February 21, 2018 9:01 am -

While the rest of the news media trips over their own feet singing the praises of influential evangelical preacher Billy Graham, who died early today at age 99, it seems necessary to provide this reality check. In 2002, a shocking exchange between then-President Richard Nixon and Graham dating from 1972 was revealed with the National Archives’ release of the notorious Nixon Tapes in 2002:

Graham’s trademark Southern drawl can be clearly heard agreeing with Nixon that left-wing Jews dominate the American media.

They’re the ones putting out the pornographic stuff,” Graham says, adding: “This stranglehold has got to be broken or this country’s going down the drain.

You believe that?” Nixon asks.

Yes, sir,” says Graham.

Oh boy. So do I,” Nixon agrees. “I can’t ever say that, but I believe it.

Oh, Dick, but you did say it. You both said it! Graham also said,

”I go and I keep friends with Mr. Rosenthal at The New York Times and people of that sort, you know,” he told Mr. Nixon, referring to A. M. Rosenthal, then the newspaper’s executive editor. ”And all — I mean, not all the Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine, they swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country. And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.”

Graham issued a short apology after the comments were brought to general attention. The current of anti-Semitism has always run strong if quietly among American Christians, and Graham was not exempt from being caught up in its pull.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.