Thursday, December 23, 2004


Brent Bozell III's Twisted Heritage

In an earlier post, I mentioned how WWE wrestler and all-around decent guy Mick Foley, in his book Foley is Good, discussed the life and antecedents of one L. Brent Bozell III. Here's a bit of follow-up for you: On page 496 of the paperback edition of Foley is Good, Mick mentions finding out from Linda McMahon, the wife of Mick's boss Vince McMahon, that Brent's dad was a speechwriter for Joe McCarthy. (He also co-founded the National Review with William F. Buckley.) On page 498, we find out that Bozell the Second had joined McCarthy's staff AFTER the old fascist bastard Senator had been censured and discredited, when even most Republicans wanted nothing to do with him. On page 499, Mick brings up the fact that Bozell the Second was the ghostwriter for Barry Goldwater's 1960 book The Conscience of a Conservative -- and also brings up the likelihood that Goldwater never even read the pre-publication manuscript for the book that bears his name. In the very next paragraph on that same page, Mick writes of Bozell the Second that:

Around this time some people began questioning his conscience and his sanity. "He was my first realization that you could look wonderful and be bright and intelligent, clear-eyed and be totally bananas," recalled John Leonard, who had worked with Bozell on the National Review. Bozell, you see, was a strong proponent of a nuclear strike on Moscow, and didn't seem to care a whole lot about the consequences of that action. Said Leonard, "I just had this sense of a red-haired guy who could wipe out a city without really being able to imagine that there were people in the city."
Foley goes on to document further instances of Bozell the Second's increasing conservawackiness, as well as his eventual parting of the ways with the National Review because it just wasn't conservative enough for him. His nutty behavior doomed his attempt to run for a Maryland Congressional seat, and culminated in his 1970 arrest and conviction for smashing his way into the Student Health Service at George Washington University, using a giant wooden cross as a sledgehammer, because he said that abortions were being performed there. (Meanwhile, his wife Patricia Buckley Bozell, William F. Buckley's sister and the mother of L. Brent Bozell III, was herself arrested for attempting to assault the noted feminist Ti-Grace Atkinson when Atkinson was speaking onstage in the auditorium of Catholic University.) This is the heritage of the man who would clean up our TV screens. And isn't it interesting that you're finding all of this out, not from a network or cable news show or a newspaper, but from a blogger who just happened to have a copy of a book by a guy who had a run-in with Bozell III in the past. Can you imagine the US media keeping mum about it if, say, Jesse Jackson's parents did the wacked-out things that Bozell III's parents did? Me, neither.
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