Here's a 1968 episode of The Dick Cavett show discussing the assassination of Robert Kennedy

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I am struck by the lack of appeal to anti-intellectualism. Nobody says stupid stuff just to sound popular.

Nobody wants to rant to get more pageviews. None of them want the masses to follow them on twitter.

How did they find so many smart people who were willing to sit down and talk for half an hour?


I’m just guessing (I haven’t had time to watch the video yet) but from the list of participants it seems like they accomplished this feat by deliberately looking for smart people.


Chris Hayes not long ago hosted a Saturday morning panel show that managed similar feats. People of divergent politics, who apparently had to accept some pretty basic rules of engagement (why, yes, I’m impressed with Hayes too) and had a weekly discussion of topics like health care policy with none of what you regret for today.


they were all aghast at the annual gun violence numbers in 1968 – imagine if they could’ve been told what the numbers were going to be for 2019, and what life is like now.


They’re also currently available, but like the Roger Ebert gun violence interview on the Today Show (the idea that young men are doing this for airtime recognition, in part), they get scrapped for views which more closely mirror the views of the telcom owners.


They’d be pleasantly surprised that crime is much lower, and that NYC in particular now has fewer than half as many murders as 1968 despite a larger population?

This is not to say that guns aren’t a problem - widespread gun ownership is likely why the US murder rate is much higher than similar wealthy countries like the UK, Australia and Canada. But crime and sheer chaos was much worse in 1968.

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I’m struck by how he tried to make the sick situation “relatable” to all of us:

I could describe our country as many friends we all have: as a man who’s very healthy, handsome, successful, [but] drinking too much, gambling, playing around. What’s wrong with our country is not its basic health, but its way of life.

And, perhaps I’m reading to much into this, but look at the ills of this “friend we all have”:

  • He drinks too much. Fair enough. It’s the excessiveness that is the sin.
  • He gambles. Is it assumed that if he gambles, he gambles to excess? I guess “gambles with regularity” is implied, which, OK, could be seen as unhealthy.
  • He plays around. Now, this is the funny one. I think we are given to understand that, in this relatable analogy, “our friend” must be married, and casually cheats on his wife! Because he’d certainly never be condemning the bachelor life.

at 2 minutes 30 second

“…last year in our country more than 5000 cases of violence with guns involved where in England there were 16 and France there were 12.”

I get so lost in the assault rifle talk I forget that assault rifles are just the current flavor.

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For a while bombs were the popular flavor:

“In a single eighteen-month period during 1971 and 1972 the FBI counted an amazing 2,500 bombings on American soil, almost five a day.”

Like I said above, shit used to be crazy when it came to the volume of crime and violence in this country.

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