Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Kissinger and the Media

Socialite war criminal Henry Kissinger is expert at handling the media. His Dred Lord Iblis taught him well the ways of mesmerizing the naive (there is no such a thing as objectivity, only competing ambitions), and other, more sinister, unmentionable Dark Arts. Chicago Tribune reporter James Warren chronicles some of Henry the K's more audacious media seductions:

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Above: The Dread Lord makes a diplomatic breach in residual Cold War era blockage.

"... The winner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize was celebrated both for his charm and his flirtatiousness, traits that made him equally popular with society hostesses and the working press. Those abilities also served him well in the high-stakes Washington game of give-and-take with the media, as recently released transcripts of his phone conversations clearly show.

"The excerpted transcripts contain the original punctuation errors and phonetic mistakes made by his secretaries. Here, NBC's Barbara Walters speaks to Kissinger on Feb. 21, 1973, about the parameters of an on-camera interview she desperately wants for competitive reasons.

"Walters: When will I hear from you?

"Kissinger: Are you home tonight?"

Already the tone is set, and that tone is a Machiavellian burgundy for which The Corsair must needs employ an appropriately purple prose to accurately express the action. The scene is the early 70s, pre-Deep Throat, post-Summer of Love. The mood is fucky. Sexual liberation is in the air. Perhaps Marvin Gaye's 1973 hit "Let's Get It On" is on the 8-Track. Maybe some Bossa Nova.

Some cognac with a nutty finish may be leisurely consumed at her Watergate apartment. The underpaid Filipino maid has been dismissed. A Thai stick may have been lit, we are noncommittal on that prop. The whole scenario screams out one word -- and that word is: "Inappropriate." (A considerable pause) Okay, maybe two words -- "Unprofessional."

"Walters: I'm going out to dinner and I'll be home later this evening.

"Kissinger: See, consumed by jealousy.

"Walters: I know. The real reason I wanted to do this interview is just to have a few moments with you alone.

"Kissinger: Oh, I knew that. With a camera. You like warriorism [voyeurism].

Wildly inappropriate indeed. Do you think they speak in intimate octaves? Sotto voce dirty talk? One wonders after the health of the in-depth interview and the state of journalistic objectivity in the wake of this florid 1970s conversation, that, quite frankly, would not be out of place in the script for a porno:

"Walters: Should I call you when I come home or will you be sleeping? ?

But Kissinger never sleeps. If he did it would be all the easier to insert the proverbial wooden stake. That opportunity eludes us, alas, though this blog post is a feeble attempt to remedy that situation. Such are the mysteries of the dark side. Henry the K never listens as well as never sleeps:

"Henry was born on 27 May 1923; Walter was born just over a year later, on 21 June 1924. The both moved to the United States as refugees from Germany in 1938. Today Walter sounds like an American,whereas Henry has a characteristic European accent. A reporter once asked Walter why Henry had a German accent but he did not. Walter's facetious reply was, 'Because Henry doesn't listen,' " But James Warren's chronicle/ vivisection continues:

"Kissinger [later in the conversation]: Now you know I'm going to be sitting there waiting.

"Walters: You're so full of baloney. How can you be so marvelous, so fantastic, so interesting, so brilliant, and so full of ?. That's the first question I'm going to ask you.

"Kissinger: Only if you complete the sentence.

"Walters: (Laughter) I'm glad you're back.

"Kissinger: Thank you, Barbara.

What? No, "who loves you, baby"? No, "What's new, pussycat"? Henry K must be slipping. A swinger of his magnitude ought to have closed the deal on that "diplomatic linkage" already. His nuclear missile needs ... proliferation.

But we digress. Not content, of course, in seducing the most important interviewer of the time, Henry K, in search of further media conquest, goes after bigger game, namely, Kay Graham, owner of the Washington Post, the most powerful socialite in Washington of her era:

"(Kissinger) calls Katharine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, on the same day, July 7, 1970.

"Kissinger: I have so many reasons to be mad at the Washington Post I have given up. I am calling on a friendly basis.

"Graham: I am sorry because I was anxious to get back to you because [Kissinger aide Joseph] Sisco called.Kissinger: I am calling about something frivolous. I have a new office and I wonder if you want to see it. 6:30 or 7?

"Graham: Which is better?

"Kissinger: 7. Go to the W. Basement entrance and they will direct you. . . .

--Into the Inferno. Onward:

"On July 27, 1970, he speaks with NBC reporter Nancy Dickerson, a pathbreaking female network correspondent who is eager to interview him on the 'Today' show. He has just returned from an elite, all-male retreat at Bohemian Grove outside San Francisco. There are rumors circulating about Kissinger possibly departing the administration.

"Dickerson: How was Bohemian Grove?

"Kissinger: It was magnificent.

"Dickerson: I'd love to go there.

"Kissinger: You can't - it's for boys.

"Dickerson: I like to be with boys, etc. etc. Are you going to leave in January?

"Kissinger: That's a story I put out to keep up the morale of my staff. Where does everybody get that story. . . . They have a new belly dancer at the hotel there and I want to get to know her.

"Dickerson: Maybe we could help you get to know her.

"Kissinger: I haven't focused (sic) on that problem. All these stories have no basis.

"Dickerson: I just wondered off the record whether you were going.

"Kissinger: I have to keep my staff together.

"Dickerson: (She wanted to get together with Mr. Kissinger in the future)

"Kissinger: I have been trying for a long time.

"Dickerson: It has been a long time.

"Kissinger: There is all the ingredients for a mutual bargain. Let's hope no one is tapping this phone?

"If there are any doubts about the incestuous nature of Kissinger's relationship with the media, they are surely dispelled during an Aug. 14, 1970, conversation with Henry Brandon, chief Washington correspondent for The Sunday Times of London.

"Brandon: Muffie [Brandon, his wife] took a beautiful picture of you and the children; we're having it mounted."

Jesus fucking Christ!

"Kissinger: Aren't you sweet.

(The Corsair lights up a Macanudo Robust Baron de Rothschild, chuckles over "Muffie")

"Kissinger: I really enjoyed the weekend with you. It was one of the most relaxing days I've had since I have been here.

"Brandon: I was wondering if I could see you - I'm not sure I can come to San Clemente [the so-called "Western 'Western White House' in California where Nixon had a home].

"Kissinger: I will try. Next week is murderous for me.

"Brandon: I understand.

"Kissinger: By the way I talked to the President about your doing a bood [book]. He is agreeable to a degree of cooperation, and I would go fairly far to cooperate. I have a favor to ask of you, though one should never do a Teutonic person a kindness: Is there a chance of using your swimming pool this weekend?"

For the rest of this media fellatio ... here.

1 comment:

Mark said...

'Socialite war criminal'... I love this.