- Nixon's Enemies List
Nixon’s Enemies List is the informal name of what started as a list of President of the United States Richard Nixon’s major political opponents compiled by Charles Colson, written by George T. Bell (assistant to Colson, special counsel to the White House), and sent in memorandum form to John Dean on September 9, 1971. The list was part of a campaign officially known as “Opponents List” and “Political Enemies Project.” The list became public knowledge when Dean mentioned during hearings with the Senate Watergate Committee that a list existed containing those whom the president did not like. Journalist Daniel Schorr, who happened to be on the list, managed to obtain copies of it later that day.
Origin and purpose
The official purpose, as described by the White House Counsel's Office, was to "screw" Nixon's political enemies, by means of tax audits from the Internal Revenue Service, and by manipulating "grant availability, federal contracts, litigation, prosecution, etc."
“ This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly—how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies. ”
The original 20 names in the memo (and the notes accompanying them) were as follows, although a master list of Nixon political opponents was developed later.
Verbatim text of original memo (with comments)
THE WHITE HOUSE
June 24, 1971
SUBJECT: OPPONENTS LIST
Attached is the list of opponents which we have compiled. I thought it would be useful from time to time.
SUBJECT: OPPONENT PRIORITY ACTIVITY
Having studied the attached material and evaluated the recommendations for the discussed action, I believe you will find my list worthwhile for go status. It is in priority order.
- United Artists Corporation
- 929 7th Avenue
- New York, N. Y.
- Top Muskie fundraiser. Success here could be both debilitating and very embarrassing to the Muskie machine. If effort looks promising, both Ruth and David Picker should be programmed and then a follow-through with United Artists.
- National director of A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s Committee on Political Education
- Washington, D. C.
- Without a doubt the most powerful political force programmed against us in 1968. ($10 million dollars, 4.6 million votes, 115 million pamphlets, 176,000 workers — all programmed by Barkan’s C.O.P.E. — so says Teddy White in The Making of the President 1968). We can expect the same effort this time.
- Managing Editor L. A. Times
- Guthman, former Kennedy aide, was a highly sophisticated hatchetman against us in '68. It is obvious he is the prime mover behind the current Key Biscayne effort. It is time to give him the message.
- Doyle, Dane and Bernbach
- New York
- The top Democratic advertising firm — they destroyed Goldwater in ’64. They should be hit hard starting with Dane.
- Dreyfus Corporation
- New York
- Heaviest contributor to McCarthy in ’68. If McCarthy goes, will do the same in ’72. If not, Lindsay or McGovern will receive the funds.
7. LOWENSTEIN, ALLARD
- Long Island, New York
- Guiding force behind the 18 year old "Dump Nixon" vote drive.
- Leading executive at Common Cause
- A scandal would be most helpful here.
- Senator Jackson’s AA
- 711 Lamberton Drive, Silver Spring, Md.
- We should give him a try. Positive results would stick a pin in Jackson’s white hat.
11. FELD, BERNARD T.
- Council for a Livable World
- Heavy far left funding. They will program an “all court press” against us in ’72.
12. DAVIDOFF, SIDNEY
- New York City
- Lindsay’s top personal aide.
- A first class S.O.B., wheeler-dealer and suspected bagman. Positive results would really shake the Lindsay camp and Lindsay’s plans to capture youth vote. Davidoff in charge.
13. CONYERS, JOHN
- National Education Association
- Has taken us on vis a vis federal aid to parochial schools—a ’72 issue.
- Mott Associates
- New York
- Nothing but big money for radic-lib candidates.
16. DELLUMS, RONALD
- Congressman, California
- Had extensive EMK-Tunney support in his election bid. Success might help in California next year.
17. SCHORR, DANIEL
- Columbia Broadcasting System
- A real media enemy.
- 2011 Walnut Street
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- President of Globe Security Systems—fourth largest private detective agency in U.S. Heavy Humphrey contributor. Could program his agency against us.
19. PAUL NEWMAN
- Radic-lib causes. Heavy McCarthy involvement ’68. Used effectively in nationwide T.V. commercials. ’72 involvement certain.
20. MC GRORY, MARY
- 2710 Macomb Street, Washington
- Daily hate Nixon articles.
Master list of political opponents
According to Dean, Colson later compiled hundreds of names on a “master list” which changed constantly. The full list includes many notable people and publications, including Jane Fonda, Ted Kennedy, Bill Cosby, Gregory Peck, Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, Joe Namath, Abbie Hoffman, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Dick Gregory, Liza Minnelli, George Carlin, Bella Abzug, Paul Milstein, Woody Allen, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Barbra Streisand, Carol Channing, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
Second "Enemies" List
On December 20, 1973, the Congressional Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation concluded that people on the "Enemies" list had not been subjected to an unusual number of tax audits. The report revealed a second list of about 576 (with some duplicates) supporters and staffers of George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign given to Internal Revenue Commissioner Johnnie Walters by John Dean on September 11, 1972. This list includes relatively few celebrities. The Washington Post printed the entire list the next day, but the New York Times reported just a few paragraphs on page 21.
Newsman Daniel Schorr, as well as actors Paul Newman and Carol Channing have stated, separately, that inclusion on the list was their greatest accomplishment. When this list was released, Schorr read it live on television, not realizing that he was on the list until he came to his own name. Talk show host and journalist Lou Gordon, who was also on the list, considered his inclusion to be a "badge of honor".
In Philip Roth's Our Gang, which was published in 1971, two years before the list was first mentioned in public, the Nixon parody character Trick E. Dixon begins to compile a rudimentary list of five political enemies. It includes Jane Fonda and the Black Panthers who were on the real-life counterpart, The Berrigans (who perhaps surprisingly were not) and Curt Flood.
Carl Djerassi's autobiography The Pill, Pigmy Chimps, and Degas' Horse states that President Nixon awarded him the National Medal of Science when he was on the Enemies List. He learned this from an article in The San Francisco Examiner a few months later.
In the United States the term "enemies list" has come to be used in contexts not associated with Richard Nixon. For example, satirist P. J. O'Rourke's 1989 "A Call for a New McCarthyism" in The American Spectator has a hybrid blacklist and enemies list, suggesting that, contrary to the spirits of these lists, the subjects there should be overexposed, not suppressed, "so that a surfeited public rebels in disgust."
In popular culture
In "Homer's Enemy", an 8th-season episode of The Simpsons, Moe Syzlak shows off his own enemies list, which Barney Gumble quickly appraises as Nixon's list, with the latter's name crossed out and replaced with Moe's. Barney is added to the list for his insolence. Another episode, Homer the Great, had Homer expressing anger at a shoddily-made "Econo-Save Factory Stool" that breaks and causes him to fall, and remarks "OK, Econo-Save, you just made the list!" Homer proceeds to add the company's name to a list.
- ^ Dean, John (Winter 2005). "The enemies list revisited". Boston College Magazine. http://bcm.bc.edu/issues/winter_2005/ft_presidents.html#dean.
- ^ Yager, Jordy (January 6, 2009). "Journalist recalls the honor of being on Nixon’s Enemies List". TheHill.com. http://thehill.com/capital-living/20243-journalist-recalls-the-honor-of-being-on-nixons-enemies-list.
- ^ a b Dean, John (August 16, 1971). Dealing with our Political Enemies.
- ^ Peck, Sara (August 10, 2010). "New York Real Estate Developer Paul Milstein Dead At 88". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/10/billionaire-real-estate-developer-paul-milstein-obituary.html.
- ^ Claiborne, William. "IRS Ignored Bid to Audit 'Enemies' List," The Washington Post, December 21, 1973, page 1.
- ^ Charlton, Linda. "Unit Says Dean Gave I.R.S. 2d 'Enemies' List," The New York Times, December 21, 1973, page 21.
- ^ "Staying Tuned: Veteran television and radio correspondent Daniel Schorr discusses his life, his career and his new book "Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism.". PBS NewsHour. May 29, 2001. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june01/schorr_5-29.html. Retrieved June 23, 2008.
- ^ Deborah L. Gordon on DVD / Television Show "Motor City Celebrities - Lou Gordon" (c) Copyright 2008 Dream World Enterprises All Rights Reserved. DreamworldEnterprises.net
- Records of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force 1971 to 1977 via National Archives and Records Administration
- EnemiesList.info, a complete, searchable, annotated Nixon's Enemies List
- Statement of Information, Hearings Before the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Ninety-Third Congress, Second Session, Pursuant to H. Res. 803, a Resolution Authorizing and Directing the Committee on the Judiciary to Investigate Whether Sufficient Grounds Exist for the House of Representatives to Exercise its Constitutional Power to Impeach Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of America, Book VIII, Internal Revenue Service, May-June 1974 via The Internet Archive
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