Friday Random 10: Frost/Nixon Edition

Pax Arcana

zelnickYou may have heard of the forthcoming film Frost/Nixon, which explores the series of long interviews conducted by British journalist David Frost of the disgraced president in 1976. Turns out I know someone who was heavily involved in the interviews themselves.

Bob Zelnick, formerly of ABC News and about a thousand other places, was the acting head of the journalism department at BU when Perry Ellis, parts of the Beast Lair, and Lucy the Dog were there learning a skill only slightly more marketable than sanskrit. Anyway, according to this article, Zelnick headed up the research team that helped Frost prepare for the interviews themselves.

Zelnick recalls being partially swayed by Nixon’s blame of Congress for screwing up the Vietnam War and appalled at Nixon’s incessant lying about Watergate. The best part, though, is that Nixon was apparently something of a perv:

Did you have much interaction with Nixon beyond the camera?
Occasionally, he’d come out during a break. One time he came out specifically to meet the Frost staff, and we shook hands. He had ridiculed “Frost’s well-paid staff” on camera and had used “well-paid staff” two or three times. When I met him, I said “You know, Mr. President, I found your reference to David’s well-paid staff so offensive that I almost choked on my caviar.” So we had that sort of banter, but it was infrequent. He would, of course, banter with David on the set as they were waiting for the cameras to roll. The classic moment was one time Nixon sat down next to David and after a long silence said, “So, David, did you fornicate much over the weekend?” David just looked at him like he couldn’t believe he’d just been asked that question.

There you have it. David Frost triumphed in a battle of wits over Richard Nixon but missed out on one of the all-time opportunities for a joke about Nixon’s mom.

The songs:

In The Basement — Teenage Bottlerocket (obviously)
Waitin’ for a Superman — The Flaming Lips
I’m a Changed Man — Otis Redding
King of the Gypsies — Johnny Thunders
Single File — Elliott Smith
Hackensack — Fountains of Wayne
Lockdown — Fugazi
The Devil’s Workday — Modest Mouse
Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo — Jens Lekman
Family Tree — TV on the Radio

Bonus Audio Extra (requires Internet Explorer or Safari):

Boob Scotch — Bob Log III

Bonus Video:

Black Woman and Shame and Scandal in the Family — Odetta and Johnny Cash

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Friday Random 10: Frost/Nixon Edition

  1. Perry Ellis

    1 – Forever For Her (Is Over For Me), The White Stripes
    2 – Baby, Buffalo Tom
    3 – Boys, Ryan Adams
    4 – The Guns of Brixton, Blondie The Clash
    5 – Loving Cup, The Rolling Stones
    6 – Righteously, Lucinda Williams
    7 – Circle K, Bitch Magnet
    8 – Don’t Know Much About History, Sam Cooke
    9 – I Cried For You, Billie Holiday
    10 – Listerine, Kristin Hersh

  2. 1. Howlin’ Wolf – Built for Comfort (weird was just on my ipod shuffle in my car – London Sessions, good shit)
    2. The Flaming Lips – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head (Kylie Minogue Cover)
    3. Lambchop – Slipped Dissolved And Loosed (def a top-10 consideration, trying to decide on Common/Kanye/John Legends new stuff before finalizing)
    4. Glen Hansard – Trying to Pull Myself Away (bleh)
    5. British Sea Power – The Great Skua
    6. Fats Domino – I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Some
    7. Bob Dylan – Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
    8. Papadosio – Polygons (interesting and cool downloads I dont know I have)
    9. The Black Angels – Deer-Ree-Shee
    10. Stephen Marley Feat. Damian Marley & Snoop Dogg – The Traffic Jam (Remix)

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