Betty Ford Fields Questions on Women’s Rights, Premarital Sex, Breast Cancer, Drugs, and Anything Controversial — Today in 1975. 

Morley Safer’s interviewed Betty Ford for the CBS news program “60 Minutes.” They taped the interview in the White House Solarium on July 21, 1975.

The “60 Minutes” segment marked Mrs. Ford’s first extensive, exclusive TV interview. Safer questioned her on a number of topics including her experiences as a politician’s wife, openness about her breast cancer, and support for women’s rights, particularly the Equal Rights Amendment. 

Safer noted that unlike many political wives, for Betty Ford “the higher your husband’s gotten, the more really controversial things have been said.” This interview would be no exception. She called the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize abortion “a great, great decision,” and discussed premarital sex and the possibility of her children using drugs.

After the segment aired on August 10 the White House received a deluge of negative comments regarding Mrs. Ford’s position on these issues. Public mail ran 2 to 1 against Mrs. Ford, although more positive comments came in over time. In the long run her approval rating increased after the controversy died down.

According to Sheila Weidenfeld, Mrs. Ford’s press secretary, the First Lady later sent Safer an autographed picture inscribed, “If there are any questions you forgot to ask – I’m grateful.”

-from the Ford Library 

Puppeh Tahm #1: The Most Basic Basic Basics

WARNING: this will probably not be interesting to you unless you are a dog person. I am only writing it because now I understand mommybloggers who desperately seek connection with other adult human beings after hours spent alone with adorable creatures who shit themselves on the regular.

It is Day Four of life with the lady above. Her name is Morley Safer. She is 5.5 months of baby. We got her at the Humane Society, and praise the Lord she is generally fond of women (not men, as she has little experience with them) and knows how to sit. She’s pretty good at laying down on command. Sometimes she responds to “come” or to kissy noises. She seems to not mind birds. Apparently, she’s decent when passing children and other dogs on a walk. Other than that, we’re starting from scratch.

On her first day, for example, she came home and immediately went into heat (meaning she’d been in heat for a few days at least, but the REALLY telltale signs appeared when we brought her home). We didn’t know anything about that, so that was a fun surprise. I left for a couple of hours to get puppy period diapers and, quite frankly, to have a break from the Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret anxiety-riddled show.  I came back and discovered she had peed, pooped, and had her ladytime all over her pen and then walked around in it. She had also moved her pen partway through an open doorway onto a carpeted floor. Thank the Lord for Nature’s Miracle.

Lesson #1: Do not leave the puppy alone for more than an hour unless you enjoy shits and no giggles.

Lesson #2: When she has to be alone, make sure she’s in her crate or shut the frigging door to the bathroom (always provide water, toys, and treats). Repeat 8,000 times until she learns to entertain herself and chill out by herself.

Lesson #3: Do not reward her or pay her attention unless all four paws are on the ground. Turn your back or very pointedly look the other way until she settles down. Repeat 8,000 times or until Jesus returns to Earth, whichever comes first.

Lesson #4: When she pulls on the leash, stop. When she moves closer to you and gives the leash some slack, say “Good girl!” and start moving again. Repeat 8,000 times until the world ends or she figures it out.

Lesson #5: Don’t force her into her crate to sleep at night. Dog-whisper her into it, even if it takes 30 minutes like it did last night. Repeat 8,000 times until she learns it herself or you are visited by three Christmas spirits, whichever comes first.

Please pray for me. Even if it’s to Cthulhu.

This concludes Puppeh Tahm #1. Thank you for your tahm.

Watch on

RIP, Mike Wallace. Here’s 60 Minutes co-host Morley Safer’s video tribute to the master interviewer, featuring unforgettable moments with JFK, LBJ, MLK, and other BIG names.



CBS, 7 p.m. ET; 4/15/2012

Last Sunday, the day after Mike Wallace died, Morley Safer opened that evening’s 60 Minutes by noting the passing of his longstanding friend and colleague, and promising a full tribute the following week. Tonight, Safer and 60 Minutes make good on that promise, with the entire program devoted to the man who was there at the beginning of this invaluable TV newsmagazine when it launched in 1968, and who, more than anyone else, was responsible for its mainstream, Top 10 success. This hour is not to be missed; Wallace, in terms of TV history, will be. In both cases, though, attention must be paid.

- David Bianculli

Watch on

Meryl Streep on 60 Minutes with Morley Safer - 20/may/12

"That’s called the narrowing of the audience. The movie business has worked assiduously to discourage you, and other intelligent, discerning people, FROM the theater. They have worked hard to get rid of you, because you don’t go and then buy toys and games."


theres more here1, here2, here3 and here4

some of them are from earlier in the year and they seem like they are from the same taping…so, thats odd

Henry Grossman on 60 Minutes

If you missed Henry Grossman’s interview with Morley Safer on 60 Minutes last night (November 10, 2013), you can see the 12 minute plus film clip of the entire interview at the CBS website:

Scroll down to the Clips and look for "Meet Henry Grossman"... JFK is shown on the link.

The interview spans the whole history of Henry Grossman’s career and his Beatles photographs are covered toward the end of the interview with several gorgeous shots of Cynthia, Maureen, Pattie and Jane included.

The screen capture posted here shows Morley Safer interviewing Grossman with a color portrait of George and Pattie in the background. This photo of George and Pattie, taken at Kinfauns in March 1965, was not included in Grossman’s book!


Recently, delightful comedian and author Sara Benincasa commissioned me to do the artwork for her new podcast, In The Casa With Sara Benincasa, which she is funding through Patreon. The whole Patreon model is really, really exciting to me as it, 1. gives artists of all kinds ways to monetize difficult to monetize work, 2. it gives fans a way to give very small amounts of money to people whose work they enjoy (and thereby ensure the stuff they like will keep happening). 

You can listen to a preview here also featuring guest star John DeVore.

Subscribe, people! If you like things that are awesome. Subscribe!

That’s Edward Kienholz’s “The Little Eagle Rock Incident”, as shown in Morley Safer’s infamous 1993 art story from 60 Minutes.

Edward Kienholz,”The Little Eagle Rock Incident”, 1958, paint and resin on plywood with mounted deer head, 61 3/4 x 49 x 20 in (156.8 x 124.5 x 50.8 cm)

"The Little Eagle Rock Incident" was most recently exhibited in our 2012 show Kienholz Before LACMA.

Underneath that gruff exterior, was a prickly interior…and deeper down was a sweet and gentle man, a patriot with a love of all things American, like good bourbon and a delicious hatred for prejudice and hypocrisy.

Morley Safer on Andy Rooney

Morley Safer on Bill Moyers

As quoted in the Weekly Standard 2/2/2015:

"His part in Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover’s bugging of Martin Luther King’s private life, the leaks to the press and diplomatic corps, the surveillance of civil rights groups at the 1964 Democratic Convention, and his request for damaging information from Hoover on members of the Goldwater campaign suggest he was not only a good soldier but a gleeful retainer feeding the appetites of Lyndon Johnson."

Confession No. 53 (?)

So this is actually something I confessed to my brother just a week or so ago, but sometimes I imagine that I’m being interviewed by 60 Minutes. My brother said this is normal, and everyone does it (my mother on the other hand, tells me I have “delusions of grandeur”), so don’t judge me. On second thought, maybe he was being facetious.

Anyway, yeah, I do that. And because I’m such a well-rounded person, this interview would touch on many different subjects. I’ve decided to post excerpts here:

Leslie Stahl (because let’s face it, she’s the second most badass one there [Morley Safer is #1]): You don’t play normal music.

Me: Well, I guess you could say that. I guess I wanted to do for the ukulele what Bela Fleck did for the banjo. I mean, when people think of the uke, their minds go to Hawaii and luaus and all that—which is fine—but I’ve always found a certain sorrow in the instrument. I’ve always wanted to use it to play jazz tunes and such. Something sorrowful. My favorite books, songs, and movies have always been the sad ones. Punctuated with bits of humor, obviously, because they mimic life. 


Leslie: Let’s talk about Paris. Like so many others before you, you were drawn to the city. Why?

Me: I don’t know that it was ever a conscious decision. I’ve just always known Paris and I…The city is so vibrant, so other-worldly. There really are no words for it. 


*OK, so this next bit is about future me being on Doctor Who, and then coming under criticism for it by right-wing Christians…Strange scenario, but whatever*

Leslie: You’re a Christian—

Me: I am.

Leslie: You’ve come under fire from some Christians for your role on the British Science Fiction series, Doctor Who. How do you justify it?

Me: I wasn’t aware that I had to justify it. I guarantee you, those people have never watched the damn show. Honestly. I get sick of people like that. Anyway, I don’t feel I need to justify it, but the same way they put on a certain lens for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, they could put on their lens for Doctor Who and really see it. I mean, what could they possibly say about the Doctor? One could even say he’s a Christ-figure. Yeah, I went there. There’s nothing wrong with the Doctor—a humanoid who saves the world even when they’ve disappointed him in every way possible? Who causes people around him to rise to their full potential? Who is willing to sacrifice himself for people who may never even know his name? WOW, guys, really demonic. Seriously, go burn some Harry Potter books or something. 

This concludes the interview. Also, ask me about my politics sometime, because that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms…

A man of his word

What are we if not men of our words?. I know I always try to be a man of my word. If I say it I try hard as hell to do it. Bob Simon of 60 Minutes is a man of his word. First off he said he would allow me to a photograph of him when I met him in late spring of 2010 and good to his word he did.  Of course one portrait is never enough for me so I asked if he could get me to anyone else at 60 Min, namely Morley Safer. A few weeks ago I received an email from Bob that said Morley was game. Wow I was so happy. I wanted to be cool and not call right away and look too eager, I dutifully waited 5 minutes then called. His assistant answered and after I introduced myself and told her that Bob gave me the number she passed me right to Morley. Next thing I know I’m talking to Morley Safer and man does he sound like Morley Safer from 60 Min. I explained what I wanted to do and we agreed on a date. Simple and straight to the point. The following week I show up to the 60 Min office with my gear and some great help from Diego. Unfortunately the room that I had used to photograph Bob was not available. I was a bit worried but after having a look at Morley’s office it was very clear to me that the office was much better then the unavailable room. Morley is from Toronto like me so we spoke of our home town and what we thought about some of the architecture in the city. Then I did some portraits in the hallway. I think we had it all done in about 40 min including lighting two sets and tearing it all down. I’m hoping to get to some other people and with Morley’s help I may just be able to do that. Here are a few of the shots.

Forgive Me

Today was my first day working full-time in over a year, and I’m behind on backlogging posts for F&F. FORGIVE ME FOR MY LATENESS, DAMN IT

To make it up to you, here’s a video to which I was directed from the eminent Bad at Sports which I promise will be worth your 7 minutes and 21 seconds:

I unironically love everything that’s tacky or, you know, um, not so well-executed. I can’t tell you how many bad movies I’ve watched. I’m sure this is a part of my brain that went haywire in high school, when I spent a more-than-decent chunk of my free time with a guy who intentionally sought out bad movies. I moved to my neighborhood partially because there’s a record/cd/video store nearby that stocks ripped c-movies and cult stuff.

One of my friends on Facebook, a few weeks ago, posted that there was a very good-looking man in the café in which she was working who clearly knew that he was good-looking, and she knew this because whenever he caught someone staring at him, he would wink at them like “Yeah, I know, thanks.” Also tacky; also love it. Why bother with faux-grace?

I also am a big big big big big big big big big big big big BIG fan of Lynda Benglis, and I’m sure that people who recreationally twist their underwear into knots, shove them up their own buttholes, and walk around like that all day will hate the fact that I’m going to call Lynda Benglis tacky, but what the fuck else is her Artforum ad?

What else are her Sparkle Knots?

Lynda Benglis saw a connection between what people call “tacky” and therefore unfit for the art world, and the arts and crafts materials that women and girls are encouraged to use, which seems simultaneously like an insult to femininity, a stereotyping of femininity, and a discouragement of girls and women to engage with “higher” forms of art. And why? Why is glitter tacky? Why is acrylic tacky? What makes it not sophisticated enough?

There’s a sort of implication that to be forthright and obvious isn’t elegant enough to qualify an object or a product or a mode of behavior as intelligent or engaging, but part of the problem with the contemporary art world is that a lot of art historians obscure their critiques with unintelligible language, and a lot of artists either obscure meaning behind excessive symbology or excessive language about symbology that isn’t that complicated. I mean, fuck, just listen to Jeff Koons, for god’s sake. It’s not that I agree with Morley Safer, it’s that I understand why he’s so fucking confused.

And lord knows, I appreciate a piece of art that’s elegantly executed. But obfuscation isn’t elegance; there’s a line between them that I’d rather not cross, even if that means that the greater part of my time consuming art works (of various media) will be spent on products like “Maximum Wage” or Computer Beach Party. At least they’re honest.