On Bill Buckley's 80th birthday, George Will paid him tribute in a column you'll find here.
A few years ago I made my case for Buckley's inclusion on a list of Greatest Americans.
In this post I simply want to share examples of his great sense of humor.
From a Jeff Jacoby column.:
When asked why Robert Kennedy was refusing to appear on his Firing Line interview program, Buckley replied, "Why does baloney resist the meat grinder?"I'll never forget a National Review editorial comment in which Buckley, who once served in the CIA, said: "The attempted assassination of [Indonesian President] Sukarno last week had all the earmarks of a CIA operation. Everyone in the room was killed except Sukarno."
He received a letter from an irate National Review reader telling him in great detail what a miserable editor he was. The letter ended: "Cancel my subscription."
Buckley wrote back sasying he knew he had shortcomings and would work hard to do better. As for canceling the subscription: "Dammit, cancel it yourself."
An anon commenter shared this one:
Buckley was being interviewed by Charlie Rose years ago during the spotted owl era. Rose got agitated at Buckley's rather dismissive view of the spotted owl's future on this planet.Many of you no doubt have favorite examples of Buckley's humor. I hope you'll share them.
Rose blurted out something like: "Can we in good conscience reduce the population of spotted owls significantly? Even to extinction? To extinction???"
To which Buckley calmly replied: "An estimated 500 million species have become extinct...and here we are."
William F. (Bill) Buckley dead at 82. RIP