web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Ten Years Ago This Week: An Icon Exposed


Billy Graham

Billy Graham

It was one of those stories that forever change the way an important public figure is perceived. Ten years ago this week, among a newly released batch of Nixon-era White House tapes, came the disturbing revelation that the Reverend Billy Graham, while at the height of his fame and influence, had uttered anti-Semitic slurs and stereotypes during a Feb. 1, 1972 Oval Office meeting with an all-too-pleased Richard Nixon.

Though he claimed to “have no memory of the occasion,” an apology was immediately issued by an increasingly frail 83-year-old Graham (whose health has continued to decline over the past decade).

It was the Chicago Tribune’s James Warren who first reported Graham’s remarks in great detail, and the tone of the story made it clear Warren recognized this was a story with major historical implications.

Warren’s in-depth treatment of the story was something of an anomaly in the first few days after the tape’s release, perhaps because Nixon’s penchant for engaging in racist and anti-Semitic slurs in private conversation was old news by 2002, eight years after the former president’s death. (Longtime readers of this column know the Monitor has decried the media double standard under which Nixon’s bigotry is endlessly dissected and critiqued while the no less shocking anti-Semitism of a Harry Truman is downplayed or ignored, but there’s no getting around the fact that Nixon was a deeply prejudiced man.)

But Billy Graham? Graham had for decades been one of America’s most admired figures, a national icon, a man respected across the board for his seeming sincerity, rock-solid faith and openness to working with those whose beliefs differ from his own. He was also a staunch friend of Israel and his organization had funded and produced “The Hiding Place,” a moving film about Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch evangelical Christian whose family had hidden many Jews from the Nazis.

But a different side of Graham emerged during the 90-minute White House meeting with Nixon. Graham was particularly exercised by what he saw as the “stranglehold” Jews maintained on the American media.

“This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain,” Graham intoned.

“You believe that?” asked Nixon.

“Yes, sir,” said Graham.

“Oh, boy,” Nixon responded. “So do I. I can’t ever say that but I believe it.” “No,” Graham agreed, “but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something about it.”

The Graham-Nixon conversation had been alluded to in the diaries of Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman, but the damning details weren’t known until the actual transcript was released to the public.

Haldeman wrote that Graham and Nixon voiced strong concern about Jewish control of the media, and that “Graham has the strong feeling that the Bible says there are Satanic Jews and there’s where our problem arises.”

On the tape, the subject of Jews and the media comes up when Graham mentions that he’d been invited to lunch with Time magazine editors.

“You meet with all their editors, you better take your Jewish beanie,” Haldeman joked.

“Is that right?” Graham said, laughing. “I don’t know any of them now.”

Nixon then told Graham that he had heard from the executive producer of “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” a popular television program in the late sixties and early seventies, that “eleven of the twelve writers are Jewish.” Nixon also described Life, Newsweek, The New York Times and other leading news publications as being “totally dominated by the Jews.”

And, Nixon added, while network news anchors Howard K. Smith, David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite were mere “front men who may not be of that persuasion,” their writers were “95 percent Jewish.”

“A lot of the Jews are great friends of mine,” said Graham a little later in the conversation. “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.”

To which Nixon responded, “You must not let them know.”

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Ten Years Ago This Week: An Icon Exposed”

  1. Moishe Pupick says:

    W., 02/29/12 common era

    Jews shouldn’t be surprised at Reverend Billy Graham’s about us. His profuse expressions of “love” for us is only to convert us to his genre of Protestant Christianity. John 14:6 says it all. It’s not enough to be a “good person” or to “follow the Law.” Of course, the Pope and the College of Cardinals believe the same thing. Such theology has caused, and continues to cause, hell on earth for Jews.
    To me, it illustrates the New Testament verse “By their fruits you shall known them.”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Congress on March 3, 2015.
‘Alliance Between Israel & US Must Always Remain Above Politics’
Latest Indepth Stories
Red Line Obama

UN inspectors were flabbergasted when Iran allowed them full unfettered access to All nuclear sites

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressing Congress.

Obama’s real problem is that he knows Netanyahu has more credibility on the Iran issue than he does.

Silwan, in the eastern part of Jerusalem, founded by Yemenite Jews in 1881

Kristof’s op-ed “The Human Stain” was flawed and wrong; more than anti-Israel, it was anti-Semitic.

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”

Stalin’s plan for the Soviet’s “final solution of the Jewish question” was totally assimilating them

Many Jews oppose the speech fearing it will further erode relations between Israel & US. I disagree.

The University of Georgia Student Government Association called for more investment in Israel.

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/ten-years-ago-this-week-an-icon-exposed/2012/02/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: