Vice President Spiro Agnew on Jewish Power
EDITOR’S NOTE: The historical record of former Vice President Spiro Agnew’s utterances on the Jewish question supports the authenticity of the letter found by Kevin Alfred Strom (shown below in the Appendix) in the papers of Professor Revilo P. Oliver.
SPIRO AGNEW was Vice President of the United States under Nixon. He told Jewish Barbara Walters in an interview that the media was controlled by a “Jewish Cabal”. (ILLUSTRATION: Spiro Agnew)
In 1976, he briefly reentered the public spotlight and engendered controversy with anti-Zionist statements that called for the United States to withdraw its support for the state of Israel, citing Israel’s allegedly bad treatment of Christians, as well as what Gerald Ford publicly criticized as “unsavory remarks about Jews.”
Some Agnew quotes:
“The people who own and manage national impact media are Jewish and, with other influential Jews, helped create a disastrous U.S. Mideast policy. All you have to do is check the real policy makers and owners and you find a much higher concentration of Jewish people than you’re going to find in the population. By national impact media I am referring tot he major news wire services, pollsters, Time and Newsweek Magazines, thye New York Times, Washington Post, and the International Herald Tribune. For example, CBS’ Mr. (William) Paley’s Jewish. Mr. Julian Goodman, who runs NBC, and there’s a Leonard Goldenson at ABC. Mrs. Katherine Graham owns the Washington Post and Mr. Sulzberger the New York Times. They are all Jews!
You go down the line in that fashion…not just with ownership but go down to the managing posts and discretionary posts… and you’ll find that through their aggressiveness and their inventiveness, they now dominate the news media. Not only in the media, but in academic communities, the financial communities, in the foundations, in all sorts of highly visible and influential services that involve the public, they now have a tremendous voice.
Our policy in the Middle East in my judgment is disastrous, because it’s not even handed. I see no reason why nearly half the foreign aid this nation has to give goes to Israel, except for the influence of this Zionist lobby. I think the power of the news media is in the hands of a few people…it’s not subject to control of the voters, it’s subject only to the whim of the board of directors.”
The mass distrust of the alleged Hebraic cabal behind the media was first politically exploited at the highest levels by Richard Nixon, who sincerely hated that imaginary clique. He often raved to H.R. Haldeman about those “satanic Jews” atop the networks and the New York Times.
Nixon’s button-man in the campaign was his felonious understudy, Spiro Agnew, whose paranoid attack on the news media–“a tiny and closed fraternity of privileged men, elected by no one”–was tacitly anti-Semitic. His animus became much more explicit after Agnew’s forcible retirement: “All you have to do is look around and see who owns the networks, who owns the Washington Post, the New York Times,” he declared in 1976. “As you look around in the big news business, you see a heavy concentration of Jewish people.”
Agnew’s assault on Big Media was both conceived and crafted by the young Pat Buchanan. Since then, Buchanan has ebulliently parlayed his media celebrity into a full-time political jihad against the media (among other targets), and has done so with a tang of anti-Semitism so pronounced that even William Buckley finally had to clear his throat.
He correctly pointed out that the student led anti-war movement was influenced by seditious elements and, while being a strong advocate of civil rights, cautioned against the extremism that some in the civil rights movement gravitated to. For this he was vilified by the press and turned into a punch line on such shows as Laugh In and the Smothers Brothers. But the Hollywood cultural elite and Eastern seaboard media now keep Agnew in a historical memory hole.
Spiro Agnew’s greatest service to the nation arguably was about challenging the media. He targeted the Washington Post, Newsweek and the New York Times, pointing out the concentration of power, the diversity of media they owned, and the unfairness of the use of corporate media power to drill home one point of view to the American people. This he said all the while pointing out how he understood that while the First Amendment protected them, it also protected him, and that the opposition’s shrill whining would not deter him.
To be true to the record, Spiro Agnew did make some unpleasant remarks occasionally that could be considered bigoted and callous. There can be no excuse for calling A reporter a ‘ Fat Jap.’ or saying, when asked to visit an underprivileged neighborhood ” You’ve seen one slum you’ve seen ’em all.” But Orthodox Jews appreciated him. The segment of the Jewish community that understood he was a friend, at least while in office welcomed his long time support for Israel. After leaving office, his expressed sympathies changed dramatically and he lobbied for Kuwaiti interests.
Agnew died suddenly on September 17, 1996, aged 77 at Atlantic General Hospital, in Berlin, Maryland in Worcester County (near his Ocean City home), only a few hours after being hospitalized and diagnosed with an advanced, yet to that point undetected, form of leukemia.