‘Guardian’ Publishing ‘Greatest Interviews Of 20th Century’

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By: E&P Staff

The Guardian, the national British daily headquartered in Manchester, launched a 20-day series on the “greatest interviews of the 20th century” with the transcript of the televised encounter between David Frost and Richard Nixon — with an introduction by fallen newspaper magnate Conrad Black.

Each day, the Guardian will insert a booklet on a “greatest” interview, with transcripts and context.

In the Nixon booklet, for instance, Conrad Black — who himself was convicted in July of a U.S. federal charge he obstructed justice in the investigation of fraud at Hollinger International and other newspaper holding companies he controlled — argues that one obstruction charge against Nixon “doesn’t hold water. ” That charge was that Nixon obstructed justice in the famous “smoking gun” tape by suggesting the CIA tell the FBI that the Watergate break-in was a national security matter. On the other hand, Black says it is likely that Nixon knew he was doing something improper when he authorized large cash payments to the Watergate burglars.

“The facts are that Nixon was certainly not a uniquely sleazy president,” Black wrote. “His ethics were not at the Eisenhower-Truman level, but they were not inferior to those of Kennedy, LBJ, or even FDR, much less some of the scoundrels of the 19th century, such as Van Buren or Jackson. And Nixon was a very capable president. He extracted the country from Vietnam, opened relations with China and the Arab powers, ended conscription, and virtually stopped inflation. He was re-elected in 1972 by the greatest plurality in the country’s history: 18m votes and 49 states.”

Black is the author of a recently published biography of Nixon, “The Invincible Quest: The Life of Richard Milhous Nixon.”

According to the Guardian’s Web site, these are the next 13 “greatest interviews” to be published:

No 2: Diana, Princess of Wales by Martin Bashir

No 3: John Lennon by Jann S Wenner

No 4: Marlon Brando by Truman Capote

No 5: Dennis Potter by Melvyn Bragg

No 6: Francis Bacon by David Sylvester

No 7: Marilyn Monroe by Richard Meryman

No 8: Sex Pistols by Bill Grundy

No 9: Malcolm X by Alex Haley

No 10: Adolf Hitler by GS Viereck

No 11: F Scott Fitzgerald by Michel Mok

No 12: Margaret Thatcher by Terry Coleman

No 13: Fidel Castro by Herbert Matthews

No 14: Mae West by Charlotte Chandler

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