When Videotape Was Murky and Muddy

This 42 year-old Mike Douglas Show clip is worn and tattered, but it’s the shit. Really. Because it allows you to meditate upon the great Muhammad Ali and his refusal to embrace liberal inclusiveness as it was known in 1974, and his obstinate, unyielding insistence that the only thing he cared about was the living conditions of black people and that other tribes need to fend for themselves. (What would the young Ali be saying now about Donald Trump?) Sly Stone was obviously stoned or drunk. Congressman Wayne Hays, who would resign two years later over the Elizabeth Ray sex scandal, offered many of the positive sentiments that mainstream neoliberals were saying back then. Theodore Bikel was his usual moderate, sensible self. Here’s the whole kit and kaboodle.

  • JoeS

    Meanwhile, the PGA and BAFTA have announced their nominations.

    But, hey, that’s only ELSEWHERE in HOLLYWOOD, I guess……….

    • GotoSleep

      Here’s a tip: If you don’t like the Elsewhere, skip on to the next post. Many of us are here to see the color of the sky in Jeff’s world on any topic he chooses.

      • JoeS

        Oh, he’ll get around to ’em.

        Here’s a tip: Just teasing.

    • Dr. New Jersey

      He doesn’t want to type Deadpool or Arrival ever again.

  • GotoSleep

    I miss this time when talk shows really engaged in meaningful discussion. You’ve got a congressman, a boxer, and a singer treating each other respectfully and probing the issues. Not sure where you find this today since there’s little patience for it.

    • Stewart Klein

      Today they would be lip syncing to the latest by chance the rapper.

      • GotoSleep

        And smashing eggs on each other’s heads or playing Connect Four.

    • Magga

      Real Time with Bill Maher

      • Charles Peligro

        The frustrating thing about Maher’s show is that he sometimes interrupts a good discussion to do some lame, unfunny bit.

        • Mark Henry Hopper

          I wonder how much of that is because he needed to differentiate the show from Politically Incorrect.

        • Magga

          Sometimes. Sometimes it’s really funny, too. New Rules is always funny

          • chien_clean

            Maher is never funny

      • GotoSleep

        I’m a Maher fan but it’s quite different than the old Dick Cavett or Mike Douglas-era shows. Real Time is too rushed and structured to get to the stand-up and bits.

        • chien_clean

          Real Time is pretty much a round table of people that are there to kiss Bill Maher’s butt.

          • GotoSleep

            You are forgetting the 1-2 folks who are the conservative props. And I’m a fan of the show.

    • They do all the time (just follow Van Jones around for a while) but then they get sneered at as being too milquetoast.

  • Congressman Hays mentions Barbara Jordan, the first black southern woman elected to Congress. For some good upside-down fun at the expense of American political credibility, check out this news item from halfway between the above video clip and today:

  • brenkilco

    Faye Dunaway and Allen Garfield.

    Back when she was at her height, Dunaway as married to J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf. Probably an interesting guy but he looked like Adam Driver on a bad hair day.

  • otto

    What I especially appreciate about this most is that no one is trotting out cliche’d sound bites or rhetorical tropes to make their point. They each seem to be thinking out loud, and it is imperfect and much more compelling than what you see today. It is original thinking and speaking.

    Today the public speaking class has been Palinized: they simply regurgitate sound-bites and talking points, without anything behind them, that are often misleading (E.g., “the US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.”). There is little critical thinking or depth of discussion.

  • chien_clean

    Like any real men like Jim Brown, Ali would support Trump. 🙂