Going after Dan Schorr

Date: 
Saturday, September 18, 1971 - 10:05am - 10:40am
Participants: 
Richard Nixon, Bob Haldeman
Location: 
Oval Office
Listen: 


Bob Haldeman: --a very positive, sort of background piece on the press conference.

President Nixon: Rather than just reporting it.

Haldeman: Yeah. Well, he had done a reporting piece, too, but this is a separate--

President Nixon: Was that in the News Summary?

Haldeman: Yeah, I'm sure it was. I'm sure that's why it [unclear].

President Nixon: I don't want to read it. I--

Haldeman: It's probably not today. It may have been yesterday.

President Nixon: [Unclear.] On the other hand, when you come down to [unclear] when you come down to stuff that is . . . these fellows . . . in fact, the media . . . you take a fellow like this Dan Schorr, he's--I notice--he is always creating something, isn't he?

Haldeman: Oh . . . He incidentally is on--you don't, shouldn't get involved in this, but he's on our tax list, too.

President Nixon: Good.

Haldeman: They're--

President Nixon: Good.

Haldeman: They're going after a couple of media people. They're going after Dan Schorr and Mary McGrory.

President Nixon: Good.

Haldeman: And--”

President Nixon: Like what? Have they been making any money on the outside?

Haldeman: They think they might have some, yeah, on them. [tape whip] just want to harass them. Just give them a little trouble.

President Nixon: Exactly. Pound these people.

Haldeman: Just give them something to worry about.

President Nixon: It's routine.

Haldeman: Yeah. Oh, that's right, you were going--and you talked to [J. Edgar] Hoover today, too. The damn FBI, you know, we, through the indirect route, tried to get an FBI thing on Schorr and they didn't have anything in their files on him. And so instead of admitting they didn't have anything, they started doing some investigating. [Nixon chuckles] And that . . . So who did they investigate? They investigated--they talked to people at CBS. And so the first person they contacted--

President Nixon: Was Schorr.

Haldeman: --said, "why are you"--no, not Schorr, it was one of his associates or somebody, you know, in there--said, "why are you investigating?" And they said, "For--because he's under consideration for a high level government position." Well, that got back to somebody else and we got this, this panic stricken thing from--”

President Nixon: [Patrick] Buchanan.

Haldeman: From Buchanan, saying, "Jesus Christ! What are you hiring Daniel Schorr for?!" [laughing] And he was in a state of absolute panic, thinking we'd lost our senses, we're going to hire Schorr.

President Nixon: That's all right, though.

Haldeman: [laughing] [Unclear.]

President Nixon:
If that all comes out you can just say, "Well, it's on a bipartisan board, so we have to have a Democrat in it."

Both men laugh.

President Nixon: Schorr [unclear] the only one.

Haldeman: On some of that stuff, I must say, though, the Bureau [FBI] doesn't have a helluva lot of finesse.

President Nixon: [Unclear] not much better. [Unclear] very much better [unclear]. [tape whip] great PR call.

Haldeman: Yes, indeed.

President Nixon: Mitchell, today talking--crying to me about the Supreme Court. He and I have got to decide that. And I can't talk to anybody else.

Haldeman: He's got a couple of things, I think, that [unclear] talked about. When he was planning to go on the boat last night he called me and asked what your agenda was, and I said, "nothing." And--”

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.