Thursday, February 28, 2008

More random thoughts....

Part of my job as Editorial Page Editor includes selecting the columns that appear on the Opinion page of the paper. This afternoon I just read the George Will and Kathleen Parker columns that will be published in the coming days -- both columns talking about William F. Buckley who died yesterday.

I met Buckley once. It was the summer of 2000 in Stamford. Al Gore had just selected Joe Lieberman to be his running mate and the announcement was made the day before, and Gore and Lieberman came to Stamford to repeat the announcement here I was there to cover the event. I was standing in the roped off area set up for the press when a I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. It was Buckley, bigger than life. "Excuse me," he said, "but would this be the press area?"

I told him it was and he asked if I would mind if he joined me . Me, mind?

Our brief encounter lasted maybe five minutes, with him doing most of the talking and me just listening -- with this stupid grin on my face. I was a frequent viewer to his many TV appearences over the years and never tired of listening to him talk -- even though I will admit that half the time I had no clue what he was saying. (In her column, Parker said that she hopes there are dictionaries in heaven.) But it was a joy just listening to him talk and that must have shown during our brief discussion.

At one point he asked me if he had said something amusing.

I told him I wasn't really sure a lot of the time what he was saying, but I was just honored and pleased to have had the opportunity of having him say it to me.

4 Comments:

Blogger Middle Aged Lunatic said...

How neat that you got to meet Buckley! His death is yet another loss from the old-school when actual dialogue took place - unlike today's version of "discussion" where people just shout over one another.

7:20 PM  
Blogger mccommas said...

Frankly it surprises me to learn you liked or even respected William F. Buckley.

I suppose the reason why that you may have liked Buckley is because in his era conservatives were a severe minority and you liked it that way. We might have been interesting to talk to (when you cared to listen) but when it came around to voting and law-making your party carried the day every time.

When Reagan and exsp. Reagan II came along, we started making the laws, our judges began fixing bad case law and you were in the minority. That’s when all hell broke loose.

Liberals, unlike Buckley, can’t act like ladies & gentlemen when they are in the minority.

Somehow in your mind we are uncouth because we actually win majorities from time to time. We can no longer be ignored and you don’t like that one bit.

We the new conservatives stand on the shoulders of greats like William F. Buckley, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Ronald Reagan.

God bless them all.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Ray Hackett said...

Mccommas...I realize that there is nothing that I will ever say that will convince you that your assumptions about me are just that -- assumptions.

But it was nice to see where I surprised you by expressing my respect for Bill Buckley. I did...and it was a real treat for me that one time to be in his presence -- and to have a few moments alone talking with him for no other purpose than simply talking.

The rest of your post...well, you are entitled to your opinion -- as wrong as it is most of the time (that is, in terms of what you think you know about me. On other issues, your opinion is that - yours and I would never suggest they are right or wrong, even if I don't agree with some of them.)

But like I said, I doubt that anything I say is ever going to change your mind. But I will try to continue to surprise you every now and then.

11:18 AM  
Blogger mccommas said...

Mr. Hackett you prove me right in my assumptions every time you chose to leave something OUT.

When are you going to ask your buddies Donald Williams or Joe Courtney a tough question? Tough questions are never asked.

Had any Republican proposed a law like Williams did setting up a censorship panel to regulate the platforms of candidates that Williams did you would have been all over them. It would have been front page news.

-- And rightly so. But the standards change when it’s a liberal Democrat doing it.

I recall reading all kinds of stuff about how the Patriot Act was supposed to curtail our freedoms but what about now? I think First Amendment rights are important and clearly the Founders considered political speech the most important. It is expressly enumerated in the first Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

I read the State Constitution and Williams’’ bill violated that constitution in several places.

Why don't you ask Joe Courtney how he feels about dirty Bird John Murtha? Did he vote for him for Majority Leader. I want to know!

It just seems to me that Rob Simmons was tarred with every misdeed any Republican did that he once shared an elevator with like the lobbyist or that guy that was a little to friendly with the young male pages. Hell we Republicans all caught hell from you one time because you got a Republican junk mailer.

But now that we got a Democrat back in the 2nd standards are all different now.

You can change my mind by asking tough questions of all your subjects.

I had quite a good opinion of your work years ago and I emailed you a compliment. That seems to have ruined it because since then I have seen you favoring your favorites.

I don’t even read the paper anymore. I am tired of the bias. I listen to Fox on my satellite radio on my way to and fro work.

9:46 PM  

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