country's going down the drain,"
the nation's best-known preacher declared
as he agreed with a stream of bigoted
Nixon comments about Jews and their
perceived influence in American life.
The Rev. Bill
"You believe that?" says Nixon after
the "stranglehold" comment.
"Yes, sir," says Graham.
"Oh, boy," replies Nixon. "So do I. I
can't ever say that but I believe it."
"No, but if you get elected a second
time, then we might be able to do
something," replies Graham.
Later, Graham mentions that he has
friends in the media who are Jewish,
saying they "swarm around me and are
friendly to me." But, he confides to
Nixon, "They don't know how I really feel
about what they're doing to this
The newly released tapes cover the
first six months of 1972, with the Vietnam
War and the upcoming presidential campaign
the backdrops for many conversations. The
tapes touch subjects as varied as using a
nuclear bomb on North Vietnam (a notion
quickly derided by adviser Henry
Kissinger) and settling a West Coast
They also include all of the famous
"smoking gun" conversation about the
Watergate break-in, known for its damaging
disclosures about a cover-up and its 18
The Nixon-Graham remarks came during a
90-minute session after a prayer breakfast
the men attended on Feb. 1, 1972.
"I find this
rather stunning," said William
Martin, a professor of religion and
sociology at Rice University in Houston
and author of
Honor: The Billy
"This is out of character with anything
else I have heard Billy Graham say or be
quoted as saying," Martin said. "It is
"What Graham said that day is
inexcusable. Did it ever occur to him that
he should have countered the president?"
said Martin Marty, a religious
historian at the University of Chicago who
noted the distinction some conservative
evangelicals and pentecostals have made
between supporting Israel but not American
"One really did not associate him with
this," said Michael Kotzin, a vice
president at the Jewish United Fund in
Chicago. "Rather than try to direct Nixon
in a different direction, he reinforces
him and eggs him on when it came to these
stereotypes, and that's troubling."
Graham, 83, is not in good health and
indicated, through spokesman Larry
Ross, that he could not respond since
he did not recall the conversation.
Thursday's release of 426 more hours
brings to about 2,600, out of a total of
3,700, the hours of recordings either
publicly disclosed or returned to the
Nixon family because they were deemed
strictly personal. Many recordings,
including the Graham tape, are edited to
exclude content believed to disclose
national security information, constitute
a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy
or reveal trade secrets, among other
Previous tapes have underscored the
complexity of Nixon, including his
insecurity and occasional nastiness.
Apologists tend to cite his fits of
bigotry as ancillary to his policy
achievements, with the Nixon estate
claiming that his harshness was often a
display of faux machismo in the presence
of H.R. Haldeman or his other top
aide, John Erhlichman.
While other prominent figures, such as
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
then a Nixon aide, can also be heard on
tapes during mean-spirited discourses by
Nixon, many assumed a more passive role.
Graham is unusual for being a
distinguished outsider actively taking
Graham and Nixon had become close
friends during the Eisenhower
administration, when Nixon was vice
president. They were of the same
generation and both reflected a strong
opposition to communism and a shared
evangelical bent. The friendship remained
strong until Nixon was brought down by the
Watergate scandal and resigned the
presidency in August 1974.
Haldeman's own diaries briefly noted
the unseemly conversation. He wrote that
there was discussion "of the terrible
problem arising from the total Jewish
domination of the media, and agreement
that this was something that would have to
be dealt with."
"Graham has the strong feeling that the
Bible says there are satanic Jews and
there's where our problem arises." No
such comments about the Bible are found
on the tape released Thursday but,
since it contains several long
deletions, it's believed such remarks
The lengthy chat opens with Graham
praising Nixon's prayer breakfast remarks.
"There were a lot of people in tears when
you finished this morning and it's very
moving. That's the best I've heard you at
one of those breakfast things."
After offering Nixon tips on preparing
himself for big speeches, as well as
strategy for his re-election campaign,
Graham notes that he's just been invited
to lunch with editors of Time
magazine. "I was quite amazed since this
is the first time I've heard from
Time since (Time founder) Henry
"You meet with all their editors, you
better take your Jewish beanie," says
Graham laughs. "Is that right? I don't
know any of them now."
Nixon then broaches a subject about
which "we can't talk about it publicly,"
namely Jewish influence in Hollywood and
the media. He cites Paul Keyes, a
political conservative who is executive
producer of the NBC hit, "Rowan and
Martin's Laugh-In," as telling him that
"11 of the 12 writers are Jewish."
right?" says Graham, prompting Nixon to
claim that Life magazine,
Newsweek, the New York
Times, the Los Angeles Times,
and others, are "totally dominated by the
Jews." He calls network TV anchors,
Howard K. Smith, David Brinkley and
Walter Cronkite "front men who may
not be of that persuasion," but that their
writers are "95 percent Jewish."
He demurs that this does not mean "that
all the Jews are bad" but that most are
left-wing radicals who want "peace at any
price except where support for Israel is
concerned. The best Jews are actually the
"That's right," agrees Graham, who
later concurs with a Nixon assertion that
a "powerful bloc" of Jews confronts Nixon
in the media. "And they're the ones
putting out the pornographic stuff,"
Nixon contends that "every Democratic
candidate will owe his election to Jewish
people," but he won't.
Haldeman turns the subject to the White
House press corps and the Gridiron Club, a
bastion of the media establishment, both
of which they say were mostly WASP once,
but no more.
"It was the Merriman Smiths, the Dick
Wilsons, the Kilpatricks, all that kind of
people. But you look at what covers the
president today and it's really kind of
scary," Haldeman says. Haldeman and Nixon
both cite by name reporters from the
Los Angeles Times (David
Kraslow), New York Times
(Max Frankel), Washington
Post (Stanley Karnow) and NBC
(Herb Kaplow) but stumble on
getting to CBS.
"From CBS, Rather, Dan Rather, is
Rather? . . ." says Haldeman. A deletion
then follows with the next voice heard
being that of Graham, who alludes to
A.M. Rosenthal, managing editor of
the New York Times.
"But I have to
lean a little bit, you know. I go and
see friend of Mr. Rosenthal at The
New York Times, and people of that
sort. And all, I don't mean all the
Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great
friends of mine. They swarm around me
and are friendly to me. Because they
know I am friendly to Israel and so
forth. They don't know how I really
feel about what they're doing to this
country. And I have no power and no way
to handle them."
Nixon says, "You must not let them
The conversation turns to religious
magazines, postal rates and Nixon's
uncharitable thoughts on certain Cabinet
members. Graham then leaves and, a few
minutes later, Nixon tells Haldeman, "You
know it was good we got this point about
the Jews across."
"It's a shocking point," says Haldeman,
a frequent cheerleader during Nixon's
"Well," says Nixon, "it's also, the
Jews are irreligious, atheistic, immoral
bunch of bastards."
© 2002, Chicago Tribune.
Daily Telegraph, Dec 1998: Women
a pain in the neck, say Nixon
February 8, 1920, the Illustrated
Sunday Herald in London published
Churchill's extraordinary article:
"Zionism versus Bolshevism"
Anti Defamation League called FDR's
regime Anti-Semitic | "The
punishment the President takes,"
FDR's secretary. "In another
country, after the circumcision, they
throw the Jew away" | On May 29, 1942
and Molotov talked about the Jewish
Problem | FDR
told the French General Noguès
that he sympathised with the German
people's attitude toward the